Mark Lammers

co-supervised with Jacintha Ellers at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

* Mark defended his thesis on 30 sept 2020

I am an integrative biologist, interested in all aspects of the evolutionary ecology of the mega-diverse insects. My research is primarily question-driven. To test the ensuing wide range of hypotheses, I apply a diverse set of methods and theory. These derive from several major fields of biology:

  • Evolutionary biology: Physiological and local adaptation, molecular evolution, life-history evolution, niche differentiation, speciation, phenotypic plasticity;
  • Entomology: Behaviour, ecology, and evolution of insects, particularly parasitoid wasps;
  • Bioinformatics: Transcriptomics, comparative genomics, data analysis and statistics, custom pipelines in R and bash (Linux).

My PhD research was on physiological adaptation at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam with Jacintha Ellers and Ken Kraaijeveld, where I wrote my thesis with the title ‘The evolutionary loss of lipogenesis in insect parasitoids: Molecular mechanisms and ecological aspects’. In this work, I unravelled the gene regulatory mechanisms that inhibit lipogenesis while maintaining the underlying genes’ pleiotropic functions in the model species Nasonia vitripennis (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae).

Currently I work as a junior group leader (“Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter”) with Jürgen Gadau in Münster. There I work on five main projects on evolutionary processes that may contribute to the vast biodiversity of insect parasitoids:

  • Rapid adaptation to novel hosts;
  • Evolutionary transitions and the loss of sexual reproduction;
  • Genome evolution of parasitoids with peculiar lifestyles;
  • Pre-zygotic reproductive isolation in (contemporary) parasitoid speciation;
  • Chemical ecology of courtship behaviour in the parasitoid Aphidius ervi.

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