Dr. Bart Nieuwenhuis – PI

I did my PhD in the Genetics Lab at Wageningen University under the supervision of Duur Aanen and Rolf Hoekstra, where I studied the potential of sexual selection in fungi (thesis pdf). In 2013, I moved to Uppsala in Sweden, to work with Simone Immler (now at University of East Anglia) at the Uppsala University. In Uppsala, I started working with fission yeast and, in collaboration with Hanna Johannesson, with the orange breadmold Neurospora crassa. In 2017, I started my own research group studying the evolution and maintenance of sexual asymmetries at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in the Division of Evolutionary Biology.


Cristina Berenguer Millanes – PhD student

I did my MSc thesis in the Genetics Lab at Wageningen University under the supervision of Duur Aanen and Eric Bastiaans, learning about the evolution of cheating and allorecognition in Neurospora crassa. Afterwards, I worked in the B2M (Back2Mono) project working with Sylvia Segers, developing a screening system of enzyme discovery, focusing on plastic degradation. Finally, in July 2020, I moved to München to start my PhD with Bart Nieuwenhuis as advisor. Here, I am studying the evolution of recombination rates and mating types in fission yeast.

Mei Shimizu

2022-2023 Mei Shimizu – EES Master

I am working on a project in which experimental evolution was performed on fission yeast in which both mating types are expressed in the haploid cells. I am studying how the evolved cells overcame the haploid meiosis problem using various molecular and imaging techniques. I will also estimate the fitness of survivor cells and their mating ability.

2023 Blanca González Alba – Molecular and Cell Biology Master

I am currently doing a research course and posterior HiWi job. I am performing a literature study to gather data on the mating system of fungi: weather they are homothallic or heterothallic. Homothallic fungi are able to mate and produce offspring with themselves, while heterothallic fungi require two different individuals to mate and produce offspring. The mating behaviour of fungi plays an important role in their ecology and evolution. I am interested in understanding if pathogenicity might select for the transition betwen homothallism and heterothallism and how this transition might impact their recombination rates.

Cynthia Meizoso

2022 Cynthia Meizoso – EES Master

Cynthia performed whole genome resequencing and is now studying the genomic changes in the experimentally evolved fission yeast strains that appear to be homothallic.

2023 Gergö
2023 Zsofí

Past members

2020-2023 Chantal Kruger – Molecular and Cell Biology Master. Chantal worked with us for her bachelor thesis, generating and analysing artificial chromosomal inversions. After her project she worked as a student RA on the same project and on the pheromone/receptor system, and is currently finishing her Master in the Plant Genetics department.
2022-2023 Russell Castelino – MCB Master thesis student. Russel worked on the analysis of an Dobzhanski-Muller incompatibility gene pair that evolved in our long term experimental project. Russel finished their Master and is now a PhD student at the Helmholtz Munich..
2022 – Mayukh Bhattacharyya – EES Master project student Mayukh continued with analyzing the strains generated by Apurva in an IRT2 project.
2022 – Apurva Dhavale – MCB Master project student Towards true homothallism! Apurva studied how haploid cells cope with the presence of two mating type loci. Apurva is currently PhD student at the Institute for Immunology at LMU.
2021-2022 – Hendrik von Schlichting – Biologie Bachelor Hendrik tests if gene flow under divergent selection might have selected for assortative mating within our long term experimental evolving populations.
2021-2022 – Pragga Saha Sharmi – MEME thesis Sharmi studied how autocrine cells are able to reproduce sexually and rapidly increase mating efficiency.
2021 – Murphy Mortier – EES Master project student Murphy continued where Chaitra left off, generating further strains and running an evolution experiment.
2021 – Dmytro Sirokha – MCB Master project student How does homothallism evolve and what are the costs of expressing two mating types. Dmytro showed that two mating types is very costly, but can bring survival when all alone.
2021 – Augustin Chen – MEME project student Genome analysis of the B mating type regions of the mushroom fungus Schizophyllum commune.
2021 – Chaitra Shree Udugere Shivakumara Swamy – MCB Master student Chaitra did a short research project, doing the first experiments with an artificial mating type system in which constitutively expressed pheromone-receptor systems regulates sexual cell-cell recognition. Chaitra is currently enrolled in the Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences (MCLS) PhD program at the University of Wyoming, USA.
2020-2021 – Melanie Kaspar – Biologie Bachelor for her bachelor thesis, Melanie tested the effect of gene flow on assortative mating between divergently adapted populations within the long term experimental evolution populations.
2019-2020 – Athena Karapli-Petritsopoulou – EES In an IRT2 project, Athena continued with Mohammed’s project (see below) generating ’empty’ strains and started filling them with constitutively expressed pheromone-receptor systems. As part of her Master Thesis, she has studied our long term evolution experiment analysing adaptation under geneflow (in collaboration with Jochen Wolf and Sergio Tusso). Athena is currently PhD student at IGB in Berlin.
2018-2020 – Pilar Herrera – EES student Pilar investigated natural variation in recombination rate in fission yeast as part of her Master Thesis. In her IRT1, she studied reproductive isolation of a variety of natural fission yeast strains that show different levels of sequence divergence and structural variations. Pilar is currently PhD student at Uppsala University in Sweden.
2020 – Sebastian Schwartz – MCB student Sebastian returned to do a research project studying what it takes to evolve a flip-flop mechanisms of mating type switching. Additionally, he measured the cost of expressing both mating types in the same haploid genomes.
2020 – Orazioluka Paternó – MEME master student Orazioluka worked on an extension of the ‘ploidy master switch’ hypothesis from Haag and Perrin for the evolution of mating types, focusing on the many ways that mating types affect the lifecycle.
2020 – Israel Campo Bes – MEME master student Isra analyzed the quantity of Pheromone and Receptor genes in Mating Types in basidiomycetes.
2018-2019 – Rasha Shraim – Biology Master Thesis In a short project, Rasha analysed sequencing data from fission yeast to obtain information on the mating type switching rate in natural isolates. In her Master thesis research, she ‘reused’ available meta-transcriptomic data to obtain information on the natural habitat of fission yeast. Rasha has started a PhD at the SFI Centre for Research Training in Genomics Data Science, National University of Ireland.
2018-2019 – Augusto Liberti – Research Student In his master thesis he studied how mating and asexual growth trade-off in experimentally evolved multi-cellular genotypes. Together with Franziska Brenninger, Augusto was granted a Lehre@LMU Student Research Award to research the importance of pheromone production in mating competitions for mating-type switching and non-switching fission yeasts. During his IRT2 project, he studied the function of mating-type factor asymmetry in fission yeast.
2017-2019 – Franziska Brenninger – Lehre@LMU Student Research Award Together with Augusto Liberti, Franziska was granted a Lehre@LMU Student Research Award to research the importance of pheromone production in mating competitions for mating-type switching and non-switching fission yeasts. During her EES IRT1 and IRT2 projects, Franziska has been working on a system to experimentally test the model of Parker Baker & Smith on the evolution of anisogamy. She tested if fluorescence can be used as a costly trait. Franziska will start a PhD with Hanna Kokko at University of Zurich in 2020.
2019 – Thomas Merrien – Visiting student from AgroParisTech Thomas set out to generate strains that are symmetrical with regards to pheromone and receptor system and test how these strains can be used for experimental evolution. He is currently PhD student in Helsinki
2019 – Vera Yılmaz – IRT2 EES student Vera generated and tested the tools for a screen for the frequency of mating type switching in natural isolates of fission yeast. Vera is currently doing her PhD with Dr. Sonja Grath at the Evolutionary biology department
2019 – Sebastian Schwartz – Bachelor thesis student Sebastian has extended the set of fluorescent strains used for experiments on the evolution of increased and reduced linkage using Golden Gate assembly.
2018 – Mohammed Tawfeeq – EES IRT3 student The evolution of mating types involved differences in extracellular communication through pheromone-receptor recognition. Mohammed started generating strains that mating-type independently have identical pheromone-receptor systems. Mohammed is currently a PhD student with Kevin Verstrepen at the KU Leuven.
2018 – Linda Hagberg – EES IRT1 student Linda studied how in fission yeast strains of opposite mating types but that have the same pheromones and receptors can find each other and form successful matings.
2018 – Ingo Müller – BSc Thesis student
Thesis Project: the cost of spore killing during asexual reproduction in fission yeast. Ingo is currently PhD student in Stockholm
2017-2018 – Ricardo Santiago – Master Biochemistry Implementing CRISPR for SNP introduction. Currently PhD student at CNRS in Toulouse
2017-2018 – Hamed Al Ghaithi – Biology MSc Thesis student
Thesis Project: Role of genomic rearrangements on reproductive isolation in fission yeast
2017-2018 – Emil Ibragimov – MSc Project student
Project: Natural variation in the frequency of mating-type switching