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Anna Rahn


Dipl.-Biol. Anna Rahn

PhD student

Phone:    +49 228 73 51 13
Fax:          +49 228 73 23 21

Research interest:

In spring 2009 I finished my diploma thesis here at the Institute for Evolutionary Biology and Ecology. I studied the impact of inbreeding on male morphological traits related to reproductive success in the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Additionally I used in vitro fertilisations to examine whether pre-and postzygotic mechanisms of inbreeding avoidance have a significant influence on reproduction in this species.

For my PhD studies on host-parasite coevolution in simple and complex host-parasite systems I will continue to use the three-spined stickleback as a model system. I'm planning to perform phylogeographic analyses of Scottish freshwater populations of sticklebacks and two common parasites of this fish - the monogenean Gyrodactylus ssp. with a simple and the digenean Diplostomum ssp. with a complex life cycle. I'm also interested in the evolvability of host resistance and its link to male secondary sexual traits. Such a link could provide females information about a male's quality in terms of parasite resistance and therefore would support the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis stating that parasitism can be a driving force in sexual selection.

The project is supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). It is embedded in the stickleback cluster of priority programme SPP 1399 "Host-Parasite Coevolution - Rapid Reciprocal Adaptation and its Genetic Basis".

  • Rahn, A. K., Krassmann, J., Tsobanidis, K., MacColl, A. D. C. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2016). Strong neutral genetic differentiation in a host, but not in its parasite. Infect. Genet. Evol.44:261-271.
pdf upon request
  • Rahn, A. K., Eßer, E., Reher, S., Ihlow, F., MacColl, A. D. C. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2016). Distribution of common stickleback parasites on North Uist, Scotland, in relation to ecology and host traits. Zoology 119: 395-402.
pdf upon request
  • Rahn, A. K., Hammer, D. A. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2015). Experimental infection with the directly transmitted parasite Gyrodactylus influences shoaling behaviour in sticklebacks. Anim. Behav. 107:253-261.
pdf upon request
  • Mehlis, M., Rahn, A. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2015). Sperm quality but not relatedness predicts sperm competition success in threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). BMC Evol. Biol. 15:74.
open access
  • Franke, F., Rahn, A. K., Dittmar, J., Erin, N., Rieger, J., Haase, D., Samonte-Padilla, I., Lange, J., Jakobsen, P. J., Hermida, M., Fernandez, C., Kurtz, J., Bakker, T. C. M., Reusch, T. B., Kalbe, M., Scharsack, J. P. (2014). In vitro leukocyte response of three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) to helminth parasite antigens. Fish Shellfish Immunol. 36: 130-140
  • Mehlis, M., Frommen, J. G., Rahn, A. K. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2012). Inbreeding in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.): effects on testis and sperm traits. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 107: 510-520.
  • Frommen, J.G., Rahn, A. K., Schroth, S. H., Waltschyk, N. & Bakker T. C. M. (2009). Mate-choice copying when both sexes face high costs of reproduction. Evol. Ecol. 23: 435-446.
Diploma thesis:

  • Rahn, A. (2009). Einflüsse von Inzucht auf die Spermienmorphologie beim Dreistachligen Stichling (Gasterosteus aculeatus) und Inzuchtvermeidung bei Spermienkonkurrenz. Diploma-thesis, University of Bonn, Germany.


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