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Dr. Charlotte Rafaluk-Mohr

Dr. Charlotte Rafaluk-Mohr

Rolff Group - Evolutionary Biology

Institute of Biology

Freie Universität Berlin

Senior Scientist

Königin-Luise-Straße 1-3
14195 Berlin
charlotte.rafaluk-mohr [at] fu-berlin [dot] de

Since 2019

Senior Scientist, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, Department of Evolutionary Biology (Prof. Jens Rolff)


Postdoc at the University of Oxford, Department of Zoology (Prof. Kayla King)


PhD student at the University of Kiel, Germany

I am broadly interested in the evolution and ecology of host-parasite interactions. I use several invertebrate host – microparasite systems to address questions such as: how and when does high virulence evolve? What kinds of trade-offs influence optimal virulence? When do we expect to see negative frequency dependent vs directional selection during host parasite coevolution? How does the microbiota influence other host-microbe interactions?

We are currently using both Caenorhabditis elegans hosts and the fungal parasite Purpureocillium lilacinum and Tribolium castaneum hosts and the fungal parasite Metarhizium spp. to understand the evolution of virulence in parasites able to persist for long periods of time in the environment as well as to gain a more comprehensive understanding of virulence evolution and the trade-offs that drive it. We are also using Tenebrio molitor beetles and human probiotic bacteria to investigate whether microbial loads of insects reared for food can be controlled through supplementation of insect feed with probiotics.

  • Ordovás-Montañés, M., Preston, G. M., Drew, G. C., Rafaluk-Mohr, C. and King, K. C. (2022) Reproductive Consequences of Transient Pathogen Exposure across Host Genotypes and Generations. Ecology and Evolution12: e8720
  • Ordovás-Montañés, M., Preston, G. M., Hoang, K. L., Rafaluk-Mohr, C. and King, K. C. (2022) Trade-Offs in Defence to Pathogen Species Revealed in Expanding Nematode Populations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 35: 1002–11
  • Armitage, S. A. O., Genersch, E., McMahon, D. P., Rafaluk-Mohr, C. and Rolff, J. (2022) Tripartite Interactions: How Immunity, Microbiota and Pathogens Interact and Affect Pathogen Virulence Evolution. Current Opinion in Insect Science 50: 100871.
  • Rafaluk-Mohr, C., Gerth, M., Sealey, J., Ekroth, A. K., Aboobaker, A., Kloock, A., King, K. C. (2022) Microbial protection favours mortality tolerance and alters host-parasite coevolutionary dynamics. Current Biology, 32: 1593-1598.e3
  • Kloock, A., Peters, L., Rafaluk-Mohr, C. (2021) Sex matters: effects of sex and mating in the presence and absence of a protective microbe. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, 11:713387
  • Ekroth, A.K. E., Rafaluk-Mohr, C. and King, K. C.. 2019. Host Genetic Diversity Limits Parasite Success beyond Agricultural Systems: A Meta-Analysis. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 286: 20191811
  • Pike, V. L., Ford, S., King, K. C., Rafaluk-Mohr, C. (2019) Fecundity compensation is dependent upon the generalized stress response in a nematode host. Ecology and Evolution, 9: 11957–61
  • Rafaluk-Mohr, C. (2019) The relationship between parasite virulence and environmental persistence: a meta-analysis. Parasitology, 1-6
  • Rafaluk-Mohr, C., Ashby, B., Dahan, D.A., King, K.C.(2018)Mutual fitness benefits arise during coevolution in a nematode-defensive microbe model. Evolution Letters, 2-3, 246–256.
  • Biswas, T., Joop, G, Rafaluk-Mohr, C. (2018) Cross-resistance as a consequence of bipartite host-parasite coevolution. Insects, 9, 28
  • Rafaluk-Mohr, C., Wagner, S., Joop, G. (2018) Cryptic changes in immune response and fitness in Tribolium castaneum as a consequence of coevolution with Beauveria bassiana. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 152, 1-7
  • Rafaluk, C., Yang, W., Mitschke, A., Rosenstiel, P., Schulenburg, H. & Joop, G. (2017) Highly potent host external immunity acts as a strong selective force enhancing rapid parasite virulence evolution. Environmental Microbiology, 19, 2090–2100
  • Betts, A., Rafaluk, C. and King, K.C. (2016) Host and Parasite Evolution in a Tangled Bank. Trends in Parasitology 32 (11): 863–73 * joint first author
  • Rafaluk, C., Jansen, G., Schulenburg, H. & Joop, G. (2015) When experimental selection for virulence leads to loss of virulence. Trends in Parasitology, 31, 426–434
  • Rafaluk, C., Gildenhard, M., Mitschke, A., Telschow, A., Schulenburg, H. & Joop, G. (2015) Rapid evolution of virulence leading to host extinction under host-parasite coevolution. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 15, 112