Pepijn Kooij

Pepijn Kooij


Early Career Research Fellow


Comparative Plant and Fungal Biology - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Research Interests

Coevolution is one of the major forces in the origin and maintenance of biodiversity. The fungus-farming ant mutualism is a model coevolutionary system, typified by the leaf-cutting ants (genera Atta and Acromyrmex), however, fungal symbiont diversity as well as symbiont maintenance remain poorly understood. The student will join a research group exploring fungal diversity and its evolutionary history, in which I primarily focus on the biodiversity of fungus growing ant fungi and identifying the factors involved in maintaining a stable mutualism. The DPhil project would be developed in discussion with the student, but is likely to include a range of methodologies such as DNA-barcoding, genome sequencing, fluorescence and electron microscopy, and potentially some fieldwork in Panama.

Associated Research Streams

ants, fungi, mutualism, evolution, biodiversity, cooperation, ecology

Pepijn Kooij Atta colombica incipient colony in Gamboa, Panama.
Photo credit: Pepijn Kooij

Contact information

  • Email: p.kooij@kew.org
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8332 3704
  • Webpage: View External Page
  • Address:
    Comparative Plant and Fungal Biology
    Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
    Richmond
    Surrey
    TW9 3AB