Postdoctoral Researcher

IST Austria
Am Campus 1
A-3400 Klosterneuburg

Tel: +43 224390007431
email: lmasri (AT) ist.ac.at

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Lab publications

RESEARCH INTEREST

Host-Parasite coevolution in social insects

Parasites are ubiquitous, they show high ability for adaptation and impose high selective pressure on their host organisms. As a consequence, host and parasite may engage in a coevolutionary arms race, consisting of the reciprocal evolution of host resistance and parasite virulence mechanisms. The resulting selective constraints can be extraordinarily high, leading to fast evolutionary dynamics determined by negative frequency dependent selection, recurrent selective sweeps, or a combination thereof. As a consequence, these interactions may influence the evolution of diverse biological systems, including host resistance and parasite virulence, the related life-history tradeoffs, and mechanisms generating fast genetical changes such as sexual reproduction and recombination.

The most convincing data sets have been collected for microbial systems and few animal systems. However, to date, no studies have investigated the consequences of reciprocal host-parasite coevolution in social animals. My current project focuses on experimentally studying the evolutionary consequences of host-parasite coevolution and its difference to one-sided adaptation in both antagonists, using the fungus Metarhizium spp. as a model pathogen and the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior as a model host.

CAREER

2012-2016     Postdoctoral Researcher, IST Austria, Austria

                             (ISTFELLOW program (Co-fund Marie Curie Actions of the European Commission))

2007-2012      Dissertation (Dr. rer. nat.) in Biology (PhD)

                            (Nov 2011 to Aug 2012, University of Kiel, Germany)
                            (Nov 2007 to Oct 2010 University of Tübingen, Germany)

2006-2007      Master 2 (M2) in Biology research

                            (Saint Joseph University, Lebanon)
                            (MSc Thesis: French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), Cestas, France)

2002-2006      Master 1 (M1) in Biology

                            (Lebanese University, Lebanon)

FUNDING