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Dr. T. Thünken

timo.jpg   Dr. rer. nat. Timo Thünken

Post-Doc

Phone:    +49 228 73 57 49
Fax:         +49 228 73 23 21
e-mail   

Research interest:

I am mainly interested in functions and mechanisms of kin discrimination. In particular, my research focuses on kin recognition mechanisms and the operation of kin selection in different contexts ranging from juvenile shoaling over intra-sexual competition to mate-choice and parental care. As model system I use Pelvicachromis taeniatus, a socially monogamous cichlid fish with intense biparental brood care from West Africa. The unusual kin mating preferences in this species provide the possibility to examine the ecological and genetic requirements for adaptive inbreeding. In this context, also levels of inbreeding in natural populations using microsatellites are estimated.

A further research focus lies on the function of (especially female) conspicuous body colouration in sexual selection (together with Sebastian Baldauf) and the evolution of sperm traits in Pelvicachromis taeniatus.

Moreover, I am interested in predator-induced behavioural and morphological plasticity (based on chemical cues) as well as in host/parasitic interactions in gammarids and their acanthocephalan parasites.

Collaborations outside the Bakker research group

Dr. Joachim Frommen, Ethologische Station Hasli, Hinterkappelen, Universität Bern, Switzerland
Dr. Fabian Herder, Curator for Ichthyology, Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Bonn
Dr. Harald Kullmann, Zentrum für Didaktik der Biologie, Uni Münster
Dipl.-Biol. Julia Schwarzer, Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig (molecular lab), Bonn

Publications:
  • Hesse, S. & Thünken, T. (2014). Growth and social behavior in a cichlid fish are affected by social rearing environment and kinship. Naturwissenschaften 101:273–283.
pdf upon request
  • Thünken, T., Eigster, M. & Frommen, J. G. (2014). Context-dependent group size preferences in large shoals of three-spined stickleback. Anim. Behav. 90: 205-210.
pdf upon request
  • Thünken, T., Bakker, T. C. M. & Baldauf, S. A. (2014). “Armpit effect” in an African cichlid fish: self-referent kin recognition in mating decisions of male Pelvicachromis taeniatus. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 68: 99-104.
pdf upon request
  • Langen, K., Thünken, T. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2013). No experimental evidence for sneaking behaviour in a West African cichlid with extremely long sperm. Int. J. Evol. Biol. 2013: 714304.
published online
  • Baldauf, S. A., Engqvist, L., Ottenheym, T., Bakker, T. C. M. & Thünken, T. (2013). Sex-specific conditional mating preferences in a cichlid fish: implications for sexual conflict. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 67:1179-1186
published online
  • Meuthen, D., Rick, I.P., Thünken, T. & Baldauf S. A. (2012). Visual prey detection by near-infrared cues in a fish. Naturwissenschaften 99:1063-1066.
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  • Meuthen, D., Baldauf S. A. & Thünken, T. (2012). Evolution of alarm cues: a role for kin selection?. F1000 Research 1:27
published online
  • Hesse, S., Bakker, T. C. M. , Baldauf, S. A. & Thünken, T. (2012). Kin recognition by phenotype matching is family-rather than self-referential in juvenile cichlid fish. Anim. Behav. 84: 451-457
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  • Thünken, T., Meuthen, D., Bakker, T. C. M. & Baldauf, S. A. (2012). A sex-specific trade-off between mating preferences for genetic compatibility and body size in a cichlid fish with mutual mate choice. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B. 279:2959-2964.
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  • Langen, K., Schwarzer, J., Kullmann, H., Bakker, T. C. M. & Thünken, T. (2011). Microsatellite support for active inbreeding in a cichlid fish. PLoS One 6:e24689.
published online
  • Meuthen, D., Baldauf, S. A., Bakker, T. C. M. & Thünken, T. (2011). Substrate-treated water: A method to enhance fish activity in laboratory experiments. Aquatic Biol. 13:35-40.
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  • Baldauf, S. A., Kullmann, H., Bakker, T. C. M. & Thünken, T. (2011). Female nuptial coloration and its adaptive significance in a mutual mate choice system. Beh. Ecol. 22:478-485.
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  • Thünken, T., Baldauf, S. A., Kullmann, H., Schuld, J., Hesse, S. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2011). Size-related inbreeding preference and competitiveness in male Pelvicachromis taeniatus (Cichlidae). Beh. Ecol. 22:358–362.
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  • Frommen, J. G. , Herder, F., Engqvist, L., Mehlis, M., Bakker, T. C. M., Schwarzer, J. & Thünken, T. (2011). Costly plastic morphological responses to predator specific odour cues in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Evol. Ecol. Evol. Ecol. 25: 641-656
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  • Baldauf, S. A., Bakker, T. C. M., Herder, F., Kullmann, H. & Thünken, T. (2010). Male mate choice scales female ornament allometry in a cichlid fish. BMC Evol. Biol. 10:301
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  • Thünken, T., Baldauf, S. A., Bersau, N., Bakker, T. C. M., Kullmann, H. & Frommen, J. G. (2010). Impact of olfactory non-host predator cues on aggregation behaviour and activity in Polymorphus minutus infected Gammarus pulex. Hydrobiologia 654, 137-145.
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  • Thünken, T., Meuthen, D., Bakker, T. C. M. & Kullmann, H. (2010). Parental investment in relation to offspring quality in the biparental cichlid fish, Pelvicachromis taeniatus. Anim. Behav. 80: 69-74.
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  • Baldauf, S. A., Kullmann, H., Schroth, S. H., Thünken, T. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2009). You can't always get what you want: size assortative mating by mutual mate choice as a resolution of sexual conflict. BMC Evol. Biol. 9:129.
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  • Baldauf, S. A., Kullmann, H., Thünken, T., Winter, S. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2009). Computer animation as a tool to study preferences in the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus. J. Fish Biol. 75, 738–746.
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  • Thünken, T., Bakker, T. C. M., Waltschyk, N. & Kullmann, H. (2009). Olfactory self-recognition in a cichlid fish. Anim. Cogn. 12: 717-724.
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  • Kullmann, H., Thünken, T., Baldauf, S. A., Bakker, T. C. M. & Frommen, J. G. (2008). Fish odour triggers conspecific attraction behavior in an aquatic invertebrate. Biol. Lett. 4: 458-460.
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  • Thünken, T., Bakker, T. C. M., Baldauf, S.A. & Kullmann, H. (2007). Direct familiarity does not alter mating preferences for sisters in male Pelvicachromis taeniatus (Cichlidae). Ethology 113: 1107-1112.
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  • Thünken, T., Bakker, T. C. M. & Kullmann, H. (2007). Extraordinarily long sperm in the socially monogamous cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus. Naturwissenschaften 94: 489-491.
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  • Thünken, T., Bakker, T. C. M., Baldauf, S. A. & Kullmann, H. (2007). Active inbreeding in a cichlid fish and its adaptive significance. Curr. Biol. 17: 225-229.
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  • Baldauf, S. A., Thünken, T., Frommen, J. G., Bakker, T. C. M., Heupel, O. & Kullmann, H. (2007). Infection with an acanthocephalan manipulates an amphipod's reaction to a fish predator's odours. Int. J. Parasitol. 37, 61-65.
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PhD thesis:

  • Thünken, T. (2008). On mate choice, kin recognition and the adaptive significance of inbreeding in the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus. PhD-thesis, University of Bonn, Germany.
Diploma thesis:

  • Thünken, T. (2002). Einfluß der Anwesenheit eines paarungsbereiten Männchens auf den Verpaarungserfolg eines Nestbesitzers beim Dreistachligen Stichling (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.): Eine experimentelle Freilanduntersuchung. Diploma-thesis, University of Bonn, Germany.

 

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