Axel Wiberg

Post doc. vid Institutionen för ekologi och genetik, Evolutionsbiologi

Evolutionsbiologiskt centrum
Norbyvägen 18D
752 36 UPPSALA
Evolutionsbiologiskt centrum
Norbyvägen 18D
752 36 UPPSALA

Kort presentation

Detta stycke finns inte på svenska, därför visas den engelska versionen.

I am interested in the processes of sexual selection and sexual conflict as drivers of evolutionary change. I apply the tools of comparative and population genomics to understand the changes in allele frequencies and gene expression patterns that give rise to new or exaggerated traits and how they diversify in the context of sexual selection and conflict. I am currently working in the research group of Elina Immonen.

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My website

Detta stycke finns inte på svenska, därför visas den engelska versionen.

Current research

Since January 2022, I am a postdoc in the group of Elina Immonen. My work here will investigate gene expression changes in response to different forms of selection for increased sexual dimorphism in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus.

In the past

From October 2017 until the end of 2021 I worked as a post-doc in the group of Dr. Lukas Schärer at the University of Basel, in Switzerland, where my work involved comparative genomics in a genus of hermaphroditic flatworms called Macrostomum. My research focused on the molecular evolution of reproduction-related genes (genes expressed in the ovaries, testes and prostate glands) in the genus Macrostomum. I applied comparative methods to understand sequence evolution as well as gene gain and loss across several species of this genus. Additionally, worked on assembling genomes for additional species in this clade (M. hystrix and M. cliftonensis) to improve and expand the available genetic resources.

Between 2014 and 2017 I conducted my PhD studies at the University of St Andrews under the supervision of Prof. Mike Ritchie. My main focus was on population genomic analyses of experimental evolution lines of Drosophila pseudoobscura under altered mating systems, and natural populations of Drosophila montana, an extremely cold-tolerant fly. A large component of my thesis focused on an experimental evolution system in D. pseudoobscura adapting to either high polyandry or enforced monogamy environments. These environments were taken to increase and decrease (respectively) the effects of sexual selection and sexual conflict. I developed novel methods to identify genomic marker alleles that had consistently changed in frequency between treatments across several replicated experiments. Several distinct regions showed SNPs with a consistent allele frequency difference between E and M lines across replicates. These regions contained genes involved in e.g. the cocktail of seminal fluid proteins passed along with the male ejaculate during mating.

For my M.Sc. thesis I assessed the signal of recent selection at long non-coding RNA (lncRNAs) loci in the Mouse genome. lncRNAs with a known function showed signatures of recent selection comparable to protein coding genes while the majority of newly identified lncRNAs did not show such a signal. This suggests that a) the characteristic population genetic signals of reduced diversity at functional loci are a good indicator of function, and b) that the majority of novel lncRNA loci show no evidence of being functional loci.

For my B.Sc. thesis I studied sexual dimorphism in dance flies (Diptera: Empididae). Species vary in the levels of female ornamentation and in exaggerated male eye structures. Sexual conflict over matings and nuptial gift resource allocation as well as sexually antagonistic coevolution offer compelling explanations for patterns of covariation in male eye exaggerations and female ornamentation seen across taxa in this group of flies.

CV in brief

2022-Present : Post-doc, Immonen group, Uppsala University

2017-2021 : Post-doc, Schärer group, University of Basel

2013-2017 : Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology and Genomics, University of St Andrews, Scotland, (Supervised by Professor Mike Ritchie)

2012-2013 : M.Sc. in Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis, University of Edinburgh, Scotland

2008-2012 : B.Sc. in Animal Biology, University of Stirling, Scotland

1988 : Born, in Finland

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Axel Wiberg
Senast uppdaterad: 2021-03-09