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Schärer Group
Evolutionary Biology
Zoological Institute
University of Basel
Vesalgasse 1
CH-4051 Basel

Pragya Singh

email: pragya.singh-at-unibas.ch
phone: +41 61 207 03 76

I am a PhD student in the Schärer research group.

Current research

The focus during my PhD is broadly on mating behaviour and phenotypic plasticity in different species of the flatworm genus Macrostomum (containing >150 species). These free-living flatworms are an excellent model system for studying sex allocation, sexual selection, sexual conflict (as well as for studies in stem cell biology and regeneration). They are usually transparent and small, which allows us to study their reproductive structures and many internal processes in detail. My PhD project will involve (i) the description of interspecific variation in mating behaviour, and (ii) experiments to study phenotypic plasticity in reproductive traits, and to which degree this varies across the different species. I am also working on establishing and maintaining laboratory cultures of multiple Macrostomum species. My PhD position is part of a larger project aimed at establishing an extensive comparative dataset in the genus Macrostomum.

Previous research

In my MSc thesis, I studied butterfly diversity and community structure, and how they are affected by different environmental factors. These factors included a human disturbance index, plant richness, patch size and habitat type. I also investigated species co-occurrence patterns and abundance across the disturbance gradient and investigated the ecological basis for the clustering of butterfly species. Finally, I looked at the characteristics of the butterflies which occurred in the same module.


1) Singh, P., Baruah, G.K., Bhat, A. (in review). Butterfly diversity and co-occurrence patterns across a disturbance gradient.

this page was last updated on Monday, October 10, 2016