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Institut für Evolutionäre Anthropologie (IEA)

Samuel Wittwer

Research Interests

My main research interest circles around the application of Next-Generation sequencing technologies to detect regions in the genome under divergent selection, be it through ecological or behavioral factors.

Academic Record

2013 M.Sc. in Ecology and Evolution; University of Bern, Switzerland. Master thesis on the genomics of an adaptive Cichlid radiation in Lake Victoria using Restriction Site Associated DNA sequencing

2010 B.Sc. in Biology, University of Bern, Switzerland. Bachelor thesis on the genetics of recovery from near extinction of Cichlids in Lake Victoria

Research Bio

The nested alliance structure, where males work together to obtain and defend females, among male bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Shark Bay is one of the most complex social structures observed outside of humans.
In my PhD project, I want to take advantage of recent advances in Next Generation Sequencing technologies to look at genome scale questions in different populations of bottlenose dolphins. Does relatedness play a role in alliance formation? Are certain regions of the genome under divergent selection between different populations? Are visible signatures of selection within the genome associated with alliance formation?


Wagner, CE, Keller, I, Wittwer, S, Selz, O, Mwaiko, S, Greuter, L, Sivasundar, A, Seehausen, O (2012). Genome-wide RAD sequence data provides unprecedented resolution of species boundaries and relationships in the Lake Victoria cichlid adaptive radiation. Mol Ecol doi: 10.1111/mec.12023

Keller I, Wagner CE, Greuter L, Mwaiko S, Selz O, Sivasundar A, Wittwer S, Seehausen, O (2012). Population genomic signatures of divergent adaptation, gene flow, and hybrid speciation in the rapid radiation of Lake Victoria cichlid fishes. Mol Ecol doi: 10.1111/mec.12083

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Samuel Wittwer