I am an evolutionary biologist. I study how animals (specifically, insects and land snails) diverge and adapt. I am particularly interested in rapid evolution, either in natural situations or in situations that have been influenced by humans. I work both in the field and in the lab, and where possible I make use of that unique research tool: our natural history collection.
Coleoptera, terrestrial Gastropoda, Borneo, Balkans, Netherlands, speciation, urban evolution, endemism
My main motivation is the incredible diversity of life. In my research I study the processes that have driven (and are still driving) that diversification.
The biodiversity we see around us today is not static. It is constantly changing, evolving. Species diversify or go extinct. Their distributions and their niches change as does their appearance. Various processes of natura and sexual selection are responsible for these changes, some of which are accelerated today, as we humans create changes in the environment that set up novel selection regimes. In my research, my students and I study cases of rapid evolutionary change and diversification in wild organisms.
- Nekola J.C., Schilthuizen M., Szabo K., Horsáková V., Horsák M. 2019. First evidence for long‐term stasis in wet‐tropics land snail community composition. Ecography 42: 591-593.
- Schilthuizen, M. 2018. Darwin Comes to Town. How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution. Quercus / Picador.
- Schilthuizen M., Pazos Clavera A., Khoo M.S., Bondar C.A., Elder C.H.S., Bouma A.M., Eddington T.D., Reisinger C., Cosentino E., Rossato M., Delledonne M. 2018. Bringing the lab to the field: a new lowland Microparmarion semi-slug (Gastropoda: Ariophantidae) described and DNA-barcoded in the forest. Journal of Molluscan Studies 85: 35-40.
- Njunjić I., Perrard A., Hendriks K., Schilthuizen M., Perreau M., Merckx V.S.F.T., Baylac M., Deharveng L. 2018. Comprehensive evolutionary analysis of the Anthroherpon radiation (Coleoptera, Leiodidae, Leptodirini). PLOS ONE 13: e0198367.
- Merckx V.S.F.T., Hendriks K.P., Beentjes K.K., Mennes C.B., Becking L.E., Peijnenburg K.T.C.A., Afendy A., Arumugam N., de Boer H., Biun A., Buang M.M., Chen P.-P., Chung A.Y.C., Dow R., Feijen F.A.A., Feijen H., Feijen-van Soest C, Geml J., Geurts R., Gravendeel B., Hovenkamp P., Imbun P., Ipor I., Janssens S.B., Jocqué M. Kappes H., Khoo E., Koomen P., Lens F., Majapun R.J., Morgado L.N., Neupane S., Nieser N., Pereira J.T., Rahman H., Sabran S., Sawang A., Schwallier R.M., Shim P.-S., Smit H., Sol N., Spait M., Stech M., Stokvis F., Sugau J.B., Suleiman M., Sumail S., Thomas D.C., van Tol J., Tuh F.Y.Y., Yahya B.E., Nais J., Repin R., Lakim M. & Schilthuizen M. 2015. Evolution of endemism on a young tropical mountain. Nature 524: 347-350.
I am currently supervising the following PhD students:
- Kasper Hendriks (with Rampal Etienne, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen)
- Mohd Zacaery bin Khalik (with Martin Haase, Universität Greifswald)
- Isolde van Riemsdijk (with Pim Arntzen and Ben Wielstra, Naturalis & Leiden Univ.)
- Kevin Beentjes (with Arjen Speksnijder, Naturalis)
- Robbert Striekwold (with Paul Smith, Univ. Leiden)
- Deyi Wang (with Vincent Merckx, Naturalis)
- Michiel Hooykaas (with Ionica Smeets, Univ. Leiden)
I teach the following courses:
- Orientation Evolutionary Biology (MSc-level, Leiden Univ.)
- Tropical Biodiversity and Field Methods (MSc-level, Leiden Univ.)
- MOOC Evolution Today (Leiden Univ. & Coursera)