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. Mid-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.

Bachelor and Master Students

2021 – Augustin Chen – MEME Genome analysis of the B mating type regions of the mushroom fungus Schizophyllum commune.
2020-2021 – Melanie Kaspar – Biologie Bachelor for her bachelor thesis, Melanie is testing for 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 is currently working on our long term evolution experiment analysing adaptation under geneflow in collaboration with Jochen Wolf and Sergio Tusso.
2021 – Chaitra Shree Udugere Shivakumara Swamy – MCB Chaitra is doing a research project, working on the first experiments with an artificial mating type system in which constitutively expressed pheromone-receptor systems regulates sexual cell-cell recognition.

Past members

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.
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 is measuring 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.
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.
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