Christian Schlötterer


Professor, Institute of Population Genetics,
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna


Research area: Experimental population genetics

Christian Schlötterer has a long-term research interest to understand the evolutionary forces shaping molecular variation in natural populations. He made substantial contributions describing the partitioning of variation among natural D. melanogaster and D. simulans populations.

Furthermore, he has pioneered the identification of selection in natural populations by using microsatellite variability. Using a similar rationale, Christian Schlötterer developed a microsatellite-based system for the identification of selective sweeps in experimental E. coli populations. Using this system, he obtained insights into the distribution of effect sizes among positive mutations occurring during the experimental evolution experiments.

Christian Schlötterer also studied the evolution of gene expression by comparing the pattern of sex-biased gene expression in D. pseudoobscura to D. melanogaster. More recently, Christian is using next generation sequencing to address questions in population genetics, genome evolution and transcriptomics.



Joachim Hermisson

Deputy Speaker

Professor, Faculty of Mathematics
University of Vienna


Research area: Theoretical population genetics

Joachim Hermisson's work is on theoretical population genetics where he combines molecular, phenotypic, and ecological approaches. He is particularly interested in the evolutionary conditions for adaptation and speciation. Another research focus is on the effects of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions on genetic variation and the adaptive process (epistatis and evolvability) and on the evolution of the genotype-phenotype map (robustness, canalization, and modularity). The methods used in his studies include analytical approaches from various mathematical fields (differential equations, stochastic processes, coalescent theory, statistics) and computer simulations (both time-forward and coalescent).



Reinhard Bürger


Professor, Faculty of Mathematics
University of Vienna


Research area: Mathematical population genetics

Most of Reinhard Bürger's research has been concerned with the equilibrium and evolutionary properties of quantitative traits under various forms of selection. Since such traits are typically determined by many gene loci, the analysis of multilocus models and the development of appropriate methods have been a major research focus. Among others, Bürger studied models of mutation, stabilizing selection, and random genetic drift, and he derived approximations for the equilibrium distribution of a quantitative trait subject to these forces. He also analyzed the evolutionary response to various forms of directional and fluctuating selection, and investigated the role of recombination and sexual reproduction for the magnitude of the selection response. Further, he studied how the evolution of multivariate traits depends on the patterns of pleiotropic mutation and multivariate selection. Further research topics include the extinction risk of endangered populations, the evolution of phenotypic mutation rates (errors during transcription and translation), and the origin of evolution.



Andreas Futschik


University of Vienna, Vetmeduni Vienna, Johannes Kepler University Linz


Research area: Biostatistics

Andreas Futschik is interested in the development and analysis of statistical methodology, and its application in a biostatistical and in particular genetic context. His work has been published both in statistics and in genetics journals. A focus of his work in statistics has been on multiple hypothesis testing and nonparametric inference. In genetics, he participated in the development of QTL mapping methods based on statistical model selection in the context of multiple regression models with epistasis. He also obtained multiple testing corrections in the context of sequence alignment when multiple scoring matrices are used. In population genetics, he proved the inadmissibility of Watterson's estimator.



Carolin Kosiol


Group Leader, Institute of Population Genetics
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna


Research area: Probabilistic models for the population genetics of molecular evolution

Carolin Kosiol's main interest is the development of new statistical methods of sequence evolution. During her PhD at the European Bioinformatics Institute she developed a tool to identify amino acid groupings from substitution models and she estimated a first empirical codon substitution model to improve the understanding of the patterns and pressures of protein evolution. Codon models are widely used to study natural selection between different species and to identify functional elements in genome-wide scans. During the last two years as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology at Cornell University she has contributed to several inter- and intra-species scans of selection.



Magnus Nordborg


Scientific Director, Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology, Austrian Academy of Sciences


Research area: Genetics of adaptation

Magnus Nordborg's main research interest is the genetic basis of adaptation. His group seeks to learn more about the number and types of genetic differences that underlie adaptive differences, and tries to understand their evolutionary dynamics. The group uses a combination of empirical and theoretical approaches, ranging from gene mapping and system biology in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, to the development of basic population genetics models. Magnus Nordborg has published over 60 papers on topics ranging from basic population genetics theory to the regulation of flowering in A. thaliana. Since January 1, 2009, he is director of the Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology in Vienna.



Ovidiu Paun


Group Leader, Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research
University of Vienna


Research area:

Ovidiu Paun broadly focuses on understanding rapid adaptation and diversification, with an emphasis on the evolutionary impacts of hybridization and/or polyploidy. He uses state-of-the-art comparative genomics on natural populations, integrating molecular data in the environmental context to explain the origin of biodiversity and its dynamics. An important theme in Ovidiu’s recent work has been the exploration of the role of epigenetic variation in adaptive evolution. His main current work uses environmental transcriptomics and high throughput sequencing to investigate the adaptive diffusion of a series of sibling allopolyploid Dactylorhiza species (Orchidaceae).



Claus Vogl


Assistant Professor, Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna


Research area: Data analysis in population and quantitative genetics, and linkage mapping

Claus Vogl has worked extensively in the theory and analysis of population and quantitative genetic and linkage data. He has developed probabilistic Bayesian approaches in these areas and has analyzed many datasets with these methods. Particularly relevant to hybridization is his work on mapping transmission ratio distorting loci (TRDL), since in this case the phenotype is a distorted segregation ratio. This is known to occur as a result of outbreeding depression, when two widely separated populations come into secondary contact, e.g., when widely separated populations are crossed to maximize genetic distance for mapping or during natural hybridization. Furthermore, Claus Vogl also has experience in investigating on population subdivision using Bayesian methods from his earlier work.


FWF - Der Wissenschaftsfond Partner: FWF - Der Wissenschaftsfond
Vetmed Uni Vienna Partner: Vetmed Uni Vienna
Max F. Perutz Laboratories Partner: Max D. Perutz Laboratories
Gregor Mendel Institut Partner: Gregor Mendel Institute
Uniwien Partner: Uniwien