Research Group Valenzano

Evolutionary Biology / Microbiome-Host Interactions in Aging

The Valenzano lab investigates the evolutionary and ecological causes responsible for the vast diversity of aging rates and lifespans across species in nature. 

We promote around the world the access of African killifish as a laboratory model by training labs for killifish husbandry, developing and sharing husbandry protocols, sharing laboratory and wild-derived killifish strains and resources for this species.

We promote a curiosity-driven, inclusive and open lab culture, supporting a diverse and dynamic research environment. We share our code, data and results.  

We strive to generate valuable scientific knowledge, tools and resources that can be accessed, replicated and used broadly by other members of the scientific community and of the society.


Dario R. Valenzano
Group Leader
+49 3641 65-6280

Nicole Wolf
+49 3641 65-6339

Selected Publications

Willemsen D, Cui R, Reichard M, Valenzano DR. (2020) Intra-species differences in population size shape life history and genome evolution. eLife, 2020;9:e55794
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.55794.
Bradshaw WJ, Valenzano DR. (2020). Extreme genomic volatility characterizes the evolution of the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus in cyprinodontiform fishes. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 287(1927)
Cui R, Medeiros T, Willemsen D, Iasi LNM, Collier GE, Graef M, Reichard M, Valenzano DR. (2019). Relaxed Selection Limits Lifespan by Increasing Mutation Load. Cell, Jul 11;178:1-15 (cover article).
Smith P, Willemsen D, Popkes M, Metge F, Gandiwa E, Reichard M, Valenzano DR (2017). Regulation of Life Span by the Gut Microbiota in The Short-Lived African Turquoise Killifish. Elife Aug 22;6.
doi: 10.775/eLife.27014.
Valenzano DR*,1, Benayoun B1, Singh PP1, Zhang E, Etter PD, Hu CK, Clement-Ziza M, Willemsen D, Cui R, Harel I, Machado B, Yee MC, Sharp SC, Bustamante CD, Beyer A, Johnson EA, Brunet A*. (2015). The African Turquoise Killifish genome provides insights into evolution and genetic architecture of lifespan. Cell, Dec 3;162(6):1539-1554. 1co-first author; *corresponding author.