Nathan Mlot

         Graduate Student

     Mechanical Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology

      Lab Advisor:  David Hu


Currently I am in my third year of graduate studies at Georgia Tech, and my research topic is analysis of cooperative fire ant behaviors.  Specifically I have looked at their ability to link together and form a raft with their bodies on the surface of water as a means to survive floods.  I have also looked at the construction and deconstruction of towers that fire ants build with their bodies.  The future holds more research on these amazing structures in which fire ants literally use their own bodies as the building blocks.

My motivation for studying cooperative fire ant behavior roots in a desire to better understand God’s creation and the design behind it.  I also hope our research will promote and foster an interest in the

“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!

It has no commander, no overseer or ruler,

yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.”

                                                                        -Proverbs 6:6-8

scientific community to take an engineering approach to biological and naturally occurring systems.  In addition the research I am working on has real world applications in the realm of autonomous robotics, and material science.  The ways in which fire ants work together is unlike anything humans are able to replicate at this point, and we hope that the light we shed on their behaviors will further research in the field of swarm intelligence as it applies to robotics.

In my future I hope to hold an academic position both performing research and teaching classes at an institution. 



My advisor:  David Hu, Assistant Professor.