[styled_image image=”http://yourwildlife.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/252305649_AxK9K-L-1.jpg” w=”100″ h=”100″ link=”http://yourwildlife.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/252305649_AxK9K-L-1.jpg” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Dinoponera australis from the Alex Wild collection.” rel=””]

People are hungry to know more about ants, how they live, where they live, what they are doing in your kitchen and in your garden. Who better to explain what these amazing ants are up to than you, the scientist studying them? So go ahead and tell us (and the world) about the coolest thing you’ve seen, read or studied about ants, and while you’re at it, tell us about you and why you do what you do. Write this essay for the childhood version of you, so that another generation of kids will be inspired to look closely at ants, to understand them and appreciate the richness of life around us.


Who can enter: Students studying any aspect of ant biology
Deadline: Sept 1, 2012
Prizes: $500 (best essay)


Showcase a feature of ant biology, evolution, diversity, behavior or another scientifically based topic (see examples below) for a general audience. Topic must be based on your research, your observations or the scientific literature. Writing should appeal to the non-scientific public and offer intriguing facts or perspectives on ants. 300 words min, 600 words max. Multiple essays per author permitted. Each submission must be in the form of an email to theschoolofants@gmail.com, subject header: ESSAY SUBMISSION, with the following attachments:

  1. 300-600 word essay (word doc)
  2. short biosketch with your research interests & affiliation (word doc)
  3. photo of you (jpg file, 4) optional: photo illustrating essay topic

Example topics

The biggest ant, The smallest ant, Ant poop, Ants with odd diets, The bacteria in ants, Ant mouths, The chemical world of ants, Ant mysteries (we hope for many of these), The parasites of ants, Slave making ants, Things that look like ants but are not ants, The biggest ant societies, Male ants, The incredible life cycle of (pick an ant species, or an ant-associate), Ant nests, Caste determination, Ant larvae – what do they eat?, Dracula ants – why it makes sense to suck the blood of your offspring, Why ants wage war, Ant interactions with other insects, Ant- plant interactions, Ant mandible diversity, Ant sting structure, Ant territoriality, Task allocation among ants, How long do ants live?, Male ants, Polygyny, Polydomy, Invasive species spread, Pesticide resistance, Ants on islands, Fungus growing ants, Ants as soil architects, Dominance at baits, Nocturnal ants, Seed specialists, Army ants, Maurauder ants, Trapjaw ants, And anything else you can think of…