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Dr Bettina Schirrmeister
Dr Bettina Schirrmeister
Marie Curie Individual Fellow
Area of research
Early Diversification of Cyanobacteria
I am an evolutionary biologist interested in the early history of life on Earth and the origin of multicellularity. My work focuses mainly on the evolution of cyanobacteria, formerly known as blue green algae. Cyanobacteria originated probably already in the Archean Eon. Around 2.4 billion years ago they are responsible for an increase of atmospheric oxygen, referred to as the Great Oxygenation Event (GOE). First evidence for various unicellular and multicellular cyanobacterial species is found in 2 billion year old rocks from the Belcher islands and Gunflint chert in Canada. With my work I hope to identify, (i) the origin of cyanobacteria, (ii) the diversification of morphological groups within this phylum, and (iii) the consequences this might have had on the early co-evolution of life and Earth.
To investigate these exciting questions I use methods of molecular phylogenomics in combination with 3D- analyses of fossilized microbial communities from the Precambrian. To see updates on my current status of research, please have a look at my project webpage evoxyproject.wordpress.com
- Evolutionary biology
- Molecular phylogenetics
- Schirrmeister, BE, Alexandre, A & Bagheri, HC 2011, The origin of multicellularity in cyanobacteria. BMC Evolutionary Biology, vol 11.
- Schirrmeister, BE, Vos, JMd, Antonelli, A & Bagheri, HC 2013, Evolution of multicellularity coincided with increased diversification of cyanobacteria and the Great Oxidation Event. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences of the united states of america, vol 110., pp. 1791-1796
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- Schirrmeister, BE, Gugger, M & Donoghue, PC 2015, Corrigendum to Cyanobacteria and the Great Oxidation Event: Evidence from genes and fossils. [Palaeontology. (2015). doi: 10.1111/pala.12178]. Palaeontology, vol 58., pp. 935-936
- Schirrmeister, B, Gugger, M & Donoghue, P 2015, Cyanobacteria and the Great Oxidation Event: Evidence from genes and fossils. Palaeontology, vol 58., pp. 769-785
- Schirrmeister, BE, Dalquen, DA, Anisimova, M & Bagheri, HC 2012, Gene copy number variation and its significance in cyanobacterial phylogeny. BMC Microbiology, vol 12.
- Sandrock, C, Schirrmeister, BE & Vorburger, C 2011, Evolution of reproductive mode variation and host associations in a sexual-asexual complex of aphid parasitoids. BMC Evolutionary Biology, vol 11.
- Schirrmeister, BE, Anisimova, M, Alexandre, A & Bagheri, HC 2011, Evolution of cyanobacterial morphotypes. Communicative & Integrative Biology, vol 4., pp. 424?427
- Rossetti, V, Schirrmeister, BE, Bernasconi, MV & Bagheri, HC 2010, The evolutionary path to terminal differentiation and division of labor in cyanobacteria. Journal of Theoretical Biology, vol 262., pp. 23-34
Dr Schirrmeister currently teaches 2 courses:
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