Monday, May 11, 2015

Introducing new EXEB-members

Last week, two new members started at EXEB in Tobias' group.

Reinder Radersma

I am interested is the dynamic relationship between phenotypes and their environment, and how different solutions have evolved to deal with different levels of variability in the environment. I just started in EXEB to work with Tobias on epigenetic inheritance in water fleas (Daphnia). We will investigate the non-genetic inheritance of tolerance to toxins produced by cyanobacteria. Daphnia have low tolerance in spring, but built up tolerance over the summer. There are studies showing this is non-genetically inherited and there are also indications it might be epigenetic. Before, I worked in Oxford on social behaviour and genetics in great tits. I have looked at the heritability of social network traits and took also a population genetic approach to investigate how space and social structure affect the distribution of genotypes in the population. I did my PhD in Groningen on the ecological and evolutionary consequences of brood sex ratio variation, also in great tits.

Reinder's working on epigenetic inheritance in water fleas (Daphnia)


Hanna Laakkonen

I'm a lab manager in Tobias' group and my tasks vary from general administration to assistance in all the research related things, and also to research itself. I’m defending my PhD on phylogeography of amphi-boreal marine fauna this autumn, in the Finnish Museum of Natural History of Helsinki University. In my doctoral project I studied genetic diversity and phylogeography of boreal and arctic marine fauna, including some thirty invertebrate and thirty fish taxa. Study questions were related to genetic relationships (vicariance, dispersal, cryptic diversity, secondary contacts and introgression) of North Pacific and Atlantic animals, in the timescale from Pliocene to Holocene. In my master’s thesis I studied chronic effects of crude oil to plankton community, and thus I’m also very excited about Reinder’s project. While my background is in phylogeography, especially adaptation to new environments fascinates me, including the ecological drivers and evolutionary mechanisms behind it.

Hanna's a lab manager

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