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Michael Thomas-Poulsen

Michael Thomas-Poulsen

Associate Professor

I am interested in the evolutionary origin and stability of symbioses, including conflict and cooperation within beneficial symbiotic associations (mutualisms). My work focuses on population genetics, host-symbiont interactions, and the coevolutionary history of fungus-growing insect-microbe associations.

I did my PhD at the Department of Population Biology (Copenhagen University) from 2002-2005 with the focus being on conflict and cooperation in fungus-growing ant-fungus and -bacteria symbioses.

In 2005, I moved to the US, where I was a post-doc in Prof. Cameron Currie's lab at the Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison ( The primary focus during my tenure there was antibiotika-producing bacteria associated with fungus-growing ants.

In October 2010 I returned to Denmark to initiate a project funded by a four-year fellowship (STENO) from The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation. This project focused on identifying and exploring host-symbiont associations with fungus-growing termites. This work is in close connection with the Centre for Social Evolution (

For more information, see my full Curriculum Vitae and publication list.

If you are interested in my work or a potential collaboration, you are always very welcome to contact me (

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