Science

Last update: 20201117

Interest

I am currently researching the genetic history of a wild house mouse population and will update this summary when the project is further along. For my PhD, I investigated the evolution of a selfish genetic element. Such elements (genes, for example) increase their own fitness, but—in contrast to “normal” elements—not the fitness of their “host”. To understand this relationship, it is important to take the organism's and the element's perspective. I am focussed on one particular selfish element in house mice, the t haplotype. The chromosome that carries this element is transmitted to the next generation more often than usual (> 50%). At the same time, it has negative fitness effects on the mouse that carries it: the sperm are less mobile and carrying the element on both chromosomes is lethal (such a mouse will not be born). Therefore, the fitness of this element is very limited under some circumstances and very high under others. Furthermore, this element is rather old (two million years), present around the globe, and spans half a chromosome in size. This makes for a fascinating study system for evolutionary questions: What traits were selected in the element? How did it survive for so long? What genes are affected and how do they differ from “normal” mice?

Contributions

ORCID iD iconhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-0450-9897

Publications

Presentations

Posters

CV

Since 2020

Postdoctoral fellow Columbia University

Research group: Bendesky Lab at Columbia University

Project: “The genetic history of a free-living population of 10,000 wild house mice over 18 years”

Topics: Inbreeding; Runs of homozygosity; Whole-genome imputation; Pedigree building

Financed by Swiss National Science Foundation (Early PostDoc.Mobilty)

2016-2020

PhD Student University of Zurich

Research group: Evolution and Genetics of Social Behaviour

Prospective thesis: “Evolution and Behavioural Consequences of a Selfish Genetic Element in House Mice”

Topics: Selfish genetic elements; Intragenomic conflict; Evolution of behaviour

Methods: Behavioural experiments; Long-term data analysis; Genome-wide association studies; Next generation sequencing; Agent-based models

Additionally: Supervision and co-supervision of multiple students, co-organisation of the Zurich Interaction Seminar, & teaching assistance

Financed by Swiss National Science Foundation

Additional grants: SNF Doc.Mobility stipend; URPP Pilot Project grant; Claraz Foundation grant

2014-2016

Content Manager my-xplace GmbH, Göttingen

Configuration and maintenance of contents of the online start-up simply local: SQL; requirements management; concepts of backend tools; troubleshooting; training; managing student workers.

2011-2014

Master of Science University of Göttingen

Developmental, Neural, and Behavioural Biology Specialisation: Behavioural Biology

Master’s Thesis: "Intergroup Relationships and Home Range Use in Redfronted Lemurs" with a financial grant of the Ethological Society and conducted using field work in Kirindy forest, Madagascar

2008-2011

Bachelor of Science University of Göttingen

Biology

Bachelor’s Thesis: "Effects of probability-based punishment of uncooperative behaviour in public goods games"