Karim Ghali

For the last decades, evolution and maintenance of sex have been some of the major unsolved questions in evolutionary biology. Indeed, most eukaryotes are sexual, and fully asexual organisms are rare, despite many theoretical advantages of asexual reproduction.  The fact that sex is associated with considerable costs but maintained in the vast majority of organisms (the paradox of sex) can be explained by many different theories, focusing on direct short terms benefits of sex (e.g. Red queen dynamics, migration and spatial changes in selection, Hill-Robertson effect) or indirect long term advantages of sexual reproduction (e.g. Muller’s ratchet). Despite an increasing number of organisms used to address those questions, there is still a lack of example in natural populations.

During my Phd, I will use new model species to test different factors permitting to explain why some lineages remain sexual, as other displays a transition toward asexual reproduction.  Indeed, the genus of grass thrips Aptinothrips comprises four species, out of which two are obligate asexual (A. Karnyi, A.stylifer), one is sexual (A. elegans), and one where asexual and sexual lineages co-occurs in south Europe (A. rufus), and in which multiple transitions to asexuality have been observed.  This system is thus perfect to test the maintenance of sex, as it comprises multiple transitions to asexuality at the genus or species level, allowing us to make replicated comparisons between the two different reproductive modes.

2015-presentPhd fellowship at the University of Lausanne, Department of Ecology and Evolution (group prof. Tanja Schwander)

2009 -2015
University of Lausanne, Department of Ecology and Evolution: Laborant, Field biologist (group Prof. Perrin, group Prof. Chapuisat)

2011- 2013Vivarium de Lausanne: Project Manager in Science, Biologist

Swiss Biological Records Center (CSCF) & Coordination Center for the Conservation of Reptiles and Amphibians in Switzerland (KARCH): Civilian service

2006 -2008
Master of Sciences in Evolution and Conservation Biology at the DEE (University of Lausanne)

Master work on the evolution of MHC class II B genes in the barn owl (Tyto alba), supervised by Reto Burri, directed by Dr. Luca Fumagalli and Dr. Alexandre Roulin

First step project on the local adaptation and color polymorphism distribution in the tawny owl (Strix aluco), supervised by Romain Piault, directed by Dr. Alexandre Roulin

Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Lausanne

Born on the 9th of May 1984 in Lausanne, Switzerland

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Office room: 2107.2
Phone: +4121 692 4255
Fax: +4121 692 4165

Member of Schwander group

Biophore - CH-1015 Lausanne
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