Andreas Härer

Andreas Härer
University of California, San Diego | UCSD · Division of Biological Sciences

PhD

About

25
Publications
6,603
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245
Citations

Publications

Publications (25)
Article
Full-text available
Vision is critical for most vertebrates, including fish. One challenge that aquatic habitats pose is the high variability in spectral properties depending on depth and the inherent optical properties of the water. By altering opsin gene expression and chromophore usage, cichlid fish modulate visual sensitivities to maximize sensory input from the a...
Article
Full-text available
Polymorphisms have fascinated biologists for a long time, but their genetic underpinnings often remain elusive. Here, we aim to uncover the genetic basis of the gold/dark polymorphism that is eponymous of Midas cichlid fish (Amphilophus spp.) adaptive radiations in Nicaraguan crater lakes. While most Midas cichlids are of the melanic “dark morph”,...
Article
Full-text available
Characterizing biological communities and knowledge on the distribution of biodiversity allows the assessment of ecological quality. This provides valuable information for conservation biology and monitoring purposes. While obtaining such data has been challenging in the past, environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling represents a promising tool to describ...
Article
Full-text available
The visual system of vertebrates has greatly contributed to our understanding of how different molecular mechanisms shape adaptive phenotypic diversity. Extensive work on African cichlid fishes has shown how variation in opsin gene expression mediates diversification as well as convergent evolution in color vision. This trait has received less atte...
Article
Full-text available
The transition from ‘well-marked varieties’ of a single species into ‘well-defined species’—especially in the absence of geographic barriers to gene flow (sympatric speciation)—has puzzled evolutionary biologists ever since Darwin1,2. Gene flow counteracts the buildup of genome-wide differentiation, which is a hallmark of speciation and increases t...
Article
The repeated occurrence of similar phenotypes in independent lineages (i.e., parallel evolution) in response to similar ecological conditions can provide compelling insights into the process of adaptive evolution. An intriguing question is to what extent repeated phenotypic changes are underlain by repeated changes at the genomic level and whether...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Recent increases in understanding the ecological and evolutionary roles of microbial communities have underscored the importance of their hosts’ biology. Yet, little is known about gut microbiota dynamics during the early stages of ecological diversification and speciation. We sequenced the V4 region of the 16s rRNA gene to study the gu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Recent increases in understanding the ecological and evolutionary roles of microbial communities has underscored the importance for their hosts’ biology. Yet, little is known about gut microbiota dynamics during early stages of ecological diversification and speciation. We sequenced the V4 region of the 16s rRNA gene to study the gut mi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Recent increases in understanding the ecological and evolutionary roles of microbial communities has underscored the importance for their hosts’ biology. Yet, little is known about gut microbiota dynamics during early stages of ecological diversification and speciation. We sequenced the V4 region of the 16s rRNA gene to study the gut mi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Recent increases in understanding the ecological and evolutionary roles of microbial communities has underscored the importance for their hosts’ biology. Yet, little is known about gut microbiota dynamics during early stages of ecological diversification and speciation. We sequenced the V4 region of the 16s rRNA gene to study the gut mi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent increases in understanding the ecological and evolutionary roles of microbial communities has underscored their importance for their hosts' biology. Yet, little is known about gut microbiota dynamics during early stages of ecological diversification and speciation. We studied the gut microbiota of extremely young adaptive radiations of Nicar...
Article
Full-text available
Phenotypic plasticity, particularly during development, allows organisms to rapidly adjust to different environmental conditions. Yet, it is often unclear whether the extent and direction of plastic changes are restricted by an individual's ontogeny. Many species of cichlid fishes go through ontogenetic changes in visual sensitivity, from short to...
Article
Full-text available
How predictable is evolution? This remains a fundamental but contested issue in evolutionary biology. When independent lineages colonize the same environment, we are presented with a natural experiment that allows us to ask if genetic and ecological differences promote species‐specific evolutionary outcomes or whether species phenotypically evolve...
Data
Figure 1: Proportional expression of six cone opsins based on quantitative Real‐Time PCR (qPCR; y‐axes) and RNA‐Seq (x‐axes) data. Figure 2: Hypothetical data of two species to illustrate our vector analysis for convergent evolution. Figure 3: As previously shown with quantitative Real‐Time PCR (Härer et al. 2017; Torres‐Dowdall et al. 2017), Mid...
Article
During early ontogeny, visual opsin gene expression in cichlids is influenced by prevailing light reg-imen. Red light, for example, leads to an early switch from the expression of short-wavelength sensitive to long-wavelength sensitive opsins. Here, we address the influence of light deprivation on opsin expression. Individuals reared in constant da...
Article
ON THE COVER: The cover image, by Nidal Karagic et al., is based on the Research Article Heterochronic opsin expression due to early light deprivation results in drastically shifted visual sensitivity in a cichlid fish: Possible role of thyroid hormone signaling, DOI 10.1002/jez.b.22806.
Article
Colonization of novel habitats is typically challenging to organisms. In the initial stage after colonization, approximation to fitness optima in the new environment can occur by selection acting on standing genetic variation, modification of developmental patterns or phenotypic plasticity. Midas cichlids have recently colonized crater Lake Apoyo f...
Presentation
Full-text available
Unnoticed by the public, initiatives for oil exploration are advanced in Africa’s largest freshwater reservoirs, including Lakes Tanganyika, Malawi and lately Albert, threatening their ecosystems and biota. It is imperative that environmental impact assessments are conducted by independent organizations to ensure that decisions on this matter are b...
Article
Full-text available
Midas cichlid fish are a Central American species flock containing 13 described species that has been dated to only few thousand years old, a historical timescale infrequently associated with speciation. Their radiation involved the colonization of several clear water crater lakes from two turbid great lakes. Therefore, Midas cichlids have been sub...
Data
Numbers of described Cichlidae, Characidae, and Poeciliidae species; ecology and reproductive features of our study species; sample sizes and sampling locations; cytochrome b primers; GenBank accession numbers of Poecilia spp.; a list of species occurring in Punta Gorda and San Juan Basins; FST values among populations; nucleotide and haplotype div...
Article
Full-text available
As the world’s demands for hydrocarbons increase, remote areas previously made inaccessible by technological limitations are now being prospected for oil and gas deposits. Virtually unnoticed by the public, such activities are ongoing in the East African Great Lakes region, threatening these ecosystems famed for their hyper-diverse biota, includin...
Article
Full-text available
Large-scale infrastructure projects commonly have strong effects on the environment. Thus, it is of highest importance to evaluate possible impacts on biodiversity and take measures to reduce these. The planned construction of the Nicaragua Canal will irreversibly alter the aquatic environment of Nicaragua in many ways. Two distinct drainage basins...
Article
Full-text available
The proposed interoceanic canal will connect the Caribbean Sea with the Pacific Ocean, traversing Lake Nicaragua, the major freshwater reservoir in Central America. If completed, the canal would be the largest infrastructure-related excavation project on Earth. In November 2015, the Nicaraguan government approved an environmental and social impact...

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