Dumas Gálvez studied Biology with a focus in Animal Biology from the University in Panama in 2005. During this time, Dumas was involved with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, where he worked with plants and agouties as an intern and research assistant. Later on, he went to The Netherlands in 2009, where he completed a masters in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Groningen. Dumas’ master’s thesis was on behavior of agouties related to seed dispersal in Barro Colorado Island in Panama (2008). In 2014, Dumas finished a doctorate in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland), working on ants and their interaction with pathogens. After, 9 years in Europe, he came back to Panama in 2016, working as an adjunct researcher at INDICASAT AIP and special professor at the Entomology Master Program at the University of Panama. In 2019, Dumas started a postdoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute with the project titled ‘Environmental disturbance and its effect on the immune competence of an insect’. Dumas also received an extension for one year through the Secretary Distinguished Fellowship from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
No one would ever imagine that digging up 50 cm into the ground could be a difficult task; it surely does not sound as impressive as climbing a 50 m tree in South American jungles or going into the depth of the ocean looking for secretive marine creatures. But I can assure you that it is somehow adventurous when you are looking for colonies of the ant Ectatomma ruidum – particularly when you are trying to collect the whole colony.