Zombie Ants to Summer Cinema

As I headed to the office today I got a call to run to campus to take a photo of a Penn State professor who had helped in the making of the summer cinema World War Z.  All I knew was that the movie was hitting the theaters today and that it was about zombies, I wasn’t sure how a professor of entomology and biology could be involved.

I met professor Hughes and asked him what his role in the creation of the film was.  As he started to explain the scientific information he shared with the movie team I was pulled into story.  Hughes works with zombie ants from around the world and studies their behavior that is part of the fungus.  A lot of the scientific information went over my head, but I knew that we had to do the photo in the lab with these ants.

The first set of ants he showed me were alive, and roaming their space.

In fear of being attacked by zombie ants I suggested we take a portrait with the preserved ants he studies.

I was intrigued with what I learned in our short session and amazed how individuals in our own back yard are helping to create big time films.

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