Walter M. Farina

Fellow: Awarded 2009

Field of Study: Organismic Biology & Ecology

Competition: Latin America & Caribbean

Website: http://biolo.bg.fcen.uba.ar/inssoc.htm

Walter M. Farina is an Argentine biologist. He received a M.Sc. (1989) from the University of Buenos Aires and a Ph.D. at the same university in 1993. He obtained a research Fellowship given by the German Government (DAAD) to spend two years (1991-1993) at the University of Tübingen, Germany. On completion of that Fellowship, he returned to Argentina to defend his Ph.D. thesis and spent the subsequent year as a postdoctoral research Fellow at University of Buenos Aires. Then, he took up an appointment with CONICET as an Assistant Researcher (1995); he became Independent Researcher in 2003. In 1995, concurrent with his work at CONICET, he was appointed a Teaching Assistant of biology at the School of Exact and Natural Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires. He is currently Adjunct Professor at this high school since 2002 as well as the Head of the Social Insect Study Group.

Mr. Farina has been an invited lecturer at many institutions, including the University of Würzburg, Germany; the University Paul Sabatier of Toulouse, France; and the University of São Paulo, Brazil. His Ph.D. thesis was honored as the best Ph.D. thesis in biology for the period 1993-1997 by the Foundation of the School of Exacts and Natural Sciences (University Buenos Aires).

During his Guggenheim Fellowship term, Walter Farina will study the behavior and physiology of social insects, focusing in particular on the interaction between communication and cognitive processes in highly social bees. Specifically, he will investigate the role of precocious learning and social cognition in honeybees and how they affect their foraging preference.