Department for Ecology and Evolution
Institute of Biology I (Zoology)
D-79104 Freiburg im Breisgau
julius.rombach @ biologie.uni-freiburg.de
As a doctoral candidate supervised by Dr. Volker Nehring, Prof. Dr. Sandra Steiger, and Prof. Dr. Peter Biedermann, my main interest is to use advanced molecular techniques and bioinformatics tools to unravel the mechanisms that have shaped the molecular evolution of social behavior in beetles. My aim is to contribute to a broader understanding of the evolutionary origins of molecular processes which are responsible for the evolution of social behavior and to learn more about how these processes change in the transition to higher levels of sociality.
Current project: Evolutionary genomics of sociality in beetles
In nature, social behavior is a widespread phenomenon which ranges from simple and intentional social interactions between individuals to intricate societies where social behavior plays a crucial role in every aspect of life. In recent years we have learned a lot about the responsible evolutionary and molecular mechanisms from studies on eusocial hymenoptera and termites. But what about beetles? How did social behavior evolve there? What are the molecular patterns responsible for it?
To address these questions, I aim to discover the genomic patterns linked to the multiple origins of sub-sociality in wood boring weevils and carrion beetles. These two beetle families exhibit varying levels of social behavior, providing an excellent opportunity to study the genomic changes associated with the transitions from solitary to subsocial and eusocial behavior. Within this comparative study I am using transcriptomics and behavioral experiments to associate gene expression to various aspects of parental care behavior in beetles.
Since November 2022 – Doctoral candidate at the University of Freiburg
2019 – 2022 – MSc. University of Freiburg (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology)
2016 – 2019 – BSc. Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (Biology)