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Theo Bakker

theo.jpg   Prof. Dr. Theo C.M. Bakker


Phone:    +49 228 73 51 30
Fax:         +49 228 73 23 21

Research interest

My research interests concern evolutionary processes in ecosystems: - on the one hand, I am interested in the selective forces that drive the evolution of life-history, behavioural, and morphological traits in animal populations, in particular host-parasite, predator-prey, and social interactions, and influences of abiotic factors. - on the other hand, I am interested in the underlying population genetic processes, such as the extent, change and maintenance of genetic variation and covariation of these traits.

Research focus

Main topic is the evolutionary ecology of natural and sexual selection in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus, Gasterosteidae) and Pelvicachromis taeniatus (Cichlidae) including:

  • ecological, quantitative genetic, and behavioural studies done in the laboratory concerning parasite resistance, prey choice, genetic variation and covariation in sexual traits, multiple mate preferences (for visual signals inclusive UV), sperm competition using microsatellites, and paternal care.
  • field studies on aquatic ecology, population biology, and behavioural ecology involving populations with a different ecology about the selection pressures that are relevant to natural and sexual selection including parasites, diet, habitat selection (inclusive UV radiation), costs of choice, alternative reproductive tactics using microsatellites, territory quality, population density.
  • field and laboratory studies on the role of natural and sexual selection in avoiding inbreeding in populations of different effective population size including the estimation of inbreeding coefficients using microsatellite markers, studies on the effects of inbreeding, mate choice and relatedness, choice behaviour as to relatedness and familiarity.


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