Yuanshu Pu


Research interest


My research interests lie in the evolutionary bases of symbioses. Questions that I want to address include how symbiotic interspecific interactions are established and maintained, and how they adapt to on-going ecological dynamics in the context of climate change.

During my PhD at iDiv, I’m studying the adaptive evolution of plant-frugivore interactions on Madagascar. Large-seeded plants in Madagascar are facing critical decline of megafaunal dispersers in the Pleistocene extinctions. To investigate the molecular, micro- to macroevolutionary consequences of dispersal limitation in megafaunal plant species, I’m using transcriptomic/genomic techniques to 1) infer candidate genes for functional traits, 2) detect traces of selection or adaptation to existent alternative dispersers, and 3) evaluate the macroevolution of candidate genes or gene families across phylogeny.

Scientific career


  • 2020 – present - Doctoral researcher in Evolution and Adaptation (E&A Lab) research group, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
  • 2018-2020 - Master in Evolutionary Biology, Erasmus Mundus Master Programme of Evolutionary Biology (MEME), University of Groningen and Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Master thesis: “Genome-wide transcriptome signatures of ant-farmed Squamellaria epiphytes reveal key functions in a unique symbiosis”
  • 2014-2018 - Bachelor in Ecology, Fudan University, Shanghai, China, Bachelor Thesis: “Multilocus Phylogeny and Biogeography of Gudgeons (Cyprinidae Gobioninae Gobio) Distributed across Eurasia”



Pu, Y., Naikatini, A., Pérez-Escobar, O. A., Silber, M., Renner, S. S., Chomicki, G. (2020): Genome-wide transcriptome signatures of ant-farmed Squamellaria epiphytes reveal key functions in a unique symbiosis. Ecology and Evolution (under review)

Icon address

Puschstraße 4
04103 Leipzig

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Universität Leipzig

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