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Current Students



 

Gökçe Aköz

 

PI Magnus Nordborg
funding by FWF DK and Gregor Mendel Institute

email

Research area:

I studied Molecular Biology and Genetics for my Bachelor's degree and shifted my focus towards evolutionary biology for my Master's degree at Middle East Technical University (Turkey). During my PhD I will be concentrating on Aquilegia species (columbines) occurring in Europe. Using genome sequence data, I aim to shed light on the processes that drive or contribute to species diversity in Aquilegia.

 

 

Juraj Bergman

 

PI Claus Vogl
funding by FWF DK

email

Research area:

I received my master's degree in molecular biology form the University of Zagreb, Croatia in May 2012. During the last year of my studies I became interested in population genetics and did my thesis in quantitative genetics using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism. After finishing my master's I continued my work in the Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics at the Rudjer Boskovic Institute in Zagreb. While there, I started to develop an interest in computational biology and population genetics theory. I finally decided to do my PhD in population genetics and therefore applied for a position at the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics.

My PhD project will focus on analyzing putatively unselected sites in the Drosophila genome, such as short introns and fourfold degenerate sites. Special emphasis will be given to studying differences in neutrally evolving sites between the autosomes and the X chromosome as well as between different Drosophila populations.

 

 

Eirini Christodoulaki

 

PI Christian Schlötterer
funding by FWF DK

email

Research area:

In 2012 I graduated from the Department of Mathematics, University of Crete (Greece), receiving a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics. After attending all the basic courses of Molecular Biology offered by the Biology Department of the University of Crete in 2013, I did my Master in “Molecular Biology and Biomedicine” in which I focused on theoretical population genetics and specifically on detecting positive selection (selective sweeps) along the genome, using pairs of consecutive SNPs. My main research interests concern problems within computational biology and how mathematical and statistical methods can be implemented in population genetics, phylogenetics and evolutionary biology in general. My goal is to develop rigorous mathematical models that can be used to study molecular sequence evolution, the selective forces that shape biodiversity, and generally to give answers about adaptive genetic change, genomic function and ecology.

During my PhD, I will focus on genomic signatures of migration between populations adapted to different environments. This project will take advantage of a D. simulans population, which evolved for more than 100 generations in a hot environment and more than 55 generations in a cold environment, and they have been shown to be adapted to their new thermal environment. The goal of this project is to study the fate of alleles that migrate from one population into the other and understand the genomic signatures of migration and selection. Generally, it is a highly interdisciplinary project as it combines experimental evolution with next generation sequencing (E&R studies), bioinformatics and evolutionary modeling.

 

 

Sabine Felkel

 

PI Barbara Wallner
funding by Vetmeduni Vienna

email

Research area:

My fascination of nature and its secrets led to my BSc in Biology at the University of Vienna. During my MSc I decided for Microbial Ecology. At first I tried to avoid bioinformatics - I wanted to wear a lab coat and do experiments. But my supervisor came up with a bioinformatics project to which I finally agreed. Thus I investigated chlamydial transcription factors and ended up in a forest of phylogenetic trees.

Since my interests cover a broad field I made another move from prokaryotes to eukaryotes for my PhD. Currently I am a PhD student at the Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics and associated with the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics. The project is focused on the male-specific part of the Y-chromosome (MSY) of the horse. I want to create a reference of the MSY that can be used for haplotype ascertainment of stallions from different modern horse breeds. The findings will allow for inferences of male horse history on a molecular level which can be compared to pedigree-based knowledge.

 

 

Andrea Fulgione

 

PI Joachim Hermisson
funding by ERC grant and FWF DK

email

Research area:

My research interests are in evolutionary biology and ecology. In my masters' thesis I developed a computer model based on an artificial neural network. The goal was to estimate the shoot density of Posidonia oceanica meadows from physical, geographic and topographic variables.

My Ph.D. project involves the study of the dynamics of adaptation to local environmental conditions using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model organism. With this intent, an almost completely unstudied population has been extensively sampled in the Cape Verde Islands and Canary Islands. The only studied individual from this population (Cvi-0) is both genetically and phenotypically divergent from the worldwide set for many traits, which are likely to be ecologically important in the Cape Verde Islands. We will elucidate the demographic history of Cape Verde A. thaliana using sequence data from this population together with data from the Arabidopsis 1001 Genomes Project. Then, we will identify regions of the genome that contain signatures of positive selection using genome scans. Finally, we will reconstruct the adaptive histories of functional variants that are known from previous research in in Cvi-0.

This project provides a novel opportunity to clarify the details of quantitative trait adaptation in an interesting and divergent population of A. thaliana.

 

 

Kerstin Gärtner

 

PI Andreas Futschik
funding by FWF DK

email

Research area:

I graduated as a mathematician from the University of Heidelberg in Germany in August 2013. For my diploma thesis I analyzed limit theorems for a class of Brownian semi-stationary processes. For my PhD studies I decided to turn my focus to applied mathematics, particularly as I have always been interested in natural sciences.

Thus I joined the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics, where I look forward to working in an interdisciplinary environment and applying mathematical concepts to population genetic problems. My first project aims to improve recombination rate estimators by shrinkage, when the mean squared error is considered as the measure of performance. I will also work on the adaptation of statistical methods suitable for individually sequenced data to pooled Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data.

 

 

Daniel Gomez-Sanchez

 

PI Christian Schlötterer
funding by DFG and FWF DK

email

Research area:

I studied biology with specialization in genetics, and for my master I moved to the field of bioinformatics. I started my research in 2011 in plant cytogenetics and molecular biology looking for meiosis-related genes in Arabidopsis thaliana. Then I
worked in ancient human DNA and Wolf conservation genomics during my master, using both molecular and bioinformatics approaches. Due to my heterogeneous background, my interest is broad and combines evolution and computational biology.

During my PhD, I will focus on natural populations, and on developing tools and pipelines for genomic data. My aim is to understand natural variation and the effect of different environmental conditions in genomic signatures. For this purpose, I’m involved in two complementary projects: studying adaptation of Biscutella didyma in a rainfall gradient, and detecting selective sweeps in natural populations of Drosophila genus.

 

 

Ilse Höllinger

 

PI Joachim Hermisson
funding by DFG and FWF-DK

email

Research area:

In December 2012 I began my PhD under the supervision of Professor Joachim Hermisson, where I will be able to combine my different backgrounds of Biology and Mathematics.

We investigate the process of speciation including variable rates of gene flow (parapatric speciation) and ask under which conditions postzygotic isolation barriers can build up. Our study is based on recent analytical results by Bank et al., 2012, who show that the classical hybrid incompatibility model for postzygotic isolation barriers in allopatry, the (Bateson-)Dobzhansky-Muller model, provides a viable mechanism for the evolution of postzygotic isolation also in the presence of non-negligible gene flow.

Motivated by frequent empirical observations of phenomena like the large X-effect, Haldane's rule, and the occurrence of cytoplasmic incompatibilities, we expand the previous results on autosome-autosome Dobzhansky-Muller-incompatibilities (DMI). We investigate how the involvement of X-chromosomes and mitochondrial genes changes the evolutionary dynamics of DMIs.

 

 

Ana Marija Jakšić

 

PI Christian Schlötterer
funding by FWF stand-alone and FWF-DK

email

Research area:

I started my academic path with Bachelor's degree in Animal Science when I realised my greatest interest lies in genetics. Therefore I started my Master's degree in Genetics and Animal Breeding at University of Zagreb (Croatia) and successfully defended my Master's thesis on inferring genetic diversity and effective population size of a Croatian native dog breed population using pedigree data.

Understanding the genetics of adaptation in changing environments is one of the biggest questions in modern evolutionary ecology. During my PhD project I will search for answers to this question by using E&R (Evolve & Resequence) method in combination with RNAseq. I will explore the transcriptomic response of experimentally evolved Drosophila simulans populations, which have been adapting to new environments (hot and cold temperatures) for many generations in order to identify patterns and causes of transcriptomic variation, which underlie the adaptation.

The whole idea behind this project is to find out what are the genomic origins and mechanisms of adaptation, in what way does gene expression evolve, when does the adaptation take off from plasticity, and what genetic mechanisms are underlying the first steps of divergence, which may finally lead to speciation.

 

 

Anna Langmüller

 

PI Christian Schlötterer
funding by Vetmeduni Vienna and FWF DK

email

Research area:

I completed my bachelor's degree in Ecology and Biodiversity at the University of Salzburg. For my master's degree I decided to shift toward bioinformatics and graduated in March 2015. In my master thesis I detected and investigated copy number variations in low coverage sequencing data of the human genome using a newly developed algorithm cn.MOPS.

During my master studies I developed an interest in population genetics. Therefore, I am grateful for the opportunity to do my PhD at the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics. The main goal of my PhD project is to explore and understand the genomic response of Drosophila simulans populations evolving in a hot fluctuating environment. Because of the special experimental design and possible comparisons to populations developing under different environmental conditions, I am optimistic that I can demystify some dynamics of adaption.

 

 

Manolis Lirakis

 

PI Christian Schlötterer
funding by ERC ITN BINGO

email

Research area:

I have been interested in insects since my Bachelor studies. For my Bachelor thesis, I studied insect communities in rivers. For my Master thesis, I shifted towards bioinformatics and -omics, studying insecticide resistance in mosquitoes, in a genomic and transcriptomic context. All my previous studies were conducted at the Biology Department, University of Crete, Greece.

Currently, I am a Ph.D. student of the BINGO (Breeding Invertebrates for Next Generation BioControl) Innovative Training Network. I am hosted by the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics, where I study diapause in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Diapause is an important adaptation that allows many insects to overwinter and can occur at any developmental stage, depending on the species. D. melanogaster enters an ovarian reproductive diapause, where adult females have immature ovaries and previtellogenic oocytes. The genetic basis of this ecologically extremely important trait is not yet understood. During this project, I will map the genetic variants contributing to diapause in natural D. melanogaster populations. My goal will be accomplished by using a population genetic approach, which incorporates Experimental Evolution and Pool-GWAS and takes advantage of Next Generation Sequencing.

 

 

Rahul Pisupati

 

PI Magnus Nordborg
funding by FWF DK

email

 

Research area:

I received my master's degree from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, India. I am enthusiastic about genome architecture and gene regulation. I study these topics using tools from computational biology and mathematics. Recently I have developed a tool called SNPmatch (web application at https://arageno.gmi.oeaw.ac.at) to genotype samples from even very low-coverage sequencing data for given SNP databases.

For my PhD project with Magnus Nordborg I will try to address several interesting research questions on methylation in the genome of the plant model A. thaliana.

 

 

Martin Pontz

 

PI Reinhard Bürger
funding by FWF DK

email

Research area:

In 2015 I finished my Master's studies in Mathematics at the University of Vienna. During the Master's program my emphasis lay on the biomathematical subjects. My Master's thesis was concerned with a topic in mathematical population genetics and since this intesified my interest in this area, it was natural to apply for a position at the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics.

During my PhD in mathematical population genetics I will be working on multilocus models of selection and drift in subdivided populations.

 

 

Dominik Schrempf

 

PI Carolin Kosiol
funding by FWF stand-alone and FWF DK

email

Research area:

I completed my physics MSc at the Vienna University of Technology. As a physicist I like to study the fundamentals of nature, and especially of chemistry and biology.

My PhD research at the Institute of Population Genetics gives me a unique opportunity to focus on my interest in Biomathematics and Bioinformatics. I hope that my research on models of sequence evolution (e.g. polymorphism aware phylogenetic models that account for incomplete lineage sorting) will lead to a better understanding of evolutionary forces and patterns. I use computer simulations to interpret and emphasize my results.

 

 

Divya Selvaraju

 

PI Robert Kofler
funding by FWF stand-alone

email

Research area:

As I was constantly motivated and driven by scientific discoveries, I always wanted to stay in science. I completed my Bachelor's in Information Technology where I learned how the technological improvement in computing power is dramatically changing the world of science. Later, during my Master's in Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, I trained in data analysis as a part of my coursework which expanded my knowledge how to mine omics data and bring out hidden information from it.

Invention of new sequencing technologies created a whole new dimension to how we study a particular biological question. I developed an interest in genome evolution and always wondered about the manipulation of the four bases (A, T, G, C) which generated diverse live forms on earth. One of the key players contributing to genome evolution are transposable elements, also known as selfish DNA, that occupy large parts of the genome in higher eukaryotes. They play a significant role in shaping the genome size and they are involved in many disease conditions by disrupting genes and regulatory regions. So, shedding light on the long-term trends of transposable elements would give a better understanding of their propagation in the genome. For my PhD project I will combine experimental evolution, molecular biological methods and a bioinformatic analysis approach to unravel the evolutionary dynamics of transposable elements in Drosophila species.  

 

 

Aglaia Szukala

 

PI Ovidiu Paun
funding by FWF DK

email

Research area:

Evolutionary biology and ecology stimulated my interest the most during my undergraduate studies. For my master thesis in the field of plant phylogenetics, I worked on montane and alpine plants of the genus Jurinea (Compositae) in the Caucasus and was very fascinated by the population ecology of the endemics in this region.

To further develop this interest, I started my PhD in October 2016 under the supervision of Ovidiu Paun. The project focuses on understanding the processes leading to speciation, as exemplified by the reiterate occurrence of ecotypes within the plant species Heliosperma pusillum. The analysis of whole transcriptomes and genomes of individuals from natural populations, common garden and transplantations will allow us to clarify the processes driving to ecotype divergence in this species.

 

 

Thomas Taus

 

PI Christian Schlötterer
funding by DOC scholarship (ÖAW) and FWF DK

email

Research area:

I graduated from the Vienna University of Technology, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in technical chemistry and a Master’s degree in biotechnology and bioanalytics. During my studies I was working at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) Vienna, where I conducted both my Bachelor’s and Master’s thesis focusing on the development of computational approaches to localize post-translational modifications with tandem mass spectrometry-based proteomics.

With the aim of getting a more comprehensive understanding of complex biological systems and their evolution I decided to turn my research interests towards population genetics, combining statistics, genomics and evolutionary biology. The Graduate School of Population Genetics provides me with a vibrant research environment attracting scientists from diverse disciplines, including mathematics, physics and biology.

During my PhD I will investigate the genomic basis of adaptation to a new environment using replicated evolve and resequence studies in Drosophila species. We subjected DNA samples of pooled individuals to next-generation sequencing in order to obtain accurate and time-resolved genome-wide allele frequency estimates. I want to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to shed light on the mechanisms and dynamics of adaptation on a molecular level by applying and developing bioinformatic and statistical tools.

 

 

Lauri Törmä

 

PI Kirsten-André Senti
funding by Vetmeduni Vienna

email

Research area:

I studied genetics and physiology at the University of Turku in Finland. My interest in evolutionary developmental biology drove me to study eye development in Drosophila melanogaster with former PopGen Vienna faculty member Dr. Alistair McGregor at Oxford Brookes University (UK). During my time working with Alistair, I realised how crucial population genetics is to understand evolution. Before finishing my master’s I also investigated the cytology of spindle formation in D. melanogaster at University of Turku.

In my project at the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics I am using CRISPR-Cas9 to functionally validate loci linked to temperature adaptation during experimental evolution in Drosophila simulans. After validation, my aim is to understand how these alleles make the flies fitter in hot temperature.

 

 

Christos Vlachos

 

PI Robert Kofler
funding by FWF stand-alone

email

Research area:

My interest in sciences and specifically in biology dates back to my years in high school, and this what led into doing my Bachelor’s in a related discipline. I graduated as a molecular biologist and geneticist from the Democritus University of Thrace in Greece in July 2015. My interest in bioinformatics led me to do my Master’s in Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology at Imperial College London in 2016. For my Master’s thesis project  I got involved in a research that aimed to reveal the relationship between the expression levels of small non-coding RNAs (sncRNAs) and mRNAs in patients diagnosed with paediatric Tuberculosis.

During my Ph.D. project, I will be mainly focused on optimizing novel approaches, such as E&R and Pool-GWAS, for dissecting the genetic basis of complex traits and elucidating the genotype-phenotype spanning. Understanding and unraveling the genetic basis of such complex traits is one of the most challenging fields of modern biology in the 21st century and probably the key to ameliorating the quality of our everyday life improving, for example, crop yield and expanding the horizons of personalized therapy.

 

 

Thomas Wolfe

 

PI Ovidiu Paun
funding by FWF Start and FWF DK

email

Research area:

I graduated from the University of Lausanne in February 2015 with a master in Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics. This project was aimed at investigating the long term effect of polyploidy on transposable element activity, using as models the polyploid Brassica napus and its two diploid parents B. rapa and B. oleracea.

Currently I am investigating the role of whole genome doubling in adaptation to divergent environments and how recurrent polyploidy can lead to evolutionary diversification and biodiversity increase. The study takes advantage of natural replicates provided by several ecologically-divergent, sibling Dactylorhiza allopolyploids of different ages. My aim is to integrate transcriptomic and low-coverage whole genome sequencing with complementary environmental data, to track molecular responses to polyploidy and how selection acts on them to result in adaptation.

 

Graduate alumni



 

Barbara Horváth

(defense coming up)


PI Alex Kalinka
funding by Vetmeduni Vienna

email

Research area:

I graduated as a Biologist from the University of Pecs, Hungary. As a Bachelor student, I was engaged with the ecological side of biology, I took part in several population- and community level monitoring programs. I have a long interest in Evolutionary Biology and Genetics, thus during my further studies I focused my attention towards these disciplines, and I carried out a population genetic analysis on one of the critically endangered small mammal species of Hungary as my Master project.

The aim of my PhD project at the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics is to examine an ecologically important trait, namely the length of embryonic development, on the phenotypic and genetic level. Using Drosophila as model organism for this study is particularly interesting, because the larvae typically live on rapidly decaying matter and experience a lot of con-specific larval competition. The first flies to hatch will have access to the most resources, so there has been strong selection for fast embryonic development in the Drosophila clade. My project is aiming to understand how ecological circumstances affect the evolution of embryonic development.

 

 

Derek Setter

(defense coming up)


PI Joachim Hermisson
funding by FWF DK

email

Research area:

I completed my BS in Genetics at the University of Kansas (USA) and have long been interested in Biomathematics.  My PhD research focuses on adaptive gene introgression after secondary contact.  Using the theory of branching processes, I hope to derive the probability and time to fixation of an adaptive allele that is linked to flanking deleterious mutations.  The ultimate goal is to determine the footprint of adaptive introgression in sequence polymorphism data.

 

 

Ágnes Jónás

(defended thesis in October 2016)


PI Carolin Kosiol
funding by FWF-DK

Research area:

I graduated as an Applied Mathematician at the University of Debrecen in Hungary. All along my university studies I was committed to practical research activities. Later I had the opportunity to get insights into bioinformatics, and I became very interested in its principles and associated tools that allow us to extract biologically interesting information from data.

In the course of my Ph.D., I am going to work on time series data coming from experimental evolution studies in Drosophila species. I will join to a project in which evolutionary trajectories of allele frequencies are modeled by using machine learning techniques such as Gaussian processes in order to understand SNP frequency changes over generations. For this, I will use whole-genome pool-seq data generated by Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) techniques. Pool-sequencing is a powerful method for estimating population-wide allele frequencies; however haplotype information of individual flies in the pool is lost. Therefore another aim of my Ph.D. is to reconstruct haplotypes from pool-seq data by applying statistical methods.

 

 

Polina Novikova

(defended thesis in July 2016)


PI Magnus Nordborg
funding by GMI and FWF DK


Postdoc at Gent University, BE

Research area:

I studied biophysics at the Lomonosov Moscow State University. Currently, I’m working on molecular evolution in Arabidopsis suecica, which originated as an interspecific hybrid between A. thaliana and A. arenosa. Using next generation sequence technology I address several questions such as the origin of the species, its genome rearrangements and epigenomic changes as well as the evolution of A. suecica's mating system.

 

 

Tom Hill

(defended thesis in June 2016)


PI Andrea Betancourt
funding by Vetmeduni Vienna and FWF stand-alone

Postdoc at Univ. of Kansas, USA

Research area:

I graduated from the University of Reading, UK where my studies focused on evolutionary biology and phylogenetics. Later on, I worked on a project using phylogenies to test for punctuated equilibrium across the tree of life.

My Ph.D. project will involve the study of the evolution of transposable element defence in Drosophila.  It involves the examination of the piRNA defence clusters and their sequence evolution, observing the rates of differentiation across populations. We expect that piRNA defence clusters need to adapt quickly, lending different populations unique piRNAs.
Analysis of the extent of the divergence will be accomplished through the isolation and sequencing of piRNA clusters from individual Drosophila and analysing the divergence in their defence systems between separate populations and the mechanism used to silence transposable element mRNA.

 

 

Raymond Tobler

(defended thesis in November 2015)


PI Christian Schlötterer
funding by Vetmeduni Vienna and FWF DK

ARC DAATSIA Fellow at Univ. of Adelaide, AUS

Research area:

I have long been interested in understanding genotype-phenotype relationships and the ontogeny of complex traits.  As such, I have a growing interest in integrative and systems based biological disciplines, such as evo-devo, evolutionary and ecological genetics/genomics, and the omics fields. My present research investigates the genomic architecture of thermally adapted traits and their evolutionary repeatability in Drosophila. I employ an experimental evolution framework that simultaneously quantifies phenotypic and genotypic (using full-genome next generation sequencing) change in replicate populations, thereby creating a dynamic portrait of thermal adaptation in Drosophila.

 

 

Ludwig Geroldinger

(defended thesis in December 2014)


PI Reinhard Bürger
funding by FWF DK

Analyst at Accenture Austria

Research area

My research area is mathematical population genetics. I investigate the role of migration, selection and recombination in maintaining polymorphism and genetic diversity. More specifically, I employ multilocus models to study the impact of spatially varying, stabilizing or directional selection on the genetic composition of a trait in a subdivided population.

In a first project a deterministic two-locus two-deme model is applied to explore the effects of migration, and the genetic architecture, i.e., the recombination rate and ratio of locus effects, on the maintenance of genetic variation.

A second project is concerned with the influence of the migration pattern on genetic diversity and linkage disequilibrium in a multi-deme model. During my stay in Zürich a third project was started which applies the concept of effective migration rates to understand the formation of genomic islands of divergence.

 

 

Christian Huber

(defended thesis in November 2014)


PI Ines Hellmann
funding by FWF DK

Postdoc at UCLA, USA

Research area:

Sequencing entire genomes across many individuals is an important step in population genetic inference about selection and demography. However, due to technical problems like missing data and sequencing errors, many existing methods are ill-suited for this kind of data and have to be adapted. My work will be concerned with an example data-set of genome-wide sequence data from A. thaliana, where the complicated demography is an additional challenge.

 

 

Daniel Fabian

(defended thesis in November 2014)


PI Thomas Flatt
funding by FWF DK

Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, UK; Univ. of Cambridge, UK

Research area:

My research interests are mainly directed towards understanding the genetic architecture of longevity and explaining the huge diversity in life spans found within and between species. How strong is the environmental impact on life span and its companion ageing? Why did evolution lead to the development of organisms that are extremely long or short lived? How is genetic variation in longevity maintained in nature? Molecular pathways regulating longevity are very pleiotropic, which results in trade-offs with other traits. It is therefore important to observe the complete life history of an organism in order to fully understand the genetic and physiological basis of ageing.

Using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism, I am going to examine variation in several life history characters, such as life span and fecundity, among lines originating from a) different altitudes and b) different latitudes. The acquired results from phenotypic assays will be used to perform genome-wide association studies. Identified polymorphisms in candidate genes connected to a specific phenotype will be functionally observed by creating transgenic flies. Because of the strong evolutionary conservation of ageing, my research will possibly also deliver interesting insights into human gerontology.

 

 

Johanna Bertl

(defended thesis in November 2014)


PI Andreas Futschik
funding by FWF DK

Postdoc at Univ. of Aarhus, UK

Research area:

The likelihood function is the base of many statistical inference procedures in parametric models. For some complex models, like for example the Coalescent, it cannot be obtained analytically; therefore, approximate inference methods are used. I am interested in the development and application of such methods for population genetic models, especially Approximate Bayesian Computation and Indirect Inference.

 

 

Peter Klepsatel

(defended thesis in January 2014)


PI Thomas Flatt
funding by FWF stand-alone and FWF DK

Postdoc at MPI Göttingen, GER

Research area:

Peter studied genetics at the Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia). In his PhD he works on comparative evolutionary genetics of aging and life history in the Drosophila simulans clade.

 

 

Ada Akerman

(defended thesis in November 2013)


PI Reinhard Bürger
funding by FWF stand-alone and FWF DK

Research area:

I am a mathematician interested in mathematical population genetics and evolution and I focus on the maintenance of polymorphisms. Currently, I model a subdivided population inhabiting two demes where diversifying directional selection acts on two diallelic loci. Therefore, I use different mathematical methods like difference equations, differential equations, bifurcation analysis etc.

 

 

Nicola De Maio

(defended thesis in September 2013)


PI Carolin Kosiol
funding by Vetmeduni Vienna and FWF DK

Postdoc at Univ. of Oxford, UK

Research area:

I am interested in the development and application of models of sequence evolution. In particular I am focusing on Empirical Codon Models, on the problems related to their estimation (like incomplete lineage sorting and polymorphisms) and on their application to tests of positive selection. My background is in Mathematics so I keep a vivid interest in statistical methods. I also collaborate on other projects: the development of statistical methods for detection of signatures of adaptation, and modeling of life history traits.

 

 

Martin Kapun

(defended thesis in June 2013)


PI Christian Schlötterer
funding by ÖAW DOC and FWF DK

Postdoc at Univ. of Lausanne, CH

Research area:

Martin studied in Vienna and is interested in molecular ecology and evolution, selection and genomics. In his PhD project he combined the advantages of population genetics and experimental evolution to understand the adaptation of Drosophila species to different temperature regimes. His thesis defence was entitled: "The genetic basis of adaptive evolution in Drosophila melanogaster"

 

 

Florian Clemente

(defended thesis in December 2012)


PI Claus Vogl
funding by Vetmeduni Vienna

Postdoc at Univ. of Cambridge, UK; Univ. of Montpellier, F

Research area:

Florian studied bioinformatics in Munich. He recently defended his thesis entitled: A study of the evolutionary forces acting on putatively neutrally evolving DNA sequences in Drosophila.

 

 

Saad Arif

(defended thesis in July 2013)



PI Alistair McGregor
funding by ERC

Oxford Brookes University, UK; Postdoc at FML Tübingen, GER

Research area:

I'm interested in all aspects of morphological evolution. Currently I'm working on the developmental/genetic basis of eye size differences in Drosophila. This project will involve traditional mapping methods, genetic functional analysis, and in silico simulation of eye development. I'm also interested in the philosopy and history of science in particular that of morphology and evo-devo.

 

 

Claudia Bank

(defended thesis in June 2012)


PI Joachim Hermisson
funding by Vetmeduni Vienna and FWF stand-alone

Postdoc at EPFL (Lausanne), CH; Group Leader at Gulbenkian Institute, PT

Research area:

During my undergraduate studies of mathematics and physics in Bielefeld I specialized in biomathematics. Successively, I moved to Vienna to do my PhD under the supervision of Joachim Hermisson. As an associated student of the "Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics" at the Vetmeduni Vienna, I was enjoying close interactions with people from different fields of biology, such as natural variation, functional genetics, genome evolution, bioinformatics and biostatistics. This environment challenged me to broaden my knowledge about various topics in order to be able to discuss the work of my fellow scientists. My particular interest lies in the population genetics of adaptation and speciation. The goal of my PhD was to develop and analyze mathematical models that help discover the importance of particular speciation mechanisms in various stages of the speciation process.

 

 

Corinna Hopfen

(defended thesis in May 2012)



PI Alistair McGregor
funding by VolkswagenStiftung

Cologne Biocenter, D

Research area:

I am interested in understanding how animal morphology evolves. Despite recent progress many aspects of morphological evolution remain poorly understood, such as the molecular basis of variation in complex traits like organ size and shape, the contribution of standing genetic variation to inter-specific differences and the adaptive significance of morphological differences. The aim my PhD project was to identify and compare the genetic basis of variation in morphology within and between species. For this I used the sibling species Drosophila mauritiana and D. simulans, which exhibit a number of striking morphological differences. For this project I used a combination of genetic mapping, functional analysis and population genetics approaches.

 

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Vetmed Uni Vienna Partner: Vetmed Uni Vienna
Max F. Perutz Laboratories Partner: Max D. Perutz Laboratories
Gregor Mendel Institut Partner: Gregor Mendel Institute
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