Michael Matschiner

Evolutionary biologist / Software developer / Outdoor enthusiast

Michael Matschiner

Present address

Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis
Department of Biosciences
University of Oslo

Research interests

Diversification / Adaptive radiation / Phylogenomics / Introgression
My research investigates both micro- and macroevolutionary processes that drive species diversification, mostly using the adaptive radiations of Antarctic ice fishes or African cichlid fishes as model systems. To infer time-lines of diversification, I use genomic data sets, and I have developed the CladeAge add-on for the software BEAST2 to estimate divergence dates based on information from the fossil record. Through comparison of the inferred time-lines, present-day species numbers, and geological events, I aim to identify why some groups of animals are extremely species-rich, while others fail to diversify. Part of this work relies on computer simulations to compare observed and expected patterns of species richness, genetic diversity, and morphological variation. In addition, I use genome sequences from different populations of the same species, or from closely related species, to investigate hybridization and its effect on the speciation progress.


University of Basel, Switzerland | 2017 ongoing
Postdoctoral fellow at the Zoological Institute, Department of Environmental Sciences.

University of Oslo, Norway | 2013-2017
Researcher at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, Department of Biosciences.

Allan Wilson Centre, New Zealand | 2012-2013
Swiss National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow.


University of Basel, Switzerland | 2008-2011
PhD thesis with Prof. Walter Salzburger, Zoological Institute, Department of Environmental Sciences. Title: 'Population genetic and phylogenetic insights into the adaptive radiation of Antarctic notothenioid fishes'.

University of Konstanz, Germany | 2002-2008
Diploma studies of Biological Sciences. Thesis title: 'Adaptive radiation in an extreme environment: Population genetics of Antarctic notothenioids'.


Evolution and Genomics Workshops, Český Krumlov, Czech Republic | 2015 ongoing
Co-director of the Workshop on Molecular Evolution and the Workshop on Population and Speciation Genomics.

Peer-reviewed papers

Toljagic et al. 2017

Toljagić O, Voje KL, Matschiner M, Liow LH, Hansen T (2017) Millions of years behind: slow adaptation of ruminants to grasslands. Systematic Biology, Advance access, doi:10.1093/sysbio/syx059. pdf.

Meyer et al. 2017

Meyer BS, Matschiner M (shared first co-author), Salzburger W (2017) Disentangling incomplete lineage sorting and introgression to refine species-tree estimates for Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes. Systematic Biology, 66:531-550. pdf.

Barth et al. 2017

Barth JMI, Damerau M, Matschiner M, Jentoft S, Hanel R (2017) Genomic differentiation and demographic histories of Atlantic and Indo-Pacific yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) populations. Genome Biology and Evolution, 9:1084-1098. pdf.

Matschiner et al. 2017

Matschiner M, Musilová Z, Barth JMI, Starostová Z, Salzburger W, Steel M, Bouckaert R (2017) Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of clade ages supports trans-Atlantic dispersal of cichlid fishes. Systematic Biology, 66:3-22. pdf.

Malmstrom et al. 2017

Malmstrøm M, Matschiner M, Tørresen OK, Jakobsen KS, Jentoft S (2017) Whole genome sequencing data and de novo draft assemblies for 66 teleost species. Scientific Data, 4:160132. pdf.

Gante et al 2016

Gante HF, Matschiner M, Malmstrøm M, Jakobsen KS, Jentoft S, Salzburger W (2016) Genomics of speciation and introgression in Princess cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika. Molecular Ecology, 25:6143-6161. pdf.

Malmstrom et al. 2016

Malmstrøm M, Matschiner M (shared first co-author), Tørresen OK, Star B, Snipen LG, Hansen TF, Baalsrud HT, Nederbragt AJ, Hanel R, Salzburger W, Stenseth NC, Jakobsen KS, Jentoft S (2016) Evolution of the immune system influences speciation rates in teleost fishes. Nature Genetics, 48:1204-1210. pdf.

Matschiner 2016

Matschiner M (2016) Fitchi: haplotype genealogy graphs based on the Fitch algorithm. Bioinformatics, 32:1250-1252. pdf.

Colombo et al. 2015

Colombo M, Damerau M, Hanel R, Salzburger W, Matschiner M (2015) Diversity and disparity through time in the adaptive radiation of Antarctic notothenioid fishes. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 28:376-394. pdf.

Meyer et al. 2015

Meyer BS, Matschiner M, Salzburger W (2015) A tribal level phylogeny of Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes based on a genomic multi-marker approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 83:56-71. pdf.

Damerau et al. 2014

Damerau M, Matschiner M, Salzburger W, Hanel R (2014) Population divergences despite long pelagic larval stages: lessons from crocodile icefishes (Channichthyidae). Molecular Ecology, 23:284-299. pdf.

Barth et al. 2013

Barth JMI, Matschiner M, Robertson BR (2013) Phylogenetic position and subspecies divergence of the endangered New Zealand Dotterel (Charadrius obscurus). PLOS ONE, 8:e78068. pdf.

Damerau et al. 2012

Damerau M, Matschiner M, Salzburger W, Hanel R (2012) Comparative population genetics of seven notothenioid fish species in the southern Scotia Arc, Antarctica. Polar Biology 35:1073-1086. pdf.

Palandacic et al. 2012

Palandaçiç A, Matschiner M, Zupançiç P, Sloj A (2012) Fish migrate underground: the example of Delminichthys adspersus (Cyprinidae). Molecular Ecology, 21:1658-1671. pdf.

Rutschmann et al. 2011

Rutschmann S, Matschiner M, Damerau M, Muschick M, Lehmann MF, Hanel R, Salzburger W (2011) Parallel ecological diversification in Antarctic notothenioid fishes as evidence for adaptive radiation. Molecular Ecology 20:4707-4721. pdf.

Matschiner et al. 2011

Matschiner M, Hanel R, Salzburger W (2011) On the origin of the notothenioid adaptive radiation. PLoS ONE 6:e18911. pdf.

Matschiner et al. 2009

Matschiner M, Hanel R, Salzburger W (2009) Gene flow by larval dispersal in the Antarctic notothenioid fish Gobionotothen gibberifrons. Molecular Ecology 18:2574-2587. pdf.

Matschiner & Salzburger 2009

Matschiner M, Salzburger W (2009) TANDEM: integrating automated allele binning into genetics and genomics workflows. Bioinformatics, 25:1982-1983. pdf.


Runemark et al. 2017

Runemark A, Trier CN, Eroukhmanoff F, Hermansen JS, Matschiner M, Ravinet M, Elgvin TO, Saetre GP (2017) Variation and constraints in hybrid genome formation. bioRxiv, Preprint, doi:10.1101/107508. pdf.

Stange et al. 2017

Stange M, Sánchez-Villagra MR, Salzburger W, Matschiner M (2017) Bayesian divergence-time estimation with genome-wide SNP data of sea catfishes (Ariidae) supports Miocene closure of the Panamanian Isthmus. bioRxiv, Preprint, doi:10.1101/102129. pdf.

Book chapters

Matschiner et al. 2015

Matschiner M, Colombo M, Damerau M, Ceballos S, Hanel R, Salzburger W (2015) The adaptive radiation of notothenioid fishes in the waters of Antarctica. In: Extremophile Fishes (eds Riesch R, Tobler M, Plath M), pp. 35-57. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland. pdf.

Matschiner et al. 2010

Matschiner M, Hanel R, Salzburger W (2010) Phylogeography and speciation processes in marine fishes and fishes from large freshwater lakes. In: Phylogeography: Concepts, Intraspecific Patterns and Speciation Processes (ed Rutgers DS), pp. 1-29. Nova Science Publishers, New York. pdf.


Sands et al. 2012

Sands C, Arntz W, Janussen D, Agrawal S, Damerau M, Hauquier F, Havermans C, Hirse T, Matschiner M, Knust R, Koschnick N, Mintenbeck K, Montiel A, Rath L, Robert H, Rose A, Rossi S, Storch D, Uriz I, Wang C (2012) Biodiversity, biogeography, phylogeography and phylogenetics in a latitudinal cline. Reports on Polar and Marine Research 644: 13-46. pdf.

Publications discussing my work

Parham 2016

Parham P (2016) News and Views: How the codfish changed its immune system. Nature Genetics 48:1103-1104. pdf.

Ingram & Mahler 2011

Ingram T, Mahler DL (2011) Perspective: Niche diversification follows key innovation in Antarctic fish radiation. Molecular Ecology 20:4590-4591. pdf.