Projects

Mito-Nuclear Interaction

    • Reproductive success

Does the disruption of co-evolved mitochondrial and nuclear genomes have an effect on the reproductive success of males and/or females? I assess male reproductive success in the absence and presence of sperm competition as well as female reproductive success.

    • Life-History Traits

How are general life-history traits (e.g., longevity, development time, mating) affected by the coordinated interplay of mitochondrial and nuclear genomes?

    • Local Adaptation

There is ample evidence that selection does not only act on the nuclear genome but also on the mitochondrial genome. I investigate whether globally distributed flies (D. melanogaster) show patterns of local adaptation in their mitochondrial genome and in the combination of nuclear and mitochondrial genomes.

    • Metabolism and Reactive Oxygen Species Production

The coordinated interplay between mitochondrial and nuclear genes may be necessary for an optimal energy production in the cell. A disruption of co-evolved mito-nuclear genome combinations may affect the metabolism and lead to an increased level of harmful ROS production.

    • Meta Analyses of Published Work on Mito-Nuclear Interactions

Published data on effects caused by the interplay between mitochondrial and nuclear genomes is controversial and ambiguous. I collect published data for reanalysis to estimate the effect size of mito-nuclear interaction effects.


Reproductive Success

    • Male Reproductive Success

Does male reproductive success depend on environmental or genetic factors, or the interaction between the two? And does male reproductive success vary with the absence or presence of sperm competition.

    • Female Reproductive Success

As for males, female reproductive success may also depend on environmental or genetic factors, or the interaction between the two. However, there is no competition in females, but male competition may affect female reproductive success.

    • Genetic vs. Environmental Effects (GxE)

As pointed out above, reproductive success may depend on the interaction between genetics and environmental (GxE) effects. It is, however, not always easy to disentangle inherited effects from phenotypic plastic effects.


Reproductive Isolation and Speciation

    • Phenotypic Plasticity vs. Genetic Responses

Populations in new environments often show initially a change in fitness. The reestablishing of the original fitness can be achieved in two ways: phenotypic plasticity or genetic adaptation. While the former leads to no direct differences between populations, the latter can lead to reproductive isolation and speciation.

    • Ecological Speciation and Mutation Order Speciation

Ecological speciation and mutation order speciation are two different processes leading to speciation caused by environmental factors. It is challenging to separate the two by just looking at the end product, the two species. Two separate them, the process needs to be captured ‘as it happens’ by comparing populations evolving to different environments and different populations that adapt to the same new environment.