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Institut für Evolutionäre Anthropologie (IEA) Evolutionary Genetics Group

Dr. Tugce Bilgin-Sonay

Research interest

I have always been intrigued by the evolution of human and other primates. My previous research during my PhD in Andreas Wagner's lab centered around rather fundamental questions on evolvability, robustness and variation in various model organisms. Starting from 2015, I am in Krutzen's lab, working on orangutan genomes to identify loci under selection using various statistical models on codon evolution. I will use the extensive knowledge on the environmental variables for habitats of different orangutan populations and the matching phenotypic variation. Results of this project will not only give valuable insights to the genetic basis of hominid adaptation, but hopefully will also serve the conservation of highly endangered genus Pongo. This project is also supported by the UZH Forschungskredit.

You can find a list of my publications below. For more information, you can check out my website: Also the short stories and other stuff, I write are for you to read under (in Turkish)


  • Bilgin Sonay T, Koletou M, Wagner A. A survey of tandem repeat instabilities and associated gene expression changes in 35 colorectal cancers, BMC Genomics 16 :702, 2015
  • Bilgin Sonay T, Carvalho T, Robinson MD, Greminger MP, Krützen M, Comas D, Highnam G, Mittelman D, Sharp A, Marques-Bonet T, and Wagner A. Tandem repeat variation in human and great ape populations and its impact on gene expression divergence. Genome Research, 2015
  • Bilgin T, Kurnaz I, Wagner A. Selection shapes the robustness of ligand-binding amino acids, J Mol Evol, 76:343-349, 2013
  • Bilgin T, Wagner A. Design constraints on a synthetic metabolism, PloS ONE 7(6):e39903, 2012
  • Kurnaz ML, Bilgin T, and Aksan Kurnaz I. Certain non-standard coding tables appear to be more robust to error than the standard code, J Mol Evol, 70:13-28, 2010
  • Kurnaz ML, Bilgin T, and Aksan Kurnaz I. A statistical analysis of the robustness of alternate genetic coding tables, Int. J. Molec. Sci. 9(5): 679 – 697, 2008

Weiterführende Informationen

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Dr. Tugce Bilgin-Sanoy