Project groups


Pliocene, Pleistocene and Holocene climate cooling and warming caused major range shifts and greatly affected the diversification of organisms. From the knowledge of how the evolutionary trajectories of lineages and species were affected by historic climate change, we can gain insight into how future changes may influence these species. One major question that we are addressing in several groups of aquatic insects is: How did past climate change effect diversification patterns in aquatic insects? To address this question my collaborators and I are examining the comparative phylogeography of aquatic highland insects in Europe, North America and South America (mayflies, stoneflies and caddisflies). Additionally we are examining the relationship between molecular and morphological diversification, trait evolution and niche evolution of several highly diversified groups of caddisflies. For example we are studying the effects of mountain uplift on speciation and trait evolution in the genus Smicridea in the Andes and selected clades of Rhyacophilidae in the Himalaya. Furthermore we are elucidating the role of palaeoclimatic and geological processes in the diversification of the micro-endemic rich Drusinae.


Bálint, M., Ujvárosi, L., Theissinger, K., Mészáros, N., Lehrian, S. & S.U. Pauls (2011) : A Neglected Diversity Hotspot: Genetic Variation in the Carpathians. pp 189-205 in Habel, J. (ed.) Biodiversity Hotspots in Europe. Springer.

Dijkstra, K.-D.B, Monaghan, M.T. & S.U. Pauls (2014) : Freshwater Biodiversity and Insect Diversification. - Annual Review of Entomology 59: 143–63.

Engelhardt, C.H.M., Haase, P. & S.U. Pauls (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. & A. Muellner-Riehl (2015) : The role of the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau for the evolution of Tibetan biotas. - Biological Reviews 90: 236-253.

Hjalmarsson, A.E., Bergsten, J. & M.T. Monaghan (2014) : Dispersal is linked to habitat use in 59 species of water beetles (Coleoptera: Adephaga) on Madagascar. - Ecography 38, Early view.

Hjalmarsson, A.E., Bukontaite, R., Ranarilalatiana, T., Randriamihaja, J.H. & J. Bergsten (2013) : Taxonomic revision of Madagascan Rhantus (Coleoptera, Dytiscidae, Colymbetinae) with an emphasis on Manjakatompo as a conservation priority. - ZooKeys 45: 21-45.

Kautz, S., Ballhorn, D.J., Kroiß, J., Pauls, S.U., Moreau, C.S., Eilmus, S., Strohm, E. & M. Heil (2012) : Host plant use by competing acacia‑ants: Mutualists monopolize while parasites share hosts. - PLoS One 7: e37691.

Lehrian, S., Bálint, M., Haase, P. & S.U. Pauls (2010) : Genetic population structure of an autumn emerging caddisfly with inherently low dispersal capacity and insights into its phylogeography. - Journal of the North American Benthological Society 29: 1100-1118.

Macher, J.-N., Rozenberg, A., Pauls, S.U., Tollrian, R., Wagner, R. & F. Leese (2015) : Assessing the phylogeographic history of the montane caddisfly Thremma gallicum: a comparison of sequence data from mitochondria and restriction-site associated DNA markers (RAD). - Ecology and Evolution 5: 648-662.

Malicky, H. & S.U. Pauls (2012) : Crossbreeding of Chaetopteryx morettii and related species, with molecular and eidonomical results (Trichoptera, Limnephilidae). Annales de Limnologie - International Journal of Limnology 48: 13-19. 

Previsic, A., Schnitzler, J., Kucinic, M., Graf, W., Ibrahimi, H., Kerovec, M. & S.U. Pauls (2014) : Micro-Scale Vicariance and Diversification of Western Balkan Caddisflies Linked to Karstification. - Freshwater Science 33: 250-262.

Shah, R.D.T., Narayan Shah, D. & S. Domisch (2012) :  Range shifts of a relict Himalayan dragonfly in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region under climate change scenarios. - International Journal of Odonatology 15: 209-222.

Sipahiler, F. & S. Pauls (2012) : Two new species of the genus Schizopelex McLachlan, from northern Turkey (Trichoptera, Sericostomatidae). Munis Entomology & Zoology, 7: 184-190.

Stärz, M., Gong, X., Stein, R., Darby, D.A., Kauker, F. & G. Lohmann (2012) : Glacial shortcut of Arctic sea-ice transport. - Earth and Planetary Science Letters 357-358: 257-267.

Tachamo-Shah, R.D., Sharma, S., Haase, P., Jähnig, S. & S.U. Pauls (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. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-015-1417-z

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.

Theissinger, K., Laube, I., Bálint, M., Johannesen, J., Haase, P. & S.U. Pauls (2011) : Species distribution models and molecular data reveal the Pleistocene history of the cold-adapted mayfly Ameletus inopinatus (Ephemeroptera: Siphlonuridae) in Europe. Freshwater Biology 56: 2554–2566.