About the Rohner Lab

Why Cavefish?

The Rohner lab is interested in all the endless beautiful variation we can observe in the animal kingdom. Specifically we are interested in how animals can adapt to extreme environments by investigating the general genetic mechanisms and particular mutations underlying this adaptation.Understanding the genetic basis of adaptation has broad applications not only for a basic understanding of evolution but also for human pathologies given that many modern human diseases (e.g. diabetes, allergies, many types of cancer) are a consequence of being mis-adapted to modern society.We are mostly using the cavefish system Astyanax mexicanus as a model system to address the genetic basis of adaptation because of its clear ecological adaptation scenario, its multiple interfertile populations and the ability to breed and live in the laboratory.