Monday, 09 August 2021
Charles Darwin University

Territory expert gets up close with ants

Charles Darwin University (CDU) Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods (RIEL) PhD candidate François Brassard is an ant expert who has recently commenced studies at CDU.

For his PhD research, Mr Brassard aims to better understand how aridity and fire disturbance affect the unique ant communities of the Northern Territory.

Mr Brassard grew up in Eastern Canada and obtained a diploma in adventure guiding from Thompson Rivers University. He went on to complete a BSc at Laval University and a MSc in biology at Concordia University, with a special focus on ants. He then spent two years at the University of Hong Kong researching the ant biodiversity of Macao Special Administrative Region, China.

Mr Brassard uses a camera to assist in studying ants.

“Macrophotography has been fantastic for me as it allows me to observe my organisms of study up-close and in-vivo. I use a Nikon d500 body with a 105 mm NIKKOR lens set on extension tubes. For really small ants I use a Laowa 25 mm super-macro 2.5-5X. For lighting, I use a Nikon SB-600 speedlight on-camera with a diffuser,” Mr Brassard said.