Choppin, Marina












Marina Choppin
Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin

Curriculum Vitae


2016-2018 Master degree in Behavioral ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity completed with honors, University of Tours (Tours, France)
2013 - 2016 Bachelor degree in Ecosystems and Organisms Biology completed with honors, University of Bordeaux (Bordeaux, France)


Working experiences


PhD position, Johannes Gutenberg University (Mainz, Germany)

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Susanne FOITZIK and Dr. Barbara FELDMEYER

Project: Functional basis of the fecundity-longevity reversal in the ant Temnothorax rugatulus


Research project, James Cook University (Cairns, Australia)

Supervisor: Dr. Lori LACH

Project: Parasite recognition among Asian and European honey bees


Research project, Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie de l’Insecte (Tours, France)

Supervisor: Dr. Christophe LUCAS

Project: Social control of reproductives differentiation in Reticulitermes flavipes


Research project, Centre d’Etudes Biologiques de Chizé (Villiers-en-Bois, France)

Supervisor: Dr. Frédéric ANGELIER

Project: Influence of rainfall on reproductive success in great tit Parus Major



I have a strong interest in the evolution of life history traits, mechanisms underlying castes differentiation and more broadly societal organizations in social insects. The complexity of these societies makes them interesting to explore from an evolutionary perspective and I am enthusiastic at the idea to investigate such research questions using behaviour, genetics and epigenetics, which I find fascinating.

PhD project

Most living organisms are facing a trade-off between fecundity and longevity regarding their resource allocations. However, in social insects, this trade-off is reversed so that the queen, which is the most fertile individual, is also the longest lived while the workers are non-reproductive individuals and live shorter. The aim of my project is to explore the underlying molecular basis of this positive association using the ant Temnothorax rugatulus as study model. Using experimental manipulations, behavioral observations and gene expression analyses I will investigate (i) the regulation and connectivity of candidate genes in gene regulatory pathways and (ii) epigenetic mechanisms regulating expression in these pathways as well as (iii) the influence of diet and particularly protein content on ant fecundity and longevity and finally (iv) the potential improved immunocompetence in queens following an induced increased fecundity.


Choppin, M., Feldmeyer, B., Foitzik, S. Histone acetylation regulates the expression of genes involved in worker reproduction in the ant Temnothorax rugatulus. BMC Genomics, in press

Ruhland, F., Moulin, M., Choppin, M., Meunier, J., Lucas, C., 2020. Reproductives and eggs trigger worker vibration in a subterranean termite. Ecol. Evol. 00, 1–7. 

Choppin, M., Graf, S., Feldmeyer, B., Libbrecht, R., Menzel, F., Foitzik, S., 2021. Queen and worker phenotypic traits are associated with colony composition and environment in Temnothorax rugatulus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), an ant with alternative reproductive strategies. Myrmecological News 31, 61–69.



Institut für Organismische und
Molekulare Evolutionsbiologie
Marina Choppin
Hanns-Dieter-Hüsch-Weg 15
​5518 Mainz
Tel.: +49 6131 39 27853
Fax: +49 6131 39 27850