Institute of Evolution and Ecology (EvE)

Dr. Fernanda Ruiz-Fadel

Research interests

The main focus areas of my research are behaviour and genetics. I try to look for associations between the two, linking which genes influence the expression of behaviour in animals. During my PhD, I used the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) to look for genome wide associations and behavioural trait impulsivity. Here at the University of Tübingen, the European harvest mice (Micromys minutus) is the species I focus on. Previous studies developed experimental essays to measure behavioural traits activity, boldnessand exploration. I am now using rad-sequencing to sequence their DNA and run association studies in order to look for underlying genes or genomic regions that might be influencing these traits.


Fadel, F. R., Driscoll, P., Pilot, M., Wright, H., Zulch, H., & Mills, D. (2016). Differences in trait impulsivity indicate diversification of dog breeds into working and show lines. Scientific reports, 6, 22162.

Pilot, M., Malewski, T., Moura, A. E., Grzybowski, T., Oleński, K., Kamiński, S., Fadel, F. R., ... & Bogdanowicz, W. (2016). Diversifying selection between pure-breed and free-breeding dogs inferred from genome-wide SNP analysis. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, 6(8), 2285-2298.

Pilot, M., Malewski, T., Moura, A. E., Grzybowski, T., Oleński, K., Ruść, A., Fadel, F. R., ... & Mohammed, O. B. (2015). On the origin of mongrels: evolutionary history of free-breeding dogs in Eurasia. Proc. R. Soc. B, 282(1820), 20152189.