Steffen Pauls


Group members: 

Antonio Girela del Rio
Elena Grall
Anna Hjalmarsson
Felicitas Hoppeler

Sami Domisch
Katharina Hanneken
Mathias Kuemmerlen
Marcus Liebert
Ram Devi Tachamo Shah

Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre BiK-F
Mailing: Senckenberganlage 25, D-60325 Frankfurt/Main
Visitors: Georg-Voigt-Str. 14-16, Ebene 1, Raum 1.08
Phone: +49 (69) 7542 1884


Dr. Steffen Pauls

Project Area Leader, Project Area A

Junior Group Leader, Aquatic Evolutionary Ecology

My research focusses on the diversification and speciation of aquatic insects. Using population genetics, phylogeography and molecular systematics I analyse how species distributions arose, how they are being maintained, and how lineages are continuing to diversify. I am particularly interested in how changes in environmental conditions influence dispersal and migration of montane aquatic insects and thus shape historic, present day, and future distribution of species and intraspecific genetic diversity.


Genetic diversity under Climate Change (BiK-F C2.3)
Diversification and phylogeography of highland caddisflies (BiK-F A1.6, A1.16, DRUSUS (FWF), NeHTiR (DFG)
Identifying the Climate Sensitive Zone of Stream Ecosystems in Nepal
Diversity of Afrotropical Aquatic Insects

Selected Publications All international peer review publications

Bálint, M., Domisch, S., Engelhardt, C.H.M., Haase, P., Lehrian, S., Sauer, J., Theissinger, K.T., Pauls, S.U. & C. Nowak (2011): Cryptic biodiversity loss linked to global climate change. - Nature Climate Change 1:313-318.

Craft, K.J., Pauls, S.U., Darrow, K., Miller, S.E., Hebert, P.D.N., Novotny, V. & Weiblen, G. (2010) Population genetics of ecological communities with DNA barcodes: An example from New Guinea Lepidoptera. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107: 5041-5046.

Dijkstra, K.-D.B., Monaghan, M.T. & Pauls, S.U. (2014) Freshwater Biodiversity and Insect Diversification. Annual Review of Entomology 59: 143-163.

Domisch, S., Araújo, M.B., Bonada, N., Pauls, S.U., Jähnig, S.C., Haase, P. (2013) Modelling distribution in European stream macroinvertebrates under future climates. Global Change Biology 19, 752–762.

Engelhardt, C.H.M., Haase, P. & Pauls, S.U. (2011) From the Western Alps across Central Europe: Postglacial recolonisation of the tufa stream caddisfly Rhyacophila pubescens (Insecta, Trichoptera). Frontiers in Zoology 8:10.

Favre, A.*, Päckert, M., Pauls, S. U., Jähnig, S. C., Uhl, D., Michalak, I., & Muellner-Riehl, A. (2015) The role of the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau for the evolution of Tibetan biotas. Biological Reviews 90: 236-253.

Pauls, S.U., Graf, W., Haase, P., Lumbsch, H.T. & Waringer, J. (2008) Grazers, shredders and filtering carnivores — The evolution of feeding ecology in the Drusinae (Trichoptera: Limnephilidae): insights from a molecular phylogeny. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 46: 776-791.

Pauls, S.U., Lumbsch, H.T. & Haase, P. (2006) Phylogeography of the montane caddisfly Drusus discolor: evidence for multiple refugia and periglacial survival. Molecular Ecology, 15: 2153-2169.

Pauls, S.U., Nowak, C., Bálint, M. & Pfenninger, M. (2013) The impact of global climate change on genetic diversity within populations and species. Molecular Ecology 22: 925-946.

Tachamo-Shah, R.D.*, Sharma, S., Haase, P., Jähnig, S.+ & Pauls, S.U.+* (2015) The climate sensitive zone along an altitudinal gradient in central Himalayan rivers: a useful concept to monitor climate change impacts in mountain regions. Climatic Change.

Fast-Breaking Paper in Plant & Animal Science (Dec 2010):
Pauls, S.U., Theißinger, K., Ujvarosi, L., Balint, M. & Haase, P (2009) Population structure in two closely related, partially sympatric caddisflies in Eastern Europe: historic introgression, limited dispersal and cryptic diversity. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 28: 517-536.

Previšić, A., Schnitzler, J., Kučinić, M., Graf, W., Ibrahimi, H., Kerovec, M., & Pauls, S.U. (2014) Micro-Scale Vicariance and Diversification of Western Balkan Caddisflies Linked to Karstification. Freshwater Science. in press

Taubmann, J., Theissinger, K., Feldheim, K.A., Laube, I., Graf, W., Haase, P., Johannesen, J. & Pauls, S.U. (2011) Modelling range shifts and assessing genetic diversity distribution of the montane aquatic mayfly Ameletus inopinatus in Europe under climate change scenarios. Conservation Genetics 12: 503-515.

Theissinger, K., Bálint, M., Feldheim, K.A., Haase, P., Johannesen, J., Laube, I. & Pauls, S.U. (2013) Glacial survival and post-glacial recolonization of an arctic–alpine freshwater insect (Arcynopteryx dichroa, Plecoptera, Perlodidae) in Europe. Journal of Biogeography 40: 236-248.