2009 – present PhD, Ichthyology, Natural History Museum
2007 Diploma, University of Rostock, Germany
2009 NHM Studentship NHM STU09003
2009 Synthesys BE-TAF-5312
2008 Leonardo Da Vinci DE/07/LLP-LdV/PLM/279266
I am highly interested in speciation, its processes and patterns, phylogenetics, population genetics, biogeography and palaeontology. Current research interests focus on the testing of ecological speciation in a Lake Tanganyika cichlid using molecular and ecological approaches.
Testing ecological speciation in Lake Tanganyika cichlids
Department of Zoology: Kai Winkelmann
Supervisors: Dr Martin Genner (Bristol), Dr Lukas Rüber (NHM, London)
The African Great Lakes contain spectacular adaptive radiations of cichlid fishes. This project focuses on Telmatochromis temporalis (Cichlidae, Lamprologini), a Lake Tanganyika endemic. T. temporalis is a highly sedentary substrate breeder that is broadly distributed in littoral habitats throughout the lake. A notably characteristic of this species is the occurrence of two morphs that differ strikingly in body size. The large morph reaches sexual maturity between 60 and 85 mm SL (standard length) whereas the dwarf morph matures at between 38 and 44 mm SL. Importantly the different morphs show an obvious difference in substrate preference in the wild. While the large morph is found on rocky habitat, the dwarf morph is restricted to shell beds. Previous work using data from morphometrics, microsatellite DNA and mitochondrial DNA has indicated that the two morphs have evolved multiple times. This strongly suggests divergence has been driven by substrate preferences. However, before we can conclude that true parallel ecological speciation has taken place we still require evidence from more extensive geographic sampling, a reliable phylogeny built from nuclear loci, experimental evidence of substrate preferences, and experimental evidence of mate choice preferences.
2009 PhD Project: “Testing ecological speciation in Lake Tanganyika cichlids”. In collaboration with the Natural History Museum London and the University of Bristol / UK (Nhm PhD Studentship).
2009 “Phylogeny and Phylogeography of Drouetia on Azorean Islands: Pico, Faial and S. Jorge”. Carried out for the University of the Azores at the RBINS (Synthesis grant).
2008 “Zullobalanus santamariaensis (Cirripedia) a new species from the fossil record of Santa Maria/Azores”. Carried out for the MPB – Marine Palaeo-Biogeography Working Group, Department of Biology, University of the Azores. Paper in preparation.
2007 Diploma thesis: “Comparative investigations on the nutrient release of
Marenzelleria viridis (Sikorski & Bick, 2004) and M. neglecta (Verrill, 1873) from sediments”. Carried out for the University of Rostock/Germany