Scott Allen


I began my undergraduate study with a keen interest in evolutionary theory and genetics, which left me wanting to know what the genetic changes were that allowed adaptation and speciation to occur. My PhD thesis was motivated by intralocus sexual conflict - the idea that male and female adaptation might be constrained by sexually antagonistic pleiotropy - and the possibility that sex-biased gene expression is a resolution to this conflict. Over time I became increasingly interested in the genetic basis of adaptation, particularly the role gene expression might.

I discovered the Institute of Population genetics while using the methods pioneered here for side projects I was employed to work on. I was immediately excited about the potential of evolve and resequence (E&R) combined with the cost effectiveness of Pool-Seq to elucidate the genetic basis of adaptation and possibly any other trait of interest that we can select on. Currently I am working on a dataset from an E&R experiment to familiarise myself with the Institutes analysis pipelines while writing grants. Exactly what I’ll be studying in the future will depend on getting a grant awarded! I’ll update you then.


Neda Barghi


During my PhD studies, I investigated the evolution, diversification and expression of conotoxins in closely related Conus species through comparative transcriptomics and genomics. My dissertation study revealed that in addition to positive selection, divergence in the control of expression for specific conotoxins contributes to the inter-specific differences in the venom composition. Furthermore, I was able to show the specimen-specific capability of individual snails to regulate the expression of a subset of conotoxins. To further illustrate the diversification mechanism of conotoxins, I conducted a genome survey of C. tribblei that resulted in the identification of putative structures of several conotoxin gene superfamilies and the assembly of the complete mitochondrial genome.

The focus of my current research is identification of the selection signatures in Drosophila simulans populations that have been adapted to high fluctuating temperature for generations through experimental evolution. In particular, I am interested in understanding the heterozygosity, likely different adaptive pathways, among populations that have evolved in the same environment.


Lukas Endler


My current research focuses on using pooled DNA sequencing data in genome wide association studies (Pool-GWAS). Pool-GWAS is a powerful and cost-effective approach to identifying association of genetic variation with specific phenotypes. The phenotype I am concerned with right now is chill coma recovery in Drosophila melanogaster.

For my PhD  at the University of Vienna I investigated dynamical models of biological networks. Afterwards, I worked for BioModels Database at the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge, UK.


Kathrin Otte


I am interested in the connection of the genotype and to the phenotype in changing environmental conditions and in the evolution of genotype-phenotype maps. In my current research, I am studying temperature adaptation in experimental evolved populations of Drosophila simulans at the genome level. In addition, I am developing a Drosophila proteomic approach to study protein response to novel temperature regimes and connect them to changes in the genome.

During my PhD I worked on predator-induced phenotypic plasticity in the crustacean Daphnia magna. Using proteomic approaches, I was able to characterise proteins involved in the response to the predator and to relate them to well-studied predator-induced traits concerning e.g. morphological changes of the cuticle or life-history changes. Furthermore, I was able to find genotype-specific protein responses in  D. magna  originating from different habitats.



Schlötterer Lab
Institute of Population Genetics

1210 Vienna, Veterinärplatz 1

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