Home page / Fellows & Labs / Fellows & Alumni / Katharina Birgit Budde

Katharina Birgit Budde

Katharina Birgit Budde

session, year:
2015 2nd


Receiving laboratory:
BIOGECO, Biodiversity from Genes and Communities Bordeaux Aquitaine

Country of origin:


Country of destination:


Last available contact



Download Curriculum Vitae

Mobility project

Hybridization and adaptive allele sharing in tropical keystone tree species complexes in relation to drought stress

In highly diverse tropical forests closely related species often occur in sympatry and sometimes interbreed. Hybridization is a common mechanism with wide-ranging impacts on the evolution of plant biodiversity and adaptation. In our project, we study to what extent multiple tropical tree species hybridize and share adaptive alleles, resulting in “collective evolution” of the species complexes. Our central hypothesis is that hybridization between species may allow the spread of adaptive alleles beyond species borders (especially in rare species), facilitating a rapid evolutionary response to environmental change. The combination of rising temperatures and declining precipitation due to anthropogenic global change has led to increasing drought risk also in many tropical forests around the globe. Our project therefore focusses on the role of adaptive allele sharing in two tropical tree species complexes and its evolutionary importance for response to drought stress. We use novel sequencing technology and bioinformatic tools to characterize the genomics of two independent tree species assemblages of occasionally hybridizing non-model tree species: (a) Symphonia (Clusiaceae), widespread and endemic to Madagascar and (b) Lecythis/Eschweilera (Lecythidaceae), an ecologically diverse species complex widespread in the Neotropics.


Biography & research interests

I am a biologist interested in ecological population genetics and genomics of tree species and the effect of abiotic and biotic interactions. During my PhD thesis at the Forest Research Centre INIA-CIFOR in Madrid, I studied the influence of fire events and past climatic oscillations on the demographic history, spatial genetic structure and local adaptation of natural tree populations. I worked with Pinus species from Spain and a tropical tree species, Symphonia globulifera in Africa. From 2014 until 2016, I worked as a postdoc at the University of Copenhagen and studied resistance of Nordmann fir trees to adelgid (Hemiptera) feeding using transcriptome data. Since September 2016, I work on detecting the sharing of adaptive alleles in tropical tree species complexes, in the framework of a grant and project funded by the IdEx program of the University of Bordeaux and AgreenSkills+.

Selected publications

Mosca E, Di Pierro E.A., Budde KB et al., 2018. Environmental effects on fine-scale spatial genetic structure in four Alpine keystone forest tree species. Molecular Ecology. Doi:10/1111/mec.14469.

Torroba-Balmori P, Budde KB, Heer K et al., 2017. Altitudinal gradients, biogeographic history and microhabitat adaptation affect fine scale spatial genetic structure in African and Neotropical populations of an ancient tropical tree species. PLOSone, 12, e0182515.

Budde KB, González-Martínez SC, Navascués M et al., 2017. Increased fire frequency promotes stronger spatial genetic structure and natural selection at regional and local scales in Pinus halepensis Mill. Annals of Botany, 119, 1061-1072.

Budde KB, Nielsen LR, Ravn HP, Kjær ED, 2016. The natural evolutionary potential of tree populations to cope with newly introduced pests and pathogens - lessons learned from forest health catastrophes in recent decades. Current Forestry Reports, 2, 18-29.

Budde KB, Heuertz M, Hernández-Serrano A et al., 2014.  In situ genetic association for serotiny, a fire-related trait,  in Mediterranean maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton).  New Phytologist, 201, 230-241.

Talks in annual meetings


Hybridization, adaptation, allele sharing, tropical rain forest, Symphonia, Eschweilera/Lecythis, drought