Room: A 36
Phone: +49-431 600 4557
Fax: +49-431 600 4553
E-Mail: oroth(at)

Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR)
Düsternbrooker Weg 20
D-24105 Kiel

 born 15th of January 1983 in Switzerland


  • 11/2017 - present: Group Leader at GEOMAR (tenured)
  • 06/2012 - 10/2017: Junior Group Leader at GEOMAR
  • 01/2015 - 11/2015: Maternity leave
  • 04/2009 - 05/2012: Postdoc at 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)

Articles about our research



40. Tanger IS & Roth O. 2020. Parental investment and immune dynamics in sex-role reversed pipefishes. PLOS one, in press

39. Roth O, Solbakken MH, Torresen OK, Matschiner M, Baalsrund HT, Hoff SNK, Brieuc MSO, Haase D, Hanel R, Reusch TBH & Jentoft S. 2020. Evolution of male pregnancy associated with remodelling of canonical vertebrate immunity in seahorses and pipefishes. PNAS 117: 9431-9439

38. Chibani CM, Liesegang H, Roth O & Wendling CC. 2020. Genomic variation among closely related Vibrio alginolyticus strains is located on mobile genetic elements.  BMC Genomics 21:354

37. Metcalf CJE, Roth O & Graham AL. 2020. Why leveraging sex differences in immune trade-offs may illuminate the evolution of senescence. Functional Ecology 34: 129-140.

36. Goehlich H, Roth O & Wendling CC. 2019. Filamentous phages reduce bacterial growth in low salinities. Royal Soc Open Sci 6: 191669

35. Piecyk A, Roth O & Kalbe M. 2019. Specificity of resistance and geographic patterns of virulence in a vertebrate host-parasite system. BMC Evolutionary Biology 19: 101.

34. Beemelmanns A, Poirier M, Bayer T, Kuenzle S & Roth O. 2019. Microbial embryonal colonization during pipefish male pregnancy. Scientific Reports 9: 3.

33. Wendling CC, Göhlich H & Roth O. 2018. The structure of temperate phage-bacteria infection networks changes with the phylogenetic distance of the host bacteria. Biology Letters. In press.

32. Roth O, Beemelmanns A, Barribeau SM & Sadd BM. 2018. Recent advances in vertebrate and invertebrate transgenerational immunity in the light of ecology and evolution. Heredity: 1

31. Keller IS, Bayer T, Salzburger W, Roth O. 2018. Effects of parental care on resource allocation into immune defence and buccal microbiota in mouthbrooding cichlid fishes. Evolution. 72: 1109 – 1123.

30. Keller I, Salzburger W & Roth O. 2017. Parental investment matters for maternal and offspring immune defense in the mouthbrooding cichlid Astatotilapia burtoni. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 17: 264

29. Franke A, Roth O, De Schryver P, Bayer T, Garcia-Gonzalez L, Künzel S, Miest JJ, Clemmesen C. 2017. Poly-β-hydroxybutyrate administration during early life: effects on performance, immunity and microbial community of European sea bass yolk-sac larvae. Scientific Reports. 7: 15022

28. Egger B, Rösti M, Böhne A, Roth O & Salzburger W. 2017. Phylogenomics, demographic history and genome divergence of lake and stream populations of an East African cichlid fish. Molecular Ecology 26: 5016-5030. 

27. Franke A, Clemmesen C, De Schryver P, Garcia-Gonzalez L, Miest JJ & Roth O. 2017. Immunostimulatory effects of dietary poly-β-hydroxybutyrate in European sea bass juveniles. Aquaculture Nutrition. 48: 5707 - 5717

26. Wendling CC, Piecyk A, Refardt D, Chibani C, Hertel R, Liesegang H, Bunk B & Roth O. 2017. Tripartite species interaction: eukaryotic hosts suffer more from phage susceptible than from phage resistant bacteria. BMC Evolutionary Biology 17: 98.

25. Poirier M, Listmann L & Roth O. 2017. Selection by higher-order effects of salinity and bacteria on early life-stages of Western Baltic spring-spawning herring. Evolutionary Applications 10: 603-615.

24. Roth O & Landis SH. 2017. Trans-generational plasticity in response to immune challenge is constrained by heat stress, Evolutionary Applications 10: 514-528.

23. Beemelmanns A & Roth O. 2017. Grandparental immune priming in the pipefish Syngnathus typhle. BMC Evolutionary Biology 17: 44.

22. Theis A, Roth O, Cortesi F, Ronco F, Salzburger W & Egger B. 2017. Variation of anal fin egg-spots along an environmental gradient in a haplochromine cichlid fish. Evolution 71: 766-777.

21. Beemelmanns A & Roth O. Bacteria-type specific biparental immune priming in the pipefish Syngnathus typhle. Ecology & Evolution 6: 6735 – 6767.

20. Beemelmanns A & Roth O (2016). Biparental immune priming in the pipefish Syngnathus typhle. Zoology 119: 262 - 272.

19. Landis SH, Sundin J, Rosenqvist G, Poirier M, Oistensen Jorgensen G & Roth O (2015). Female pipefish can detect the immune status of their mates. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 12: 1917-1923.

18. Joop G, Roth O, Schmid-Hempel P & Kurtz J (2014). Balancing external and internal immune defences in an insect. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 27: 1562-1571.

17. Roth O, Sundin J, Berglund A, Rosenqvist G & Wegner KM (2014). Male mate choice relies on MHC class I in a sex-role reversed fish. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 27: 929-938.

16. Bolte S, Roth O, Philipp EER, Saphörster J, Rosenstiel P & Reusch TBH (2013). Specific immune priming in the invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi. Biology Letters 9.

15. Diepeveen E, Roth O, Salzburger W (2013). Immune-related function of the HIVEP gene family in East African Cichlid Fishes. G3-Genes Genomes Genetics, 3: 2205-2217.

14. 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 typhle. Biology Letters 9, * authors contributed equally

13. Roth O, Klein V, Beemelmanns A, Scharsack JP & Reusch TBH (2012). Male pregnancy and bi-parental immune priming. American Naturalist, 180: 802-814.

12. Birrer S, Reusch TBH & Roth O (2012). Lowered salinity under global change will impair pipefish immune defence. Fish & Shellfish Immunology, 33: 1238-1248.

11. 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.

10. 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.

9. 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.

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: 1410 - 1420.

7. Asshoff R & Roth O (2011). Fostering students´inquirey skills: Developmental time & offspring rates of flour beetles. The American Biology Teacher 73: 232-23.

6. Roth O, Kurtz J, Reusch TBH (2010). A summer heat wave decreases the immunocompetence of the mesograzer, Idotea baltica. Marine Biology 157: 1605 - 1611.

5. 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: 403 - 410.  

4. 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: 1151 - 1155.  

3. 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.

2. Roth O & Kurtz J (2008). The stimulation of immune defence accelerates development in the red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum). Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21: 1703 - 1710.

1. 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.