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Determinants of genetic diversity: Important Factors For Ecosystem Resilience

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "DIFFER" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: PETERSPLATZ 1
city: BASEL
postcode: 4051

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Switzerland [CH]
 Total cost 304˙724 €
 EC max contribution 304˙724 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2019
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-CAR
 Starting year 2020
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2020-10-01   to  2023-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITAT BASEL CH (BASEL) coordinator 304˙724.00


 Project objective

Genetic diversity – that is, the genomic variation among individuals of a given species – is pivotal for adaptation to environmental alterations and an important factor for ecosystem resilience. Yet, the determinants of genetic diversity remain poorly understood. Population size is often used as a proxy for genetic diversity, but the amount of genetic variation within populations is not always reflected by their population size. Instead, factors such as linked selection, the recombination-, mutation-, and speciation rate, or life history and ecological traits may be more strongly connected to genetic diversity. So far, the interplay of all these parameters has not been empirically investigated, so that their relative contributions to genetic diversity are unknown. In DIFFER!, I propose to thoroughly examine the role of all these potential determinants of genetic diversity by means of combining cutting-edge genomic techniques with a highly suitable model system: the more than 200 endemic cichlid fish species of the East African Lake Tanganyika. Owing to their great morphological and behavioral variation, contrasting speciation rates, and their recent radiation, these fishes offer an ideal framework for comparative analyses. Availability of long-read reference assemblies, recombination maps, a massive dataset of underwater photographs for estimating census population sizes, together with population sequencing of selected species and family-based ‘trio’ sequencing will enable me to investigate specifically the interplay between genetic diversity and (i) life history and ecological traits, (ii) speciation and hybridization rates, and (iii) mutation rates, while at the same time controlling for variation in population size, selection, and recombination. The results of this project will contribute towards the understanding of organismal evolution and provide a new basis for the evaluation of genetic diversity in ecosystem management.

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The information about "DIFFER" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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