Research interests

  • Molecular ecology
  • Gut microbiome genomics
  • Host-parasite co-evolution

Scientific projects

Gut microbiome of wild animal species: I am investigating the natural variation of bacterial assemblages in the gut microbiome of wildlife such as cheetahs, bats and lemurs in order to discern the impact of host specific variables (sex, social behavior, genetics, etc.) on the gut bacterial community structure and function. This allows me to discern the effects of parasites and pathogens (gut living nematodes, viruses) and host habitat fragmentation on the gut microbiome, which can ultimately influence host health and survival. These studies will not only shed light on host-microbiome evolution in nature in a broader sense but also increase our understanding of healthy host microbiomes and host ecology - essential knowledge for species conservation in a changing world.

Host-parasite co-evolution: How parasites evolve with their hosts is a question of great interest for biologist. My primarily interest focus on understanding the origin of new haplotypes/strains of parasites in host populations using host hybrid zones as a natural laboratory. Specifically, I am studying parasites (Trichuris, Syphacia, Helicobacter) genetics in natural mouse hybrid zones to see how parasite cope-up and evolve in parental as well as in hybrid host population. These studies will enhance our understanding about host-parasite coevolution in general but at the same time has implication in understanding parasite transmission, evolution of diseases specifically. 

Publications

Wasimuddin, Menke S, Melzheimer J, Thalwitzer S, Heinrich H, Wachter B, Sommer S. (2017) Gut microbiomes of free-ranging and captive Namibian cheetahs: diversity, putative functions, and occurrence of potential pathogens. Molecular Ecology (in press, 19.07.2017).

Wasimuddin*, Bryja J, Ribas A, Baird SJE, Piálek J, Goüy De Bellocq J. Testing parasite ‘intimacy’: the whipworm Trichuris muris in the European house mouse hybrid zone. Ecology and Evolution. 6:2688-2701.

Menke S, Wasimuddin, Meier M, Melzheimer J, Mfune JK, Heinrich S, Thalwitzer S, Wachter B, Sommer S*. Oligotyping reveals differences between gut-microbiomes of free- ranging sympatric Namibian carnivores (Acinonyx jubatus, Canis mesomelas) on a bacterial species-like level. Frontiers in Microbiology. 5:526. 2014

Umapathy G, Kumar V, Wasimuddin, Kabra M, Shivaji S*. Detection of pregnancy and fertility status in big cats using an enzyme immunoassay based on 5a-pregnan-3a-ol-20-one, a progesterone metabolite, General and Comparative Endocrinology. 180:33-38. 2013

Wasimuddin*, Cížková D, Bryja J, Albrechtová J, Hauffe HC, Piálek J. High prevalence and species diversity of Helicobacter detected in wild house mice, Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 78:8158-8160. 2012

Wasimuddin*, Cížková D, Ribas A, Piálek J, Goüy De Bellocq J, Bryja J. Development and characterization of multiplex panels of microsatellite markers for Syphacia obvelata, a parasite of the house mouse (Mus musculus), using a high throughput DNA sequencing approach, Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology. 185:154-156. 2012

(*corresponding author)

Contact

  • Dr. Wasimuddin

  • Institute of Evolutionary Ecology
    and Conservation Genomics
    University of Ulm
    Helmholtzstr. 10/1
    89081 Ulm
    Germany
    Tel: +49 731 50-22686
    Email: wasim.bt(at)gmail.com