I am an evolutionary biologist and passionate naturalist with a particular interest in microevolution. Microevolution is focused on evolutionary change that takes place within populations and that ultimately lead to divergence between populations. I make use of quantitative genetic techniques for studying the genetic architecture of sexually selected traits and of molecular markers for localizing additive genetic variation in the genome ('QTL mapping'). Two particularly intriguing topics are the evolution of sexual ornamentation and of behavioral strategies for successful reproduction. Another special focus lies on the sources of variation in mating preferences, an important component of sexual selection. Other interests include life history evolution, inbreeding depression, condition-dependent trait expression, biostatistics and animal migration.
We are working with the club-legged grasshopper (Gomphocerus sibiricus) as a novel model system for studying the evolution of sexually selected traits. The species is remarkable for its sexually dimorphic ornament: males possess swollen front legs ('Popeye arms') that are presented to the females during display. The system is amenable to laboratory and field work, which offers great opportunities for testing results from the lab in the natural environment. Another key advantage is that the species allows studies within populations as well as between populations/subspecies. The main aim of my work is to understand the coevolution and conflict between the sexes using quantitative genetic and genomic tools. By doing so, I am addressing fundamental evolutionary questions such as the evolution of sexual signals and the evolutionary dynamics of indirect genetic effects.
Dieker, P., Beckmann, L., Teckentrup, J. & Schielzeth, H. (2018). Spatial analyses of two colour polymorphisms in an alpine grasshopper reveal a role of small-scale heterogeneity. Ecology and Evolution 8: 7273-7284. doi: 10.1002/ece1003.4156.
Schielzeth, H., Rios Villamil, A. & Burri, R.(2018). Success and failure in replication of genotype-phenotype associations: How does replication help in understanding the genetic basis of phenotypic variation in outbred populations? Molecular Ecology Resources 4: 739-754. doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12780.
Köhler, G., Samietz, J. & Schielzeth, H. (2017). Morphological and colour morph clines along an altitudinal gradient in the meadow grasshopper Pseudochorthippus parallelus. PLoS One 12: e0189815. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0189815
de Villemereuil, P., Morrisey, M., Nakagawa, S. & Schielzeth, H. (2018). Fixed effect variance and the estimation of repeatabilities and heritabilities: Issues and solutions. Journal of Evolutionary Biology doi: 10.1111/jeb.13232.
Nakagawa, S., Johnson, P.C.D. & Schielzeth, H. (2017). The coefficient of determination R² and intra-class correlation coefficient from generalized linear mixed-effects models revised and expanded. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 14: 20170213. doi:10.1098/rsif.2017.0213.
Knief, U., Schielzeth, H., Backström, N., Hemmrich-Stanisak, G., Wittig, M., Franke, A., Griffith, S.C., Ellegren, H., Kempenaers, B. & Forstmeier, W. (2017). Association mapping of morphological traits in wild and captive zebra finches: reliable within but not between populations. Molecular Ecology 26: 1285-1305. doi:10.1111/mec.14009.
Stoffel, M.A., Nakagawa, S. & Schielzeth, H. (2017). rptR: Repeatability estimation and variance decomposition by generalized linear mixed-effects models. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 8: 1639-1644. doi:10.1111/2041-210X.12797