Martin Kapun

Research Interests

As an evolutionary biologist, I am interested in the evolutionary and ecological factors that maintain and shape genetic and phenotypic variation in natural populations. Moreover, I want to better understand the eco-evolutionary dynamics of host-symbiont interactions. In my research, I combine bioinformatics, biostatistics, population genomics, experimental evolution and quantitative phenotyping. Using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and dung flies of the genus Sepsis as my focal model systems, I investigate patterns and mechanisms of in neutral and adaptive evolution in natural populations: My main research questions are centered around:

  1. the demographic history of world-wide fruit fly populations and sym- and allopatric dungfly species
  2. the genetic and phenotypic basis of sexual trait dimorphisms and adaptation along environmental gradients
  3. the evolution of chromosomal inversion polymorphisms
  4. the influence of ecology and evolution on host-symbiont interactions


Education and Professional Positions

2020 - present Independent Group Leader, Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland
2019 - present Independent Group Leader, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
2019 - present Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. Dr. Wolf Blanckenhorn, Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zürich, Switzerland
2019 Bioinformatics specialist with Prof. Dr. Tadeusz Kawecki, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
2018 Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. Dr. Thomas Flatt, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
2013 - 2017 Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. Dr. Thomas Flatt, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
2008 - 2013 Ph.D. in Ecology with Prof. Dr. Christian Schlötterer, Vetmeduni Vienna, Austria
2007 - 2008 Research Assistant with Prof. Dr. Hans Winkler, Konrad Lorenz Institute for Ethology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria
2004 - 2007 M.Sc. in Ecology with Prof. Dr. Konrad Fiedler, University of Vienna, Austria
1999 - 2004 B.Sc. in Biodiversity and Ecology, Karl Franzens University Graz, Austria

Selected Publications

  • Haudry A., Laurent S., Kapun M. (2020.: Population Genomics on the Fly: Recent Advances in Drosophila. in Dutheil J, editor. 2020. Statistical Population Genomics, Methods in Molecular Biology. Springer US. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0199-0
  • Ramaekers A., Claeys A., Kapun M., Mouchel-Vielh E., Potier D., Weinberger S., Grillenzoni N., Dardalhon-Cuménal D., Yan J., Wolf R., Flatt T., Buchner E., Hassan BA. (2019). Altering the temporal regulation of one transcription factor drives evolutionary trade-offs between head sensory organs. Developmental Cell, 50(6):780-792. DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.07.027
  • Kapun M., Flatt T. (2018). The Evolutionary Significance of Inversion Polymorphisms in Drosophila melanogaster. Invited Review for a Special Issue in Molecular Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/mec.14871
  • Mallard F., Nolte V., Tobler R., Kapun M., Schlötterer C. (2018). Rapid metabolic rewiring drives adaptation to novel thermal environments in Drosophila. Genome Biology. DOI: 10.1186/s13059-018-1503-4
  • Truitt A., Kapun M., Kaur R., Miller W. (2018). Wolbachia infections modify temperature preference in Drosophila melanogaster. Environmental Microbiology. DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.14347
  • Kapun M., Fabian DK., Goudet J., Flatt T. (2016). Genomic Evidence for Adaptive Inversion Clines in Drosophila melanogaster. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 33, 1317-1336. DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msw016
  • Kapun M., van Schalkwyk H., McAllister B., Flatt T., Schlötterer C. (2014). Inference of chromosomal inversion dynamics from Pool-Seq data in natural and laboratory populations of Drosophila melanogaster. Molecular Ecology, 23, 1813–1827. DOI: 10.1111/mec.12594
  • Fabian DK., Kapun M., Nolte V., Kofler R., Schmidt P., Schlötterer C., Flatt T. (2012). Genome-wide patterns of latitudinal differentiation among populations of Drosophila melanogaster from North America. Molecular Ecology, 21, 4748–4769. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05731.x