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Tiphaine Bailly, PhD

2024 Leon Levy Scholars in Neuroscience

The Rockefeller University

Sub-disciplinary Category

Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience

Previous Positions

  • Bachelor’s Degree, University of Toulouse
  • Master’s Degree, University of Toulouse
  • PhD, University of Groningen (Prof. Dr. Jean-Christophe Billeter, Prof. Dr. Etienne, Prof. Dr. Werthheim)


Dr. Tiphaine Bailly earned her PhD in social behavior and neurosciences at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Her thesis work was supervised by Jean-Christophe Billeter and focused on understanding the function and mechanisms of social modulation of behavior and physiology in Drosophila melanogaster. As a Leon Levy Research Fellow, she will investigate how chemical communication regulates social behavior in ants in Dr. Daniel Kronauer’s Laboratory at Rockefeller University.

Research Summary

Genetically engineering the pheromone glands of ants to study chemical communication in insect societies.

Technical Overview

Dr. Tiphaine Bailly aims to study the function of glands and the sensory coding of specific pheromones in the clonal raider ant Ooceraea biroi. Using a process called transgenic ablation, in which specific genes are deliberately deactivated, Dr. Bailly will investigate which genes are active in these glands and will create ants in which glandular function and pheromone production are compromised. She will then test their ability to perform and elicit social behaviors, providing direct demonstrations of the major role of different glands and pheromones in social communication. Her innovative approach will help elucidate the complex social communication in ants and in social insects more generally and will lay the foundation to study the neurobiology of pheromone communication in ants.