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Patrick Milligan


I am a 2nd-year PhD student at the University of Florida. I grew up on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and have been traveling to Kenya on a yearly basis since 2013. My research focuses on ant-plant interactions and invasive species. As a grad student and future ecologist, I want to use my research to create unique natural learning experiences for students, scientists and the general public, because I believe that everyone can come to appreciate nature if it is presented in the correct way. I post blogs, podcasts, pictures and more at my personal website, www.savannaecology.com, and I am happy to discuss my work on social media @savannaecology, or on Facebook at www.FB.com/UFinKenya

Dung Beetles: how tough are these savanna insects?

    “Why? What if….? How does this happen?” I asked a simple question in June 2014, when I stepped out of our lime-green LandCruiser (lovingly named “Kermit”) and into the Kenyan savanna. For the last decade, biologists and ranchers and natural historians have noticed the creeping invasion by the big-headed ant (Pheidole megacephala), but…

Tiny ants may pose a big threat for diversity in Laikipia

In the shadow of Mt. Kenya, everyone has a story about a small, shiny ant that steals their cooking oil and sugar. When the seasonal rains come, they retreat into their underground nests, but they strike with full force during the dry months. The “big-headed ants” (Pheidole megacephala, which literally means “big head”) don’t bite or…