Yıldız, Beril

Beril Yildiz
PhD Student

Curriculum Vitae


2022 - current PhD student, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz
Preliminary title: “The role of gene regulation in division of labour in T.  longispinosus”
2021 - 2022 Bioinformatics assistant, The Netherlands Institute of Animal Ecology, Wageningen
Epibrain project: “Investigating the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the evolution of cognitive traits”
2020 Startersbeurs working experience, The Netherlands Institute of Animal Ecology, Wageningen
Project title: “Genetic and epigenetic differentiation between Dutch populations of great tits”
2017 - 2019 MSc Animal Sciences, Specialisation Genetics & Biodiversity, Wageningen University & Research
Thesis 1: Does foray effort affect the likelihood of extrapair paternity in great tits (Parus major)?
Thesis 2: Genomic consequences of a century of inbreeding and isolation in the Danish wild boar
2012 - 2016 BSc Genetics and Bioengineering, Istanbul Bilgi University
Thesis title: Detection of Newborn Screening for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID)

Research interests

Understanding how individuals adapt and evolve are major challenges in ecological and evolutionary genomics and I am passionate about contributing to these questions. Overall, I have focused on studying population genomics and epigenomics to investigate the adaptive potential of wild populations. Now, I am particularly interested in understanding how changes in gene expression propagate through regulatory mechanisms, and ultimately shape phenotypic evolution.

Division of labour is a well-known example of polyphenism, where individuals express an array of behavioural phenotypes despite having colony-wide genetic similarity. It is evident that this behavioural plasticity is linked to changes in gene expression. Thereby, social insects have long been models to examine the link between phenotypic plasticity and regulation of gene expression. Although the plasticity of various social behavioural traits has been shown, discerning the molecular mechanisms underpinning complex social behaviours remains largely uncertain. Epigenetic regulation of behavioural plasticity may allow workers to dynamically adapt to the demands of the colony and changes in the environment, which is critical for colony fitness.

During my PhD, I will investigate the molecular determinants that allow workers to switch tasks and construct task specific epigenetic and transcriptomic landscape of T. longispinosus. We will perform social manipulation of colony demography and elucidate the transcriptional regulation of task reversion using multi-omics approach. Overall, by discerning the molecular underpinnings of flexible task allocation, we aim to contribute to our understanding of caste evolution.


Yıldız, B., Megens, H.-J., Hvilsom, C., & Bosse, M. (2022). Genomic consequences of a century of inbreeding and isolation in the Danish wild boar population. Evolutionary Applications, 15, 954– 966. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.13385


Institute of Organismic and Molecular Evolution
Beril Yıldız
Hanns-Dieter-Hüsch-Weg 15

​5518 Mainz