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Mimicry describes the biological phenomenon of a species to closely resemble another species in order to gain fitness. Although resemblance can be in a variety of traits such as in morphology or behaviour it generally refers to the imitation of model species pigmentation and patterning, making mimicry systems ideal to study convergent evolution among different species. Mimicry has traditionally been explored in invertebrate species (e.g. butterflies), where classical crossing experiments and lately modern genetic techniques have been used to link specific phenotypic traits to underlying genetics and genomics. However, little is known about how genotype is linked to phenotype in vertebrate mimicry species. My PhD is focusing on exactly that, namely investigating the genetics and genomics underlying phenotypic adaptation in Pseudochromis fuscus, a coral reef fish from the Indo Pacific. By using fuscus as model system, I am trying to answer questions such as: • What are the ecological triggers for adaptive colouration in the species? • Where exactly are the benefits of such a mimicry complex allocated? • What is, on a molecular and ecological level, driving the evolution of vertebrate mimicry systems?
I love to travel the world, experience new cultures and learn about other people’s ways of life. I m an avid surfer and scuba diver and as I grew up in the middle of it, can’t be without the occasional snowboarding trip…
|Born in 1985 in Samedan, Switzerland|
|2010-present||PhD student at the Zoological Institute, University of Basel, Switzerland in collaboration with the School of Biological Sciences and the Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, Australia.
Under supervision of Prof. Walter Salzburger, Dr. Karen Cheney, and Prof. Justin Marshall.
|2009||Honours thesis at the School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia
Under supervision of Dr. Karen Cheney, Prof. Justin Marshall, and Dr. Lexa Grutter
|2005-2008||BSc in Biology with Major in Plant and Animal Biology, University of Basel, Switzerland|