Simit Patel

Dr. Simit Patel


About me

After obtaining my undergraduate degree in Zoology at University of Wales, Aberystwyth in the UK, I went on to do a PhD in population genetics/genomics at University of Reading with Professor Mark Beaumont.  For my PhD, I was performing AFLP genome scans to detect loci under selection among populations of Cepaea nemoralis, a land snail that demonstrates phenotypic variation with habitat type.

Research Interests

I am primarily interested in population genomics research. More specifically, I am interested in detecting genes under selection in natural populations of non-model organisms (e.g. insects, snails, fish), particularly genes involved in local adaptation and speciation.  By screening for differences in multiple genetic markers from across the genome we can pick out the most divergent markers amongst natural populations. These ‘outlier loci’ give us clues as to where to look in the genome for genes under selection. I am interested in applying this genome scan approach to address fundamental questions in ecology and evolution, such as: how does selection vary across the genome?  I also have wider interests in molecular ecology and landscape genomics.

Research at BiK-F

Here at BiK-F, I am a post-doc in the working group of Prof. Dr. Markus Pfenninger. My main research activities involve performing genome-wide scans using the latest ‘next generation’ sequencing (NGS) technologies.  In particular, I am using the ‘Pool-Seq’ approach to obtain massive amounts of sequence data from genomic DNA pools – each pool containing a mixture of DNA from lots of individuals from the same population. I have on-going projects comparing clear water and sulphur adapted populations of the Atlantic Molly (Poecilia mexicana) and local adaption across climatic gradients in the non-biting midge (Chironomous riparius). 
Of course, population genomics is only one piece of the puzzle. I am also trying to integrate genetics/genomics research with environmental, physiological and experimental data to better understand the ecological significance of evolutionary processes.



Nemec S, Patel S, Nowak C, Pfenninger M. (2012) Evolutionary determinants of population differences in population growth rate x habitat temperature interactions in Chironomus riparius. Oecologia, (DOI) 10.1007/s00442-012-2517-3

Phone: +49 (0)69 7542 1839