Sina RometschIMPRS Doctoral Student
Speciation is the emergence of reproductive isolation mechanisms among groups of individuals, which ultimately leads to divergence into distinct species. While this is most commonly the result of a physical barrier that prevents the exchange of genetic material entirely (allopatry), it can also occur within the same environment devoid of such barriers (sympatry). However, determining if the same reproductive isolation mechanisms evolve in allopatry and sympatry has been difficult, most likely due to the lack of systems, where species with similar genomic backgrounds have evolved under both geographic scenarios.
The Nicaraguan Midas cichlid fishes provide a great study system to investigate the evolution of reproductive barriers because this species complex is comprised of closely related sympatric and allopatric species. To date, 13 species of Midas cichlids have been described that inhabit two ancient great lakes and several younger crater lakes that were recently colonized (~2,000 to 20,000 years ago).
My project will study different aspects of reproductive isolation: premating, postmating-prezygotic and postzygotic isolation. By combining behavioural, molecular and developmental approaches, we aim to provide comprehensive insights into different mechanisms of reproductive isolation and will contribute to the understanding of speciation – still a fundamental problem in evolutionary biology.
- 2018 - present: PhD student in Evolutionary Biology, Research group of Prof. Axel Meyer, University of Konstanz, Germany
- 10/2014 - 09/2017: M.Sc. in Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Konstanz, Germany
- 10/2011 - 09/2014: B.Sc. in Biological Science, University of Konstanz, Germany