Deborah Gordon studies behavioral ecology and invasion ecology in different ant populations.  In particular, Dr. Gordon studies how colony organization and operation is regulated by ants encountering other ants, how gene expression for foraging changes as ants move from work inside the nest to foraging outside the nest, how the nest regulates foraging behavior, and how colony behavior changes as it grows older and larger.  Dr. Gordon also studies the spread and social behavior of Argentine ants in Northern California, and their relationship to other species such as lycaenid butterflies.  Finally, Dr. Gordon studies the relationship between ants and plants in the Peruvian Amazon, Mexico, and Costa Rica.