Thierry Kuhn

research interests

I have a background in evolutionary biology. In my previous work I focused on computer-based simulation models, the main focus was predator-prey systems and how a shorter life span can have a positive effect on adaptation and persistence of the prey species. This idea is known as the evolutionary hydra effect1 The simulation was run in the individual-based simulation framework NEMO2.

In my PhD the research focus changed to interspecific interactions, in particular, the interactions between fungal networks and bacteria. We use the ectomycorrhizal and saprophytic soil fungus Morchella crassipes and the bacterium Pseudomonas putida KT2440 labeled with green fluorescent protein for the experiments. The bacteria use the fungal network as a “highway network” and disperse along the hyphae3, because bacteria cannot disperse without water, and there is often a liquid layer on the surface of fungal hyphae. This allows bacteria to reach nutrients. To investigate these dispersal patterns, we use two different approaches. In a first step we collect the data in a laboratory setup. In a second step the collected data is added in a computer model. This has the advantage of efficiently exploring various, which would be extremely costly and time consuming otherwise. 


1. Osmond, M. M., Otto, S. P. & Klausmeier, C. A. When Predators Help Prey Adapt and Persist in a Changing Environment. Am. Nat. 190, 83–98 (2017).

2. Guillaume, F. & Rougemont, J. Nemo: an evolutionary and population genetics programming framework. Bioinformatics 22, 2556–2557 (2006).

3. Kohlmeier, S. et al. Taking the Fungal Highway: Mobilization of Pollutant-Degrading Bacteria by Fungi. Environ. Sci. Technol. 39, 4640–4646 (2005).


since 2019 PhD
under the supervision of Xiang-Yi Li and Prof. Redouan Bshary,
Eco-Ethology, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland
September 2017 -
June 2019
Master of Science in Evolutionary Biology
University of Zurich, Switzerland
September 2013 -
September 2017
Bachelor of Science in Biology
minor subject Environmental Science
University of Zurich, Switzerland


Comparative effects of the parasiticide ivermectin on survival and reproduction of adult sepsid flies
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, Volume 163, 15 November 2018, Pages 215-222




Assistant doctorant






Université de Neuchâtel
Rue Emile-Argand 11
CH-2000 Neuchâtel