Charissa de Bekker

Charissa de Bekker

Pennsylvania State University

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Post-doctoral Researcher


Published on Sep 08, 2015

Zombie ant biting behavior likely involves an array of processes as suggested by gene expression studies.

The full research paper on this topic has been published in BMC Genomics.Many parasites have evolved the ability to change host behavior in order to promote completion of the parasite’s life cycle....

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Published on Sep 07, 2015

Heads up: paper is online!

Hi everyone!Hope you had a lovely summer! I sure had. During my holiday our paper got published online (August 19) and has already received almost 3000 views since! And that without us alerting the...

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Published on Aug 03, 2015

Ladies and Gents....

I am proud to announce to you all....That our paper has finally been accepted for publication!!A link to the paper and a full breakdown of its contents will follow as soon as we have gone through a...

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Published on May 03, 2015

Manuscript submitted!

Well, it finally happened. After an immense amount of work, and almost a year-and-a-half after this project has been fully funded, our manuscript has been submitted. Obviously, to an open access jo...

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Published on Mar 09, 2015

Sneak preview: manuscript almost ready for submission!

It has been a while since the last update. As you might remember, I moved across the ocean to continue my work at the Ludwig Maximilians University, which slowed things down work wise. Next to that...

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Published on Sep 19, 2014

A break down of our latest BMC Evolutionary Biology paper

As promised, in this lab note I will break down our latest paper, published open access in BMC Evolutionary Biology, for you. Since it appeared online last month it hasalready been accessed 7863 ti...

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Published on Aug 21, 2014

Check out this new paper from my colleague Raquel!

Hi guys,You might have already picked up on this, since her work is all over the news :), but just in case I wanted to make sure that you knew about this beautiful study my colleague Raquel just pu...

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Published on Aug 05, 2014

Sneak peak into another new paper of ours and a project update

Hi everyone,This time a lab note from Munich Germany! Yes, I moved across the pond to Europe and am now working from a different university: the Ludwig Maximilians University (or the LMU). Not beca...

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Published on Jun 07, 2014

New paper published

Hi everyone,I promised in my former lab note that I would share my paper with you as soon as it would be published online. Well, it was officially published yesterday so it's online for everyone th...

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Published on May 21, 2014

First steps taken with our data set: let the searching for important genes begin!

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Thanks! No I didn't. Any chance I can find it online somewhere?
May 03, 2015
How does a parasite create zombie-like behavior?
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HI Barbara, That's not too technical at all. Ask away! But with a technical question I can only reply with a technical answer ;-). The samples were normalized to FPKM (Fragments Per Kilobase Of Exon Per Million Fragments Mapped) so we could compare expression levels of each of the genes across samples. We used the programs of the Tuxedo Suite for the mapping of the reads, normalizing them and determining differential expression (Bowtie, TopHat and Cufflinks).
Mar 13, 2015
How does a parasite create zombie-like behavior?
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Thanks David! I am still in the exploration phase but until now it indeed looks like a great place!
Aug 07, 2014
How does a parasite create zombie-like behavior?
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Hey guys! Awesome to see there is more work on behavioral manipulation out there! Good luck on the campaign and I am curious to learn what you'll find! cheers, Charissa
Jul 15, 2014
ZomBees: Are parasites controlling the minds of honey bees?
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Hi Debbie, Yes unfortunately the link you got sent in the email version of the lab note doesn't work, but the one on the actual lab note page seems to.
Jun 10, 2014
How does a parasite create zombie-like behavior?
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I changed the hyper link. Could you try again? Hope it works now!
Jun 07, 2014
How does a parasite create zombie-like behavior?
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Wow! That's such exciting news! Congrats on the progress made. Curious to hear what species they are and what compounds they produce.
May 22, 2014
Can we use fungi to break down our plastic and rubber waste?
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Interesting question Gary. We can't say for sure of course since we never specifically tested this, but we get the idea from the experiments we do in the lab that the ants don't notice and carry on with their business until the fungus takes control. Even the other ants in the nest don't seem to know, while normally sick ants would be kicked out of the nest (as part of their social immunity). This makes us think the fungus is pretty good at hiding out until it's time to manipulate.
May 22, 2014
How does a parasite create zombie-like behavior?
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Hi John! Good catch! I indeed meant to say differentially expressed. I'll change it. Thanks!
May 22, 2014
How does a parasite create zombie-like behavior?
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Awesome research project! GO SCIENCE!
Feb 07, 2014
Using DNA to Protect Fiji's Fisheries
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Thanks for your tremendous support during the campaign Michael
Jan 01, 2014
How does a parasite create zombie-like behavior?
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Though ant societies are incredibly interesting I must say I am rooting for the fungus. But you're asking a microbiologist so what else can I say :)
Dec 30, 2013
How does a parasite create zombie-like behavior?
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