Universität Bonn

Institut für Evolutionsbiologie und Ökologie

An der Immenburg 1

53121 Bonn, Germany



Frau Kirsten Hennes

Tel.: +49-228-73-5122

Fax.: +49-228-73-5129

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Prof. Dr. Thomas Bartolomaeus


Prof. Dr. Thomas Bartolomaeus 

Tel.: +49 228 73 63 69
+49 228 73 51 29
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 Curriculum Vitae















Evolution: Inferring deep nodes in the largest animal taxon, Bilateria, is a challenge for reconstructing the tree of life. A combined approach to bilaterian phylogeny uses internal anatomy, histology and ultrastructure, and descriptive developmental studies. The molecular work on bilaterian phylogeny has been a collaboration with Christoph Bleidorn and Lars Podsiadlowski since 2000. Addressing the linguistic problem in morphology and attempts for a morphological resource descriptive framework (RDF) ontology is a collaboration with Lars Vogt. The position of Nemertea and the evolution of annelids presently are a special focus of our work. A taxonomic data base including morphological and molecular data of North European Nemertea is developed together with Jörn von Döhren, and annelid ultrastructure of chaetogenesis and nephridia is studied in collaboration with Björn Quast. Within the framework of a Priority Program of the German Science Foundation "Deep Metazoan Phylogeny" we started investigations on the fate of the embryonic coeloms in Arthropoda and the formation of the nephridia together with Markus Koch.

Taxonomy: Nemerteans are difficult to identify when using external characters, and histological studies are needed to confirm species identity. In a long term project biological, ecological, morphological (histology), and molecular markers (COI, 18S, 28S, 16S) are collected and summarized for important North European species and implemented in a data base of the online platform Morph·D·Base. Complete high resolution series of histological sections are deposited therein, together with images of living animals. All data result from Bachelor theses and are intended to alleviate species identification with morphological and/or molecular methods. This project is in collaboration with Jörn von Döhren and Peter Grobe (ZFMK Bonn).

Ultrastructure and phylogeny of polychaetes: Polychaetes are a highly diverse taxon, the interrelationships of which are still not sufficiently resolved. Most analyses suffer from insufficient comparative morphological data, the lack of which systematically concerns a large number of polychaete subgroups. Since the late 1990s we are focusing on the ultrastructure and formation of chaetae and larval nephridia.

Chaetae are known to possess a high structural diversity within the polychaetes, but are also taxon-specific so that their structure has an enormous taxonomic value. Their structure and orientation is determined by the microvilli of a single cell, the chaetoblast, and by modulating these microvilli in time. We therefore assume that chaetogenesis must be subjected to strict regulatory mechanisms to guarantee that chaetae are identically organized within an organism, a population or a species. Therefore, regulation of chaetogenesis must be conservative enough, to trade certain types of chaetae within a given line of ancestors and descendants. Identical structure and genesis of chaetae should provide evidence that certain types of chaetae depend on inherited information that evolved in a common stem lineage. Such correspondences should indicate closed ancestor-descendant. Studies into the chaetogenesis are in collaboration with Harald Hausen and Ekin Tilic.

Larval protonephridia or head kidneys are the first nephridial organs that are differentiated during ontogenesis and restricted to a relatively short period in the animals’ life. These organs consist of a limited number of cells, but show a high variability between higher taxa. Presently that is some evidence that their corresponding ultrastructure indicates monophyletic taxa within the Annelida. In addition head kidneys are highly suitable for RDF coding. These studies are in collaboration with Björn Quast, Peter Grobe and Lars Vogt. 



Lectures: Morphologie und Evolution der Tiere, Adaptive Radiation der Metazoa, Ökologie, Organismic Biology: Evolution, Biodiversity, Physiology

Practical courses: Morphologie und Evolution der Tiere, Adaptive Radiation der Metazoa, Causes and Mechanisms of Evolution, Ökologie des Wattenmeeres (zweiwöchiges Freilandpraktikum in List/Sylt); Meeresbiologie (zweiwöchiges Freilandpraktikum in Concarneau (Bretagne, Frankreich)).

Seminars & Colloquia: Evolutionsbiologisches Kolloquium


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Editorial Board Zoomorphology

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