Symposium Kick-Off: 8/26/15
Topic: The Science of Ant-Man
UCR Department of Entomology
Kevin Welzel, a graduate student in entomology at UC Riverside, was standing
among Hollywood stars this summer at the red carpet premiere of Marvel’s
Ant-Man. Welzel helped set up a giant, red formicarium, or ant house, in the
shape of the movie title and answered questions red carpet attendees had about
ants. “I talked to some folks for about 20 minutes because of their genuine
interest in ant biology,” Welzel says.
When he is not consulting on blockbuster movies, Welzel conducts
research in a lab studying the pheromones of Argentine ants. “I think it’s the
beauty and diversity of insects is what keeps me captivated and interested in
studying them,” he explains. “They are truly a work of art, the colors and
their behaviors have been the inspiration for many artist throughout the ages.
Ants are my favorite because they are just cool. They have a really fascinating
social structure that allows us to relate better to them.”