FLATT Thomas

  • Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Adaptation, Evo-Devo, Experimental Evolution, Genotype-Phenotype, Life History, Population Genetics / Genomics, Quantitative Genetics
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I am an evolutionary geneticist interested in the evolution and mechanisms of life history and aging, mainly using Drosophila as a model system. A major focus of my work is on understanding the genomic basis of evolutionary changes in life history traits and lifespan in natural and evolved laboratory populations. Another focus is on the hormonal regulation of life history trade-offs (especially the trade-off between reproduction and lifespan) and the endocrine modulation of aging. I am currently a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Professor at the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Lausanne. Prior to my position in Lausanne, I was a permanent group leader at the Institute of Population Genetics at the Vetmeduni Vienna and a faculty member of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics. I received my M.Sc. in population biology from the University of Basel in 1999 for work on phenotypic plasticity, supervised by Prof. Stephen Stearns and Prof. Richard Shine (Sydney). I earned my Ph.D. in 2004 for work on the hormonal regulation of life history traits and trade-offs from the University of Fribourg (supervised by Prof. Tadeusz Kawecki). After my Ph.D. I was a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Marc Tatar at Brown University (Providence, USA), sponsored by the SNSF and the Roche Research Foundation. In 2011 I co-edited a book on the genetic and physiological mechanisms of life history evolution (Oxford University Press 2011, with Andreas Heyland). I have served on the editorial boards of several journals, including as a Deciding Editor for the Journal of Evolutionary Biology; currently I am an Associate Editor at Evolution and a contributing member of the Faculty of 1000. In 2012 I was a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.

3 recommendations

2016-12-19
Geographic body size variation in the periodical cicadas Magicicada: implications for life cycle divergence and local adaptation
Koyama T, Ito H, Kakishima S, Yoshimura J, Cooley JR, Simon C, Sota T
10.1111/jeb.12653

Recommended by Wolf Blanckenhorn and Thomas Flatt
Megacicadas show a temperature-mediated converse Bergmann cline in body size (larger in the warmer south) but no body size difference between 13- and 17-year species pairs

Periodical cicadas are a very prominent insect group in North America that are known for their large size, good looks, and loud sounds. However, they are probably known best to evolutionary ecologists because of their long juvenile periods of 13 or 17 years (prime numbers!), which they spend in the ground. Multiple related species living in the same area are often coordinated in emerging as adults during the same year, thereby presumably swamping any predators specialized on eating them.
Life...

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2016-12-13
Structural genomic changes underlie alternative reproductive strategies in the ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Lamichhaney S, Fan G, Widemo F, Gunnarsson U, Thalmann DS, Hoeppner MP, Kerje S, Gustafson U, Shi C, Zhang H, et al.
doi:10.1038/ng.3430

Recommended by Thomas Flatt and Laurent Keller
Supergene Control of a Reproductive Polymorphism

Two back-to-back papers published earlier this year in Nature Genetics provide compelling evidence for the control of a male reproductive polymorphism in a wading bird by a "supergene", a cluster of tightly linked genes [1-2]. The bird in question, the ruff (Philomachus pugnax), has a rather unusual reproductive system that consists of three distinct types of males ("reproductive morphs"): aggressive "independents" who represent the majority of males; a smaller fraction of non-territorial "sat...

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2016-12-13
A supergene determines highly divergent male reproductive morphs in the ruff
Küpper C, Stocks M, Risse JE, dos Remedios N, Farrell LL, McRae SB, Morgan TC, Karlionova N, Pinchuk P, Verkuil YI, et al.
doi:10.1038/ng.3443

Recommended by Thomas Flatt and Laurent Keller
Supergene Control of a Reproductive Polymorphism

Two back-to-back papers published earlier this year in Nature Genetics provide compelling evidence for the control of a male reproductive polymorphism in a wading bird by a "supergene", a cluster of tightly linked genes [1-2]. The bird in question, the ruff (Philomachus pugnax), has a rather unusual reproductive system that consists of three distinct types of males ("reproductive morphs"): aggressive "independents" who represent the majority of males; a smaller fraction of non-territorial "sat...

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