Dr Max Reuter


Personal Profile

Name: Max Reuter Email: m.reuter@ucl.ac.uk
Title: Dr Tel: 00442076792201
Department: Genetics, Evolution & Environment Fax:
Position: Reader in Evolutionary Genetics Address: Wolfson House, 4 Stephenson Way, London, NW1 2HE
Research Domain: Basic Life Sciences Web Page: Personal Web Page


Research Description

I am an evolutionary biologist working on questions of phenotypic and genomic evolution.

The big question behind my empirical work is how selection brings about phenotypic evolution through changes in gene expression. I address this question by studying the evolution of sexual dimorphism, i.e., phenotypic differences between males and females. Because in most species males and females share almost all genes, dimorphism relies entirely on expression differences. I use the fruit fly as a model and combine quantitative genetics and transcriptome analysis to learn about how selection drives changes in differential expression of individual genes, as well as the factors constraining this evolutionary response.

In parallel to my experimental work on fruit flies, I am working on several collaborative bioinformatics projects dealing with the structure of genomes. Exploiting publicly available genome data, I am studying the evolution of different classes of 'non-coding' DNA, such as transposable elements and UTRs. Non-coding DNA makes up a significant part of eukaryotic genomes and my projects help elucidate how mutation and selection contribute to diversity and variation in structure between and within genomes.

Research Activities

Evolutionary genetics of sexual dimorphism

Experimental evolution of gene regulation

Genetic basis of sexual antagonism in fruitflies

Education Description

I organise and teach on 'Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology' (BIOL2011), and teach on 'Sex, Genes and Evolution' (BIOL3012) as well as in CoMPLEX.

I have been involved in developing and running the MRes and PhD programme in Systems Biology.

UCL Collaborators

Prof Jurg Bahler; Prof Kevin Fowler

External Collaborators

Dr Adam Chippindale



    • Lange B, Reuter M, Ebert D, Muylaert K, Decaestecker E (2014). Diet quality determines interspecific parasite interactions in host populations. ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, 4(15), 3093 - 3102. doi:10.1002/ece3.1167


    • Hesketh J, Fowler K, Reuter M (2013). Genetic drift in antagonistic genes leads to divergence in sex-specific fitness between experimental populations of Drosophila melanogaster.. Evolution, 67(5), 1503 - 1510. doi:10.1111/evo.12032
    • Nor I, Engelstaedter J, Duron O, Reuter M, Sagot M-F, Charlat S (2013). On the Genetic Architecture of Cytoplasmic Incompatibility: Inference from Phenotypic Data. AMERICAN NATURALIST, 182(1), E15 - E24. doi:10.1086/670612
    • Mullon C, Reuter M, Lehmann L (2013). The Evolution and Consequences of Sex-Specific Reproductive Variance.. Genetics, , - . doi:10.1534/genetics.113.156067
    • Stewart AJ, Seymour RM, Pomiankowski A, Reuter M (2013). Under-Dominance Constrains the Evolution of Negative Autoregulation in Diploids. PLoS Comput Biol, 9(3), e1002992 - . doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002992


    • Mullon C, Pomiankowski A, Reuter M (2012). THE EFFECTS OF SELECTION AND GENETIC DRIFT ON THE GENOMIC DISTRIBUTION OF SEXUALLY ANTAGONISTIC ALLELES. Evolution, , - . doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01728.x
    • Mullon C, Pomiankowski A, Reuter M (2012). Molecular evolution of Drosophila Sex-lethal and related sex determining genes.. BMC Evol Biol, 12, 5 - . doi:10.1186/1471-2148-12-5
    • Nor I, Hermelin D, Charlat S, Engelstadter J, Reuter M, Duron O, Sagot M-F (2012). Mod/Resc Parsimony Inference: Theory and application. INFORMATION AND COMPUTATION, 213, 23 - 32. doi:10.1016/j.ic.2011.03.008


    • Abbot P, Abe J, Alcock J, Alizon S, Alpedrinha JAC, Andersson M, Andre JB, van Baalen M, Balloux F, Balshine S, Barton N, Beukeboom LW, Biernaskie JM, Bilde T, Borgia G, Breed M, Brown S, Bshary R, Buckling A, Burley NT, Burton-Chellew MN, Cant MA, Chapuisat M, Charnov EL, Clutton-Brock T, Cockburn A, Cole BJ, Colegrave N, Cosmides L, Couzin ID, Coyne JA, Creel S, Crespi B, Curry RL, Dall SRX, Day T, Dickinson JL, Dugatkin LA, El Mouden C, Emlen ST, Evans J, Ferriere R, Field J, Foitzik S, Foster K, Foster WA, Fox CW, Gadau J, Gandon S, Gardner A, Gardner MG, Getty T, Goodisman MAD, Grafen A, Grosberg R, Grozinger CM, Gouyon PH, Gwynne D, Harvey PH, Hatchwell BJ, Heinze J, Helantera H, Helms KR, Hill K, Jiricny N, Johnstone RA, Kacelnik A, Kiers ET, Kokko H, Komdeur J, Korb J, Kronauer D, Kummerli R, Lehmann L, Linksvayer TA, Lion S, Lyon B, Marshall JAR, McElreath R, Michalakis Y, Michod RE, Mock D, Monnin T, Montgomerie R, Moore AJ, Mueller UG, Noe R, Okasha S, Pamilo P, Parker GA, Pedersen JS, Pen I, Pfennig D, Queller DC, Rankin DJ, Reece SE, Reeve HK, Reuter M, Roberts G, Robson SKA, Roze D, Rousset F, Rueppell O, Sachs JL, Santorelli L, Schmid-Hempel P, Schwarz MP, Scott-Phillips T, Shellmann-Sherman J, Sherman PW, Shuker DM, Smith J, Spagna JC, Strassmann B, Suarez AV, Sundstrom L, Taborsky M, Taylor P, Thompson G, Tooby J, Tsutsui ND, Tsuji K, Turillazzi S, Ubeda F, Vargo EL, Voelkl B, Wenseleers T, West SA, West-Eberhard MJ, Westneat DF, Wiernasz DC, Wild G, Wrangham R, Young AJ, Zeh DW, Zeh JA, Zink A (2011). Inclusive fitness theory and eusociality. NATURE, 471(7339), E1 - E4. doi:10.1038/nature09831


    • Nor I, Hermelin D, Charlat S, Engelstadter J, Reuter M, Duron O, Sagot M-F (2010). Mod/Resc Parsimony Inference.
    • Reiss D, Zhang Y, Rouhi A, Reuter M, Mager DL (2010). Variable DNA methylation of transposable elements: the case study of mouse Early Transposons. Epigenetics, 5(1), 68 - 79.


    • Reuter M (2008). The answers that lie in the shape of our genes - a review of "The Origins of Genome Architecture" by Michael Lynch. Times Higher Education, , - .
    • Viljakainen L, Reuter M, Pamilo P (2008). Wolbachia transmission dynamics in Formica wood ants. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 8, 55 - . doi:10.1186/1471-2148-8-55
    • Reuter M, Linklater JR, Lehmann L, Chapman T, Fowler K, Hurst GDD (2008). Adaptation to experimental alterations of the operational sex ratio in populations of Drosophila melanogaster.. Evolution, 62, 401 - 412. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2007.00300.x
    • Reuter M, Lehmann L, Guillaume F (2008). The spread of incompatibility-inducing parasites in sub-divided host populations. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 8, 134 - . doi:10.1186/1471-2148-8-134
    • Reuter M, Engelst├Ądter J, Fontanillas P, Hurst LD (2008). A test of the null model for 5'UTR evolution based on GC-content. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 25(5), 801 - 804. doi:10.1093/molbev/msn044


    • Charlat S, Reuter M, Dyson EA, Hornett EA, Duplouy A, Davies N, Roderick GK, Wedell N, Hurst GD (2007). Male-killing bacteria trigger a cycle of increasing male fatigue and female promiscuity. Current Biology, 17, 273 - 277.
    • Fontanillas P, Hartl DL, Reuter M (2007). Genome organization and gene expression shape the transposable element distribution in the Drosophila melanogaster euchromatin. PLOS GENET, 3(11), 2256 - 2267. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0030210
    • Reuter M, Bell G, Greig D (2007). Increased outbreeding in yeast in response to dispersal by an insect vector. CURR BIOL, 17(3), R81 - R83.


    • Lehmann L, Bargum K, Reuter M (2006). An evolutionary analysis of the relationship between spite and altruism. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 19(5), 1507 - 1516. doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2006.01128.x


    • Chapuisat M, Bernasconi C, Hoehn S, Reuter M (2005). Nestmate recognition in the unicolonial ant Formica paralugubris. Behavioral Ecology, 16, 15 - 19.
    • Helms KR, Reuter M, Keller L (2005). Sex-ratio conflict between queens and workers in eusocial Hymenoptera: mechanisms, costs, and the evolution of split colony sex ratios.. Evolution, 59(12), 2626 - 2638.
    • Reuter M, Pedersen JS, Keller L (2005). Loss of Wolbachia infection during colonisation in the invasive Argentine ant Linepithema humile.. Heredity (Edinb), 94(3), 364 - 369. doi:10.1038/sj.hdy.6800601
    • Veneti Z, Reuter M, Montenegro H, Hornett EA, Charlat S, Hurst GDD (2005). The Wolbachia paradigm. In McFall N, Ruby EG, Henderson B (Ed.), The influence of cooperative bacteria on animal host biology (pp. 119 - 142). : Cambridge University Press.


    • Reuter M, Helms K, Lehmann L, Keller L (2004). Effects of brood manipulation costs on optimal sex allocation in social Hymenoptera. The American Naturalist, 164, E73 - E82. doi:10.1086/422659