prof. thorsten reusch

Marine Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Can marine species adapt to a changing environment via evolutionary adaptation? Which roles do epigenetic versus genetic/genomic changes play for such adaptation? What is the interaction between ecological compositional changes as response to warming or ocean acidification versus the evolutionary change within populations? - These are the questions our group is addressing, in a variety of systems, that range from phytoplankton, seagrasses, jellyfish, zooplankton species to (commercially important) fish species. Strong ecological interactions such as host-parasite interactions and invasive species in their new habitat are prime examples where evolution-in-action can be observed in real time in the marine realm. We are using full-genome re-sequencing to trace the signatures of selection in marine populations, as well as to reconstruct their colonization and demographic history.

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Prof. Thorsten Reusch


Tel.: +49 (0) 431-600-4550

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Selected Publications

  • Heckwolf MJ, Meyer BS, Döring T, Eizaguirre C, Reusch TBH (2018) Transgenerational plasticity and selection shape the adaptive potential of sticklebacks to salinity change. Evolutionary Applications online early,
  • Breusing C, Biastoch A, Drews A, Metaxas A, Jollivet D, Vrijenhoek RC, Bayer T, Melzner F, Sayavedra L, Petersen JM, Dubilier N, Schilhabel MB, Rosenstiel P, Reusch TBH (2016) Biophysical and population genetic models predict presence of "phantom" stepping stones connecting Mid-Atlantic Ridge vent ecosystems. Current Biology 26:2257–2267
  • Olsen JL*, Rouzé P, Verhelst B, Lin Y-C, Bayer T, Collén J, Dattolo E, De Paoli E, Dittami S, Maumus F, Michel G, Kersting A, Lauritano C, Lohaus R, Töpel M, Tonon T, Vanneste K, Amirebrahimi M, Brakel J, Boström C, Chovatia M, Grimwood J, Jenkins J, Jüterbock A, Mraz A, Stam WT, Tice H, Bornberg-Bauer E, Green P, Pearson G, Procaccini G*, Duarte C, Schmutz J, Reusch TBH*, Van de Peer Y* (2016) The genome of the seagrass Zostera marina reveals angiosperm adaptation to the sea. Nature 530: 331-335 doi: 10.1038/nature16548 *equal contribution (cover story)
  • Schlüter L, Lohbeck KT, Gutowska MA, Gröger JP, Riebesell U, Reusch TBH (2014) Adaptation of a globally important coccolithophore to ocean warming and acidification. Nature Climate Change 4:1024–1030, doi:10.1038/nclimate2379