Molecular Biology & Evolution


Molecular Ecology Resources

Journal of Biogeography


Dr. Frank Hailer


Research Focus
My professional interests focus on evolutionary and conservation biology in a broad sense. My research covers population genetics, phylogeography, systematics, evolutionary genomics, studies of hybridization, disease, mating systems and the loss/maintenance of genetic variation. I have studied multiple taxa including various species of tropical seabirds, eagles, wolves, coyotes and dogs, Tasmanian devils, turtles, fruit flies, lynxes, elephants etc.

since 2011: Postdoc, BiK-F
2007-2010: Postdoc, Smithsonian National Zoo, Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics, Washington, DC, USA
2006-2007: Postdoc, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Uppsala University, Sweden
2006: Ph.D., Evolutionary Genetics, Uppsala University, Sweden
2001: M.Sc., Biology, Uppsala University, Sweden
1998: Basic exam in Biology (‘Vordiplom’), Marburg University, Germany

After studies in biology at Marburg University (Germany), I completed my Master’s degree at Uppsala University (Sweden), where I continued to pursue PhD studies in the lab of Hans Ellegren and Carles Vilà (now at CSIC, Spain). My PhD work focused on conservation genetics of white-tailed eagles, but I also worked on other projects on dog domestication and canid population genetics. I then worked with Jennifer Leonard on hybridization of coyotes and wolves in North America. In 2007 I started a new postdoc with Rob Fleischer at the Smithsonian National Zoo.

At BiK-F, I am working in Axel Janke’s group, studying adaptation and population genetics of arctic vertebrates, using genomic methods.

Selected publications (full list available on Google Scholar, or see this PDF):

1. Bidon T, Janke A, Fain SR, Eiken HG, Hagen SB, Saarma U, Hallström BM, Lecomte N, Hailer F (2014) Brown and polar bear Y chromosomes reveal extensive male-biased gene flow within brother lineages. Molecular Biology and Evolution 31 (6): 1353-1363. (10.1093/molbev/msu109)

2. Hailer F, Kutschera VE, Hallström BM, Klassert D, Fain SR, Leonard JA, Arnason U, Janke A (2012) Nuclear genomic sequences reveal that polar bears are an old and distinct bear lineage. Science 336: 344-347. (doi: 10.1126/science.1216424)
-- FREE access to Full text and PDF

3. Hailer F, Schreiber EA, Miller JM, Levin II, Parker PG, Chesser RT, Fleischer RC (2011) Long-term isolation of a highly mobile seabird on the Galapagos. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B. 278(1707): 817-825. (doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1342) (featured in Science - Editor’s choice on 22 Oct 2010)

4. Hailer F, Leonard JA (2008) Hybridization among Three Native North American Canis Species in a Region of Natural Sympatry. PLoS One 3(10): e3333. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003333)

5. Björnerfeldt S, Hailer F, Nord M, Vila C (2008) Assortative mating and fragmentation within dog breeds. BMC Evolutionary Biology 8:28. (doi: 10.1186/1471-2148-8-28)

6. Hailer F, Helander B, Folkestad AO, Ganusevich SA, Garstad S, Hauff P, Koren C, Masterov VB, Nygård T, Rudnick JA, Saiko S, Skarphedinsson K, Volke V, Wille F, Vilà C (2007): Phylogeography of the white-tailed eagle, a generalist with large dispersal capacity. Journal of Biogeography 34, 1193-1206. (doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2007.01697.x)

7. Dowling DK, Friberg U, Hailer F, Arnqvist G (2007) Intergenomic epistasis for fitness: within-population interactions between cytoplasmic and nuclear genes in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 175: 235-244. (doi: 10.1534/genetics.105.052050)

8. Hailer F, Helander B, Folkestad AO, Ganusevich SA, Garstad S, Hauff P, Koren C, Nygård T, Volke V, Vilà C, Ellegren H (2006) Bottlenecked but long-lived: high genetic diversity retained in white-tailed eagles upon recovery from population decline. Biology Letters 2: 316-319. (doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2006.0453)

9. Sundqvist A-K, Björnerfeldt S, Leonard J, Hailer F, Hedhammar Å, Ellegren H and Vilà C (2006) Unequal contribution of sexes in the origin of dog breeds. Genetics 172: 1121-1128. (doi: 10.1534/genetics.105.042358)