Nidal KaragicIMPRS Doctoral Student
Many of the same question that have driven generations of evolutionary biologists are still relevant to my research: where does all the biodiversity on our planet come from? Why are there so many species in almost endless forms? I am particularly interested in what drives phenotypic divergence. Especially when evolution repeats itself and we observe similar phenotypes in related taxa, I ask how many different ways there are to make those similar phenotypes. A great system to ask these questions are cichlid fishes in Africa and the Neotropics where you can find all kinds of convergent or parallel phenotypes like stripe patterns, hypertrophied lips, nuchal head humps, color vision phenotypes, and lower pharyngeal jaw morphologies. Understanding why these phenotypes evolve convergently in some case and not in others as well as how these phenotypes are produced is what I want to try to answer. For this, I am focussing on the evolution of regulatory genetic mechanisms, since variation in gene expression is a major contributor to phenotypic variation.
- 2012-2015: Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences, University of Konstanz
- 2015-2018: Master of Science in Biological Sciences, University of Konstanz
- 2018-present: PhD student in Zoology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Konstanz