IST Austria
Am Campus 1
A-3400 Klosterneuburg

Tel: +43 2243 9000 3401
email: sylvia.cremer (AT)

Assistant: Agnieszka Rowinska,
e-mail: agnieszka.rowinska (AT)
Tel: +43 2243 9000 1148

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Lab publications


Social immunity in ants

My main research interest lies in understanding the evolution of cooperative disease defences in insect societies. In contrast to solitary organisms, individuals in social groups do not have to rely solely on their own behavioural and physiological immune systems. By performing collective hygienic measures they help each other and thereby greatly decrease disease susceptibility of group members. In my team, we study the effects of pathogens on social interaction networks in ant societies and determine how interaction with sick nestmates affects both the hygiene behaviours and the physiological immune system of individual ant workers.


We study host-pathogen systems with ants and their fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens. We consider ant societies and their pathogens an ideal model system to understand epidemiology in societies.

Please visit the current research projects page to learn more about our specific research approaches and team members.



2015-current     Full Professor, IST Austria, Austria

2010-2015         Assistant Professor, IST Austria, Austria                         

2006-2010         Group Leader, Habilitation at the University of Regensburg, Germany         

2006                  Junior Fellow, Institute of Advanced Studies, Berlin, Germany

2002-2006         Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Copenhagen, Denmark                 

2002                  Dr. rer. nat (PhD), University of Regensburg, Germany




2017 ERC Consolidator Grant EPIDEMICSonCHIP

2015 Elisabeth Lutz Prize by the Austria Academy of Sciences (ÖAW)

2013 Walther Arndt Prize of the German Zoological Society (DZG)

2012 Research Award Lower Austria: Anerkennungspreis des Landes Niederösterreich

2011 Elected Member of the Junge Akademie  of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, ÖAW

2009 ERC Starting Grant SocialVaccines

2008 Elected Member of the Junge Akademie (Young Academy of the National German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and BBAW); Alumna since 2013