prof. dr. B. (Bregje) Wertheim
In my research, I use state-of-the-art technologies and analyses, and employ these to fundamental questions in evolutionary ecology, and in applied research. Rather than trying to minimize the genetic variation in our genomics experiments to facilitate the analyses, my strategy is actually to exploit, quantify and characterize genomic variation to gain fundamental knowledge on ecological traits and evolutionary processes.
In my research, I focus on Drosophila, as this genetically tractable model system with well-studied ecological drivers is ideal for addressing the molecular mechanisms of evolutionary adaptation. In this system, I map the complex gene networks that coordinate ecologically relevant traits and reveal how genomes change during evolution. My research aims are to unravel the molecular principles of evolutionary innovation, and to study functional diversification and interference of gene regulatory networks. For applied research, I will continue to work together with my commercial partners for co-creation of knowledge for biological control, insect mass-rearing and in developing insects as mini-livestock for feed.