Dr. Olivia Roth


Forschungsbereich 3: Marine Ökologie
FE Evolutionsökologie Mariner Fische

GEOMAR | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel

Raum: A36
Tel.: 0431 600 4557
Fax: 0431 600 4553
E-Mail: oroth(at)geomar.de

Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel (GEOMAR)
Düsternbrooker Weg 20
24105 Kiel

geboren am 15. Januar 1983 in der Schweiz


  • 06/2012 - present: Junior Group Leader at GEOMAR
  • 04/2009 - 05/2012: Postdoc at the Geomar with Thorsten Reusch
  • 05/2006 - 03/2009: PhD at the ETH Zurich (Switzerland) and the Westfälische Wilhelms Universität (Germany) with Paul Schmid-Hempel and Joachim Kurtz
  • 10/2004 - 04/2006: Master of Science in Animal Biology, University of Basel (Switzerland) with Dieter Ebert
  • 10/2001 - 09/2004: Bachelor of Science in Organismic Biology, University of Basel (Switzerland)
  • download full CV

wissenschaftlicher Fokus der pipefish group

  • our research focuses on questions about host-parasite interactions, within the framework of sexual immune dimorphism and parental investment, phenotypic plasticity of immune defence, local adaptation and effect of environmental change on host immune defence and parasite virulence
  • to answer these questions we use the pipefish Syngnathus typhle as a host, and Vibrio bacteria and trematods of the species Cryptocotyle lingua as parasites
  • we try to disentangle sex from parental investment by using the advantage of our sex-role reversed model system to test theories in the field of evolutionary biology from a different angle
  • we are interested in the selection pressures for transfer of immunity from both father and mothers to offspring and in the differences in immune efficiency between males and females
  • as a novel aspect we integrate a third player: lysogenicVibrio bacteria phages, to evaluate the evolution from friendly to nasty in a tri-partite interaction
  • more information about the current projects


  • Susanne Landis, PhD student: "The effect of global change on host-parasite interactions and coevolution of the pipefish Syngnathus typhle and its parasites"
  • Anne Beemelmanns, PhD student: "The mechanistic basis of paternal immune priming in the pipefish Syngnathus typhle"
  • Andrea Franke, PhD student in FineAqua
  • Isabel Keller, PhD student:"Trans-generational immune priming on a parental care gradient in cichlids"
  • Caterina Schlott, PhD student: "Sexual immune dimorphim and trans-generational immune priming on a parental care gradient in pipefish"
  • Carolin Wendling, Postdoc
  • Verena Klein, Hiwi
  • Agnes Hüttmann, Master Student
  • João Vicente de Camargo e Silva Gladek, Master Student
  • Martin Grimm, Hiwi
  • Maude Poirier, Hiwi
  • Sophia Wendler, Internship


unten (v.l.n.r.): Caterina Schlott (Doktorandin), Isabel Keller (Doktorandin), Olivia Roth, Carolin Wendling (Postdoc, zur Zeit noch am AWI), Maude Poirier (Praktikandin), Joao Gladek (Master-Student); oben (v.l.n.r.): Agnes Hüttmann (Master-Studentin), Susanne Landis (Doktorandin), Anne Beemelmanns (Doktorandin); es fehlen: Andrea Franke (Doktorandin in Fine-Aqua) & Verena Klein (Hiwi)

über unsere Forschung


  1. Haase D*, Roth O*, Kalbe M, Schmiedeskamp G, Scharsack JP, Rosenstiel B & Reusch TBH (2013). Functional absence of MHC class II mediated immunity in pipefish Syngnathus typhleBiology Letters. In press.                        * authors contributed equally
  2.  Joop G, Roth O, Schmid-Hempel P & Kurtz J. Balancing external and internal immune defences in an insect. Submitted
  3. Roth O, Klein V, Beemelmanns A, Scharsack JP & Reusch TBH (2012). Male pregnancy and bi-parental immune priming. American Naturalist, online. download
  4. Birrer S, Reusch TBH & Roth O (2012). Lowered salinity under global change will impair pipefish immune defence. Fish & Shellfish Immunology, 33: 1238-1248. download
  5. Landis SH, Sundin J, Rosenqvist G & Roth O (2012). Behavioural adjustments of a pipefish to a bacterial Vibrio infection. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 66: 1399-1405. download
  6. Roth O, Keller I, Landis SH, Salzburger W & Reusch TBH (2012). Hosts are ahead in a marine host-parasite coevolutionary arms race: innate immune system adaptation in pipefish Syngnathus typhle against Vibrio phylotypes. Evolution, 66: 2528-2539. download
  7. Landis SH, Kalbe M, Reusch TBH & Roth O (2012). Consistent pattern of local adaptation during an experimental heat wave in a pipefish-trematode host-parasite system. Plos One, 7: e30658. download
  8. Roth O, Scharsack, JP, Keller I & Reusch TBH (2011). Bateman´s principle and immunity in a sex-role reversed pipefish. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24 (7), 1410-1420. download
  9. Asshoff R & Roth O (2011). Fostering students´inquirey skills: Developmental time & offspring rates of flour beetles. The American Biology Teacher 73 (4), 232-237. download
  10. Roth O, Kurtz J, Reusch TBH (2010). A summer heat wave decreases the immunocompetence of the mesograzer, Idotea baltica. Marine Biology 157 (7), 1605-1611. download
  11. Roth O, Joop G, Eggert H, Hilbert J, Daniel J, Schmid-Hempel P & Kurtz J (2010). Paternally derived immune priming for offspring in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Journal of Animal Ecology 79 (2), 403-410 . download
  12. Roth O & Kurtz J (2009). Phagocytosis mediates specificity in the immune defence of an invertebrate, the woodlouse Porcellia scaber (Crustacea: Isopoda). Dev Comp Immunol 33 (11), 1151-1155. download
  13. Roth O, Sadd BM, Schmid-Hempel P & Kurtz J (2009). Strain-specific priming of resistance in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Proc R Soc B-Biol Sci 276, 145-151. download
  14. Roth O & Kurtz J (2008). The stimulation of immune defence accelerates development in the red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum). Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21 (6), 1703-1710. download
  15. Roth O, Ebert D, Vizoso DB, Bieger A & Lass S (2008). Male-biased sex-ratio distortion caused by Octosporea bayeri, a vertically and horizontally transmitted parasite of Daphnia magna. International Journal for Parasitology 38; 969-979. download