The Jiggins Lab Webpage

Gaspar Bruner

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in symbiotic interactions, partially in tropical insects. My main interest is to understand how mutualist or parasitic partners affect the behavior, ecology and evolution of their hosts. Beside my passion for science, I like to play soccer and photography. More details are on my website.


2017-present PhD candidate, Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge

2012-2015 Bacteriology. University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

2003-2009 Bachelor in Biology, minor in Microbiology and Parasitology. University of Panama, Panama

Research Experience

2016 Research assistant at INDICASAT AID

2015 Research associated specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison

2014-2015 Chemical ecology and specificity of symbiotic interactions in fungus-growing ants at Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and University of Wisconsin-Madison. Researcher

2012-2014 Chemical ecology and social behavior on fungus growing ants at Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and University of Wisconsin-Madison. Researcher

2009-2011 Behavioral dynamic between host and pathogens in fungus-growing ants. Research assistant

2008 Natural History of Myrmicocrypta” ants and defensives mechanisms in Trachymyrmex ants at Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Research Assistant

2007 Antibiotic uses and behavior of fungus growing ants at Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Research assistant.

2006 Department of Water Quality, Panama Canal Authority. Lab. Assistant.


2016 IFARHU-SENACYT Doctoral Fellowship

2012 IFARHU-SENACYT Master Fellowship


Bruner G., Wcislo W.T., Fernández-Marín H. 2014 Prudent inquilines and proactive hosts: behavioral dynamics between an ant social parasite, Megalomyrmex symmetochus and its fungus-growing ant host, Sericomyrmex amabilis. Insectes sociaux 61, 83-88.

Fernandez-Marin H., Bruner G., Gomez E.B., Nash D.R., Boomsma J.J., Wcislo W.T. 2013 Dynamic disease management in Trachymyrmex fungus-growing ants (Attini: Formicidae). Am Nat 181, 571-582. (doi:10.1086/669664).

Gaspar B., Jimenez L., Mendoza Y., Chial B., De Chial M. 2013 Bacterial Diversity and Physicochemical Stratification of the Water Column during the Rainy Season in Las Cumbres Lake, Panama. The Internet Journal of Microbiology 12, 1.

Farji-Brener A.G., Morueta-Holme N., Chinchilla F., Willink B., Ocampo N., Bruner G. 2012 Leaf-cutting ants as road engineers: the width of trails at branching points in Atta cephalotes. Insectes Sociaux 59, 389-394. (doi:10.1007/s00040-012-0231-0).

Bruner G., Fernández-Marín H., Touchon J.C., Wcislo W.T. 2012 Eggs of the Blind Snake,Liotyphlops albirostris, Are Incubated in a Nest of the Lower Fungus-Growing Ant,  Apterostigmacf.goniodes. Psyche: A Journal of Entomology 2012, 1-5. (doi:10.1155/2012/532314).