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Doreen Schwochow-Thalmann

Doreen Schowochow


I am a PhD student in the lab of Leif Andersson jointly supervised by Michéle Tixier-Boichard at INRA, France. I am enrolled in the 'European Graduate School of Animal Breeding and Genetics' (EGS-ABG), supported by an Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral fellowship, which will lead to a joint degree awarded by The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden, as well as AgroParis Tech/ Universitè Paris-Saclay, France.


Mentored M.S. student Patricia Velado Lobato, Uppsala University, Spring Term 2015.

Mentored B.A. student Erika Manlig, Uppsala University, Spring Term 2013.

Opponent for Master’s program student Argyri Iris Mathioudaki’s defense, Uppsala University, June 3rd, 2013.

Teaching fellow for the undergraduate course, ‘Practical applications of Molecular Markers’ at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Fall 2013 and 2015.


Broadly I am interested in the molecular basis of complex phenotypes as well as the mechanisms, which shape genetic variation and ultimately drive adaptation and evolution.

I have been involved in exploring complex traits of various kinds such as gait in horses for several years. More recently I am focusing both on discovering genes and mutations involved in pigment pattern formation in animals as well as investigating their 'mode of action'. I am utilizing the chicken and its astonishing man-made plumage variation to find causative variants and complete our understanding of pathways underlying color and pattern variations. Unfortunately, using a model species can be less powerful in gaining insights into genetic changes occurring as a consequence of sexual selection or environmental adaptation. As birds are among the most variable taxa in terms of pigmentation, I have also started to investigate plumage variation in wild birds such as the ruff.



Diplom in Biology (M.S. equivalent)                                                                   2007

University Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany/ Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Leipzig, Germany.                                                                            

Thesis: Detektion von Protein-Protein-Interaktionen des menschlichen und Schimpansen-FOXP2 mittels Immunopräzipitation (‘Detection of protein-protein-interactions of the human and chimpanzee FOXP2 protein using Immunoprecipitation’).

Supervisors: Svante Pääbo and Wolfgang Enard.



Research Assistant                                                                    Jan. 2011 – Dec. 2011

To Leif Andersson at Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Discovered missense mutation affecting gait in horses and mice and investigated functional effect of structural variants on pig pigmentation resulting in publications in Nature and PNAS.

Research Associate                                                                Aug. 2008 – Dec. 2010

To Robert K. Wayne at University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, USA.

Established RNA lab facility as well as blood collection and extraction methods for wildlife species. Set up and successfully improved DNA extraction from museum samples and PCR amplification for phylogeographic analysis. Directed lab management. One publication each in Journal of Biogeography and BMC Biotechnology.

Field assistant at the Ankarafantsika                                   Apr. 2007 – Oct. 2007 Nationalpark in Madagascar.                  

University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Hannover, Germany.

Investigated nightly feeding behavior in Mouse lemurs (Microcebus spec.), examined life captured lemurs and recorded body measurements as well as collected fecal samples and ear clips for genetic studies. Discovered and further explored sleeping nest construction and use in Microcebus ravelobensis. One publication in International Journal of Primatology as well as a book chapter.


Selected publications

Schwochow Thalmann D, Ring H, Sundström E, Cao X, Larsson M, Kerje S, Höglund A, Fogelholm J, Wright D, Jemth P, Hallböök F, Bed’Hom B, Dorshorst B, Tixier-Boichard M and Andersson L. The evolution of Sex-linked barring in chickens involves both regulatory and coding changes in CDKN2A. (PLoS Genetics, 2017).

Imsland F , McGowan K, Rubin C-J, Henegar C, Sundström E, Berglund J, Schwochow D, Gustafson U, Imsland P, Lindblad-Toh K, Lindgren G, Mikko S, Millon L, Wade C, Schubert M, Orlando L, Penedo MCT, Barsh GS, Andersson L. Regulatory mutations in TBX3 disrupt asymmetric hair pigmentation underlying Dun camouflage colour in horses. (Nature Genetics, 2016).

Lamichhaney S, Fan G, Widemo F, Gunnarsson U, Schwochow Thalmann D, Hoeppner PM, Kerje S, Gustafson U, Shi C, Zhang H, Chen W, Liang X, Huang L, Wang J, Liang E, Wu Q, Lee M-YS, Xu X, Höglund J, Liu X and Andersson L. Structural changes underlie alternative reproductive strategies in the ruff (Philomachus pugnax). (Nature Genetics, 2015).

Rubin C-J, Megens H-J, Barrio AM, Maqbool K. Sayyab S, Schwochow D, Wang C, Carlborg Ö, Jern P, Jorgensen CB, Archibald AL, Fredholm M, Groenen MAM and Andersson L. Strong signature of selection in the domestic pig genome. (PNAS, 2012).

Andersson LS, Larhammar M, Memic F, Wootz H, Schwochow D, Rubin C-J, Kalicharan P, Arnason T, Wellbring L, Hjälm G, Imsland F. Petersen JL, McCue ME, Mickelson JR, Cothran G, Ahituv N, Reopstorff L, Mikko S, Vallstedt A, Lindgren G, Andersson L and Kullander K. Mutations in DMRT3 affect locomotion in horses and spinal circuit function in mice. (Nature, 2012).

Schwochow D, Klein Serieys LE, Wayne RK and Thalmann O. Efficient recovery of whole blood RNA-a comparison of commercial RNA extraction techniques for high-throughput applications in wild life species. (BMC Biotechnology, 2012).