Carolina Doran


Müggelseedamm 310, 12587 Berlin

  • Animal Collective Behaviour
  • Behavioural Ecology


11/2011 – 01/2016: PhD student, Ant Lab, School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, UK. Study of collective decision making in ant colonies.

10/2010 – 10/2011: International Neuroscience Doctoral Programme, Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal. Intensive course in general concepts in biology and neuroscience.

01/2006 – 06/2006: Erasmus student, Università degli Studi Magna Graecia, Catanzaro, Italy. I attended several lectures from the Biotechnology degree and attended a psychiatry course from the medical school.

10/2002 – 10/2008: Biotechnological engineering diploma, Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, Lisbon, Portugal. Final average grade – 80%.

PhD Thesis: The effect of nest value on exploration and emigration dynamics of ant colonies. University of Bristol, School of Biological Sciences, UK. Supervised by Professor Nigel R. Franks. Submitted 29th September 2015; Expected viva date: 11th January 2016. Throughout my PhD I designed several behavioural experiments focussing on the analysis of both individual and collective behaviour. I developed a simple simulation model of collective decision-making and learned several statistical analysis tools, including generalised linear mixed models. My thesis is composed of 4 data chapters a literature review and a discussion. Tree of these chapters have been published and 1 is currently in preparation.

Diploma Thesis: Study of the genotoxicity and the ability to induce cell death of food alkenylbenzenes. Universidade Nova, Lisbon, Portugal. Supervised by Professor Sebastião António Rodrigues & PhD Student Célia Martins. Departamento de Genética Humana. I spent one year in a molecular biology laboratory optimizing assays and quantifying DNA damage in several cancer cell lines. Two papers were published based on my work.

Communication & Organisation

2018 –  Skype a scientist: Public outreach with schools around the world (skypeascientist.com)

2016 – Present: Team leader for Soapbox Science in Berlin, a Public Platform for promoting woman in science (soapboxscience.org)

2015 – Main organizer of the Social Insect Behaviour Workshop at the Champalimaud Foundation in Lisbon. There were 10 invited speakers and 50 participants from 14 different countries (http://social-insects-lisbon.com/)

2014 – Public science communication, Soapbox Science in Cairns, Australia

2013 – Live radio interviews on BBC Radio Cardiff, UK & Antena 1, Lisbon, Portugal.


2018 - Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellowship

2016 – IGB fellowship for 12 months

2014 – Travel grant from the International Union for the Study of Social Insects, North Western European Section to attend the IUSSI2014 summer conference in Cairns, Australia

2013 – Scholarship from the European Project CSNII (FP7-ICT-601167) in collaboration with the Japanese government to attend the Okinawa Computational Neuroscience Summer Course.

2011 – Postgraduate Scholarship from the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT) & The Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme.

2005 – Erasmus Scholarship for spending 6 months in the Università degli Studi Magna Graecia in Catanzaro, Italy.

Work Experience

2015 – 2016: Assistant, Admin office, Life Sciences Building, University of Bristol, UK. Providing assistance in the administrative department.

2015 – 2016: Field assistant, Community Ecology Lab, School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, UK. Distribution of wild strawberry plants around different habitats in the English South West Coast as part of the pollination and pest control project.

2013 – 2015: Study Support, University Disability Services, University of Bristol, UK. Helping biology undergraduate students with planning their studies and taking notes during lectures for students with disabilities.

2012 – 2015: Teaching, School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, UK. Demonstrating at the behaviour and ecology field course in Guernsey; and running undergraduate practical’s consisting of sheep brain dissections and identification of its main structures.

2009 – 2010: Research Assistant, Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal. Study of the neuronal and molecular control of food choice in fruit flies, supervised by Dr Carlos Ribeiro.

2007 – 2009: Public Outreach, NUCLIO, Lisbon, Portugal. Development and implementation of pedagogic activities for children.





Franks, N. R., Worley, A., Grant, K. A. J., Gorman, A. R., Vizard, V., Plackett, H., Doran, C., Gamble, M., Stumpe, M. C., Sendova-Franks, A. B. Social behaviour and collective motion in plant-animal worms. (2016) Proc. R. Soc. B 283, 20152946.

Doran, C., Stumpe, M.C., Sendova-Franks, A. B., Franks, N. R. Exploration adjustment by ant colonies. 2016 R. Soc. Open Sci 3, 150533.


Franks, N. R., Stuttard, J. P., Doran, C., Esposito, J. C., Master, M. C., Sendova-Franks, A. B., Masuda, N. & Britton, N. F. How ants use quorum sensing to estimate the average quality of a fluctuating resource. (2015) Sci. Repor. 5, 11890.

Masuda, N., O’shea-Wheller, T. A., Doran, C. & Franks, N. R. (2015) Computational model of collective nest selection by ants with heterogeneous acceptance thresholds. R. Soc. Open Sci. 2, 140533–140533.

Doran, C., Newham, Z. F., Phillips, B. B. & Franks, N. R. (2015) Commitment time depends on both current and target nest value in Temnothorax albipennis ant colonies. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 69, 1183-1190.


Martins, C., Doran, C., Silva, I. C., Miranda, C., Rueff, J. & Rodrigues, A. S. (2014) Myristicin from nutmeg induces apoptosis via the mitochondrial pathway and down regulates genes of the DNA damage response pathways in human leukaemia K562 cells. Chem. Biol. Interact. 218, 1–9.


Doran, C., Pearce, T., Connor, A., Schlegel, T., Franklin, E., Sendova-Franks, A. B. & Franks, N. R. (2013) Economic investment by ant colonies in searches for better homes. Biol. Lett. 9, 20130685.


Martins, C., Doran, C., Laires, A., Rueff, J. & Rodrigues, A. S. (2011) Genotoxic and apoptotic activities of the food flavourings myristicin and eugenol in AA8 and XRCC1 deficient EM9 cells. Food Chem. Toxicol. 49, 385–92.

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