Portrait TS 

Thomas Scheuerl

Present position:

Post Doc

Research area:

Aquatic Evolutionary Ecology


+43 512 507-50269
+43 512 507-50299

Academic History ·  Research interests · Projects · Publications · Fellowships


Academic History

  • since Feb 2020 PostDoc at Research Department for Limnology, Mondsee, University of Innsbruck

  • 2018-Jan 2020 No position in academia, full time on paternity leave

  • 2016-2017 Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, UK, Bell Lab, Visiting Researcher
    “Local adaptation of sexual and asexual rotifers in nature” (PI of BES grant)

  • 2017 University of Helsinki, Finland, Hiltunen and Kaitala Lab, Research Associate,
    “Competitive interaction between bacteria under ciliate predation” (responsible for Academy Finland grant)

  • 2013-2016 Imperial College London, UK, Bell and Barraclough Lab, Research Associate,
    “The ecology and evolution of natural bacterial communities” (responsible for NERC grant)

  • 2009-2013 PhD, Institute for Limnology, Austria, supervised by Dr. Claus-Peter Stelzer,
    “Evolutionary and ecological consequences of sex on rotifer-algal communities” (FWF grant)

  • 2007-2008 MSc, Institute for Limnology, Austria, supervised by Dr. Martin Hahn,
    “Ecological characterization of Polynucleobacter bacteria” (FWF grant)

  • 2003-2006 BSc, University of Salzburg, Austria, with Dr. Ulrike Berninger and Dr. Alfred Goldschmid,
    “Phylogenetic description of Polynucleobacter bacteria” and “Fine scale morphology of Tunicata”


Research interests

I focus on how ecological interactions alter adaptive evolution in communities responding to environmental change and the assembly and maintenance of biodiversity, as well as the effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning. Further, I am interested in evolution of sex and rapid local adaptation and how this interacts with population dynamics. In my research I combine experiments using state of the art tools with mathematical modelling.



Clearing coloured waters by community breeding, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions-EU Horizon Europe (2023-2025)

Microbial life in the city: Compositional differences between urban and rural bacterial communities - Tiroler Wissenschaftsförderung (TWF)(März 2021-März 2023)

Adaptive evolution in diverse bacterial communities under environmental change - LFU Nachwuchsförderung (Apr 2020 - Apr 2022)





  • Scheuerl T., Kaitala V. (2021). The effect of dilution on eco-evolutionary dynamics of experimental microbial communities, Ecology and Evolution, doi: 10.1002/2ce3.8065
    press release in Der Standard (in German)
  • Scheuerl T., Hopkins M., Nowell R. W., Rivett D. W., Barraclough T. G., Bell T. (2020). Bacterial adaptation is constrained in complex communities, Nature communications 11: 754 doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-14570-z

  • Kaitala V., Hiltunen T., Becks L., Scheuerl T. (2020). Co-evolution as an important component explaining microbial predator-prey interaction, Journal of Theoretical Biology 486: 110095 doi.org/10.1016/j.jtbi.2019.110095

  • Scheuerl T., Cairns J., Becks L., Hiltunen T. (2019). Role of consumer co-evolution and prey trait variability in species coexistence. Proc. Royal Soc. Lon. B. doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.0245

  • Scheuerl T., Stelzer, C.-P. (2019). Asexual reproduction changes predator population dynamics in a life predator-prey system. Population Ecology 61: 210-216. DOI:10.1002/1438-390X.1017.

  • Scheuerl T.,  Stelzer, C.-P. (2017). Sex initiates adaptive evolution by recombination between beneficial loci. PLoS ONE 12(6): e0177895. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0177895

  • Rivett D.W., Scheuerl T., Culbert C.T., Mombrikotb S.B., Johnstone E., Barraclough T.G., Bell, T. (2016). Resource-dependent attenuation of species interactions during bacterial succession. ISME 10: 2259–2268. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2016.11.

  • Fiegna F., Scheuerl T., Moreno-Letelier A., Bell T., Barraclough T.G. (2015). Saturating effects of species diversity on life-history evolution in bacteria. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lon. B. 282: 2015-1794.

  • Scheuerl T., Stelzer C.-P. (2013). Patterns and dynamics of rapid local adaptation and sex in varying habitat types in rotifers. Ecol. Evol. 3: 4253–4264.

  • Hahn M.W., Scheuerl T., Jezberová J., Koll U., Jezbera J., Šimek K., et al. (2012). The passive yet successful way of planktonic life: genomic and experimental analysis of the ecology of a free-living Polynucleobacter population. PLoS ONE 7: e32772, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032772.

  • Scheuerl T., Riss S., Stelzer, C.-P. (2011). Phenotypic effects of an allele causing obligate parthenogenesis in a rotifer. J. Hered. 102: 409–415.

  • Hahn M.W., Lang E., Brandt U., Wu Q.L., Scheuerl T. (2009). Emended description of the genus Polynucleobacter and the species Polynucleobacter necessarius and proposal of two subspecies, P. necessarius subsp. necessarius subsp. nov. and P. necessarius subsp. asymbioticus subsp. nov. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 59: 2002–2009.



BritInn Fellowship

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