Lukas Schrader

Institute of Evolution, Behaviour & Genetics
Biology I

University of Regensburg
D-93040 Regensburg
Phone : +49 941 943 2130


I am interested in the molecular and genetic mechanisms involved in caste determination in Cardiocondyla obscurior. Though caste differentiation in social hymenoptera offers a prime example for phenotypic plasticity, insight in involved developmental patterns is scarce. With the production of winged and wingless individuals in either sex, C. obscurior provides an ideal model system to study general and basic mechanisms of phenotypic plasticity. Within my PhD thesis I aim to elucidate how caste determination in C. obscurior is governed on a genetic and molecular level and how exogenous signals are epigenetically imprinted in early larvae, determining the larvae's fate in caste development.

Furthermore, I aim to uncover mechanisms enabling developmental plasticity in Cardiocondyla. Some closely related sister-taxa of C. obscurior exclusively produce ergatoid (i.e. wingless) males. Comparing studies among different Cardiocondyla species, focusing proximate patterns involved in caste development appear promising to illuminate the molecular and genetic basis crucial for winged male production.


2005-2010 Student of biology at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Field work on ant-plant mutualisms at 'Sibaliw' research station of PanayCon (formerly     PESCP) on Panay (Philippines)

Diploma thesis in the Schünemann lab (Analysis on the Phylogenesis of the cpSRP system             in Plants)
2011    PhD student at the Heinze lab