Takahito Shikano



I joined Ecological Genetics Research Unit in 2006 after working in Japan and North America. My current research interest lies in understanding the genetic bases of adaptation and speciation.


Research projects

Genetic basis of adaptation

Threespine and ninespine sticklebacks exhibit diverse phenotypic and ecological features, and thus they are well suited for studying the genetic basis of adaptation. In particular, they are useful to address the extent to which the same genes can be responsible for similar phenotypic changes in rapidly evolving fish genomes. This project aims to identify the genes and genomic regions underlying phenotypic evolution and adaptation to heterogeneous environments using genome scan approaches, and to explore similarities and dissimilarities in these genetic mechanisms both at intra- and inter-specific levels.

Sex chromosome evolution and speciation

Unlike mammals or birds, several lower vertebrates are known to exhibit a rapid turnover of sex chromosomes. Diverse sex determination and chromosome systems are also found in stickleback fishes. This project aims to address the evolutionary dynamics and differentiation processes of sex chromosomes based on intra- and inter-specific comparative analyses in sticklebacks. In addition, the project investigates the role of sex chromosomes in speciation.

Phylogeography and population genetics

Ninespine sticklebacks have a circumpolar distribution in the Northern Hemisphere, and their distribution has been strongly affected by past continental glaciation. This project addresses historical and ecological factors influencing the diversification process and contemporary genetic structure of ninespine sticklebacks.



Taka's publications can be found from TUHAT database.

Page updated 20.09.2013