Natural populations of organisms are constantly changing due to random processes or by adapting to local or temporal changes in their environment. Under some circumstances, populations will even diverge from each other and become reproductively isolated species. A detailed understanding of genetic variants that contribute to variation in adaptive traits and how this variation, in turn, results in differential evolutionary fitness in natural populations remains limited to only a handful of cases.
As a postdoctoral fellow in the Hoekstra lab, Andreas Kautt aims to uncover the genetic and molecular bases that contribute to ecologically-relevant morphological and behavioral variation in natural populations of Peromyscus deer mice. He is approaching this objective using a combination of whole-genome sequence and transcriptome analyses together with experiments in the field and in the lab. This work will contribute to our understanding of how morphological traits and behaviors evolve in the wild.
His postdoctoral work is supported by fellowships from the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and the German Science Foundation (DFG). Andreas received his doctorate in Axel Meyer’s lab at the University of Konstanz, Germany, where he studied the genomics of speciation in a young species complex of crater lake cichlid fishes from Nicaragua.