Corrie Moreau

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Corrie S. Moreau is an evolutionary biologist, and entomologist with a specialty in myrmecology, the study of ants. She is currently a curator at the Field Museum of Natural History and faculty member at the University of Chicago's Committee on Evolutionary Biology.[1] Moreau studies the evolution, biogeography, systematics, and diversification of insects and their microbial gut-symbionts using molecular and genomic tools.[2]


Moreau received a PhD in biology from Harvard University (2003 – 2007) under the guidance of Dr. E.O. Wilson[3][4] and Dr. Naomi E. Pierce.

She received a MSc[5] from San Francisco State University and the California Academy of Sciences (2000 – 2003) and a Bachelors (1996 – 2000) from San Francisco State University.


Moreau and colleagues were the first to establish the origin of the ants at 140 million years ago using molecular sequence data (40 million years older than previous estimates), and that the diversification of the ants coincided with the rise of the flowering plants (angiosperms).[6][7][8] In addition, Moreau and Charles D. Bell showed that the tropics have been and continue to be important for the evolution of the ants.[9][10][11] Moreau and colleagues have demonstrated the importance of gut-associated bacteria in the evolutionary and ecological success of ants through targeted bacterial and microbiome sequencing,[12][13][14] including showing that bacterial gut symbionts are tightly linked with the evolution of herbivory in ants.[14]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Moreau was featured in Chapter 13 of Dr. Edward O. Wilson’s 2013 book “Letters to a Young Scientist.” [3][4] Wilson writes “There was no bravado in Corrie, no trace of overweening pride, no pretension.” Wilson goes on to state “The story of Corrie Saux Moreau’s ambitious undertaking is one I feel especially important to bring to you. It suggest that courage in science born of self-confidence (without arrogance!), a willingness to take a risk but with resilience, a lack of fear of authority, a set of mind that prepares you to take a new direction if thwarted, are of great value – win or lose."[3]

Moreau was elected a Miller Fellow[15] of the Miller Institute at the University of California, Berkeley (2007 – 2008). She received two "Excellence and Distinction in Teaching Awards" from Harvard University’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning (2004 & 2006).

Personal life[edit]

Moreau was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was the subject of a museum exhibit[16] and graphic novel,[17][18] "The Romance of Ants" .

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Faculty- University of Chicago Committee on Evolutionary Biology". 
  2. ^ "Corrie Moreau Home Page". Retrieved 2013-08-30. 
  3. ^ a b c Wilson, Edward O (2013). Letters to a Young Scientist. W.W. Norton & Company Ltd. p. Ch.13 pp.143–147. ISBN 0871407000. 
  4. ^ a b Simberloff, Daniel (2013). "The Passion Principle". PLOS Biology 11 (8): e1001629. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001629. 
  5. ^ "SF State Magazine: Connected to the Academy". 
  6. ^ "Ancient Ants Arose 140-168 Million Years Ago: Insects Needed Flowering Plants To Flourish". Science News. April 7, 2008. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  7. ^ Moreau, Corrie; , Charles D. Bell2, Roger Vila, S. Bruce Archibald, Naomi E. Pierce (March 1, 2006). "Phylogeny of the Ants: Diversification in the Age of Angiosperms". Science 312 (5770): 101–104. doi:10.1126/science.1124891. PMID 16601190. 
  8. ^ Fountain, Henry (April 11, 2006). "Measuring for Liftoff (That First Flight Is Crucial)". New York Times. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  9. ^ Larson, Lucas (26 April 2013). "Why the tropics are an evolutionary hotbed: Ant family tree shows tropical New World hosts fast speciation while also keeping older lineages alive". Nature. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "Ant Family Tree Constructed: Confirms Date of Evolutionary Origin, Underscores Importance of Neotropics". Science News. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  11. ^ Moreau, Corrie; Charles D. Bell (Aug 2013). "TESTING THE MUSEUM VERSUS CRADLE TROPICAL BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY HYPOTHESIS: PHYLOGENY, DIVERSIFICATION, AND". Evolution: International Journal of Organic Evolution 67 (8): 2240–2257. doi:10.1111/evo.12105. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  12. ^ Poulsen, Michael; Panagiotis Sapountzis (May 2012). "Behind every great ant, there is a great gut". Molecular Ecology 21 (9): 2054–2057. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05510.x. PMID 22509766. 
  13. ^ Kautz, Stephanie; Rubin B. E. R., Russell, J. A. & Moreau C. S. (November 2013). "Surveying the microbiome of ants: Comparing 454 pyrosequencing with traditional methods to uncover bacterial diversity". Applied and Environmental Microbiology 79 (2): 525–534. doi:10.1128/AEM.03107-12. PMC 3553759. PMID 23124239. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Russell, Jacob; Moreau, C. S., Goldman-Huertas, B. M., Fujiwara, M., Lohman, D. J. & Pierce, N. E. (November 2009). "Bacterial gut symbionts are tightly linked with the evolution of herbivory in ants". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (50): 21236–21241. doi:10.1073/pnas.0907926106. 
  15. ^ "List of Miller Fellows, by term". 2007. 
  16. ^ "The Romance of Ants Exhibit at The Field Museum". 
  17. ^ "The Romance of Ants". 
  18. ^ Clabby, Catherine (May–June 2011). "Serious Science, Comic-Book Style: A myrmecological comic brings entomologist Corrie Moreau's journey to life". American Scientist 99 (3): 244. doi:10.1511/2011.90.244.