Laetitia Wilkins

I am a postdoctoral research scholar in Jonathan Eisen’s lab. I study host-microbe interactions at early development stages of salmonid fishes. Recently, I have started to concentrate more on the marine realm. Now, I am finding ways to quantify how the rise of the isthmus of Central America affected the evolution of symbioses between marine animal hosts and their associated microbes. I am using lucinid bivalves with their bacterial chemosymbionts and members of the porcelain crab family as my study organisms.

collecting lucinid clams in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Previously, I was a postdoc with Stephanie Carlson at UC Berkeley working on Oncorhynchus mykiss gut microbiomes and how they correlate with different host migratory life history strategies. I did my Ph.D. at the University of Lausanne, in Claus Wedekind’s group under co-supervision of Luga Fumagalli. For my doctoral thesis, I studied the interaction of host embryos (brown trout – Salmo trutta, European grayling – Thymallus thymallus, and whitefish – Coregonus spp.) and their bacterial symbionts, and how this relationship is affected by genetic and environmental effects. I also mentored several students who were interested in life-history strategies and maternal effects in brown trout and European grayling, as well as sex differentiation and its implications for conservation in grayling. You can find my complete CV here!

my nuclear family

I am passionate about diversity and critical thinking in academia and strive to make it more family-friendly. I am a co-founder of the Berkeley Spouses, Partners & Parents Association. I am also an active science communicator. You can read some of my blog posts on The Molecular Ecologist, the Research Coordinated Network for Evolution in Changing Seas, or our project website. I get really happy when I can spend time with my family. Sometimes I also write about that. See my google scholar profile for my publication record. You may contact me at and follow me on twitter!

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