I am broadly interested in evolutionary processes that shaped biodiversity as we know it today, and the conservation of the latter. At the University of Tuebingen I became interested in the evolution of red fluorescence in marine organisms. Since then animal colouration and its role in speciation events has fascinated me. During my master's thesis (on red fluorescence in wrasses) I realized that phenotypic divergence often outpaces genetic differentiation (Brawand at al. 2014, Allen et al. 2015) and I became further interested in the genetic basis of colouration.
For my PhD I am now working on the repeated evolution of striped patterns within the Cichlidae. Here, horizontal stripes and vertical bar patterns evolved repeatedly in different lakes in the African Rift Valley. Interestingly, the differently striped species within one lake are more closely related to each other than they are to the similar looking species of a different lake. Using state-of-the-art molecular and developmental biology approaches I hope to gain a first insight into the genomic substrates of the repeated evolution of an adaptive trait in this famously diverse family of fishes. Additionally, I aim at investigating the ecological benefits of striped patterns in fish using behavioural experiments.
- 05/2016 - now: PhD student at the University of Konstanz (Prof. Axel Meyer's Lab) & IMPRS for Organismal Biology, Germany
- 10/2015-12/2015: Training in marine and coastal guiding with the FGASA (Field Guide Association of Southern Africa) at Bhejane Nature Training, Hluhluwe, South Africa
- 04/2013 - 08/2015: M.Sc. in Biology (Major in Evolution and Ecology), University of Tübingen, Germany
- 10/2009 - 03/2013: B.Sc. in Biology, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany