Thank you for finding me! I’m a Swiss postdoc, currently working in the group of Katie Peichel at the University of Bern in Switzerland.
How did it come about that natural beings are so incredibly diverse? – My research is driven by my desire to find answers to this fundamental question. My approach is to integrate population genomics within a clear ecological and phenotypic framework to shed light on the factors and mechanisms underlying organismal diversification. My main empirical study system is the recent adaptive radiation of threespine stickleback fish, although I have been working on other organismal systems too. Here, you can find my already published work.
Current projects involve the study of stickleback populations inhabiting distinct environments, such as lakes differing mainly in abiotic factors, or lakes differing in a single biotic factor – that is, the presence vs. absence of a competing fish species (sculpin fish). I am describing phenotypic and genomic divergence as a consequence of this species interaction. It happens to be that most of my current empirical work uses allopatric populations, which stands in contrast to the majority of my previous (genomics) work, where the emphasis was on population divergence in the presence of gene flow. In the near future, however, I plan to again focus on the latter.
I also like conducting field experiments, because they allow me to test specific predictions prompted by my observations in wild populations. One of the questions I am currently answering experimentally is whether a simple biotic change to the environment of an organism can resulted in substantial reproductive isolation (speciation) as a by-product.
Results from my empirical research stimulate and inform my theoretical work. I’m using individual-based forward simulations to better understand the genomic footprints of selection. I have a particular interest in gaining a mechanistic and evolutionary understanding for intra-genomic variation in the rate of crossover (recombination), and how this variation influences genomic divergence during diversification. Simulations further help me explore how crossover rate variation in context of polygenic adaptation influences evolutionary genomics methodologies and inferences, such as the search for genomic targets of selection through genome scans.
If you like to get further information on my past or ongoing work, please do not hesitate to contact me.
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