Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology

image source: Janina Diehl

Janina Diehl

image source: Mehdi K.

PhD student

Phone: +49 931 31-85216

Fax: +49 931 31-852160

email: janina.diehl@uni-wuerzburg.de



Room: DK03


Insect-Fungus Interactions Research Group

Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology
University of Würzburg
Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg


Overall I am very interested in social evolution of animals and their behavioural ecology. The topics I already had contact with, like social immunity, influence of pathogens and symbionts on their hosts, factors that shape different kinds of behaviour (maternal care, sibling cooperation/conflict, food sharing, pathogen defence) arouse my interest for a career in science and look for a PhD in this field. With research on the evolution of sociality in ambrosia beetles I can now dig deeper into the coevolution of sociality and fungiculture.

My research project is about the evolutionary ecology of fungus-farming ambrosia beetles. I am interested in whether there is an active regulation of the fungal community composition of their nests by the beetles. Furthermore, I want to test if pathogens are driving the evolution of hygienic behaviours in this system. I will test that by experimentally evolving some lines under high pathogen pressures over several generations. My model system is facultatively eusocial and successful selection for higher sociality would be new for animals.


2018 – present          Dr. rer. nat.

Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg

Department of Animal Ecology & Tropical Biology (Zoology III)

Thesis Title: Ecology and Evolution of Symbiont Management in Ambrosia Beetles


2014 – 03/2016        M. Sc. Biology

Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz

Thesis Title: Social immunity in Forficula auricularia: pathogen avoidance and behavioral changes in females at egg-laying and during pre-hatching care

2011 – 2014              B. Sc. Biology

Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz

Thesis Title: The role of frass in nymphs of the European earwig (Forficula auricularia)


2008 – 2011              Medical Technical Laboratory Assistant (MTAL)

State-recognized institute for medical-technical laboratory assistants, Mainz


Work Experience


04/2014 – 12/2017            Student assistant, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Department of Behavioral Ecology and Social Evolution

- teaching assistant for the module „Evolution and behavioral ecology of animals“

- research assistant: assistance in animal rearing (ants)

- teaching assistant for the zoological identification course and module „Evolution and Behavioral Ecology of Animals“

- research assistant: assistance in animal rearing (ants and earwigs), marking of ants with metal wire and testing

- secretary assistant: organising department library and labeling bachelor, Master and PhD thesises

Diehl, JMC and Meunier J (2018). Surrounding pathogens shape maternal investment into egg care but not egg production in the European earwig. Behavioral Ecology, 29 (1): 128-136. https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arx140

Kramer, J; Körner, M; Diehl, J; Scheiner, C; Yüksel-Dadak, A; Christl, T; Kohlmeier, P; Meunier, J (2017). When earwig mothers do not care to share: parent-offspring competition and the evolution of family life. Functional Ecology, 31(11), 2098-2107. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.12915

Körner, M, Diehl, JMC and Meunier, J (2016). Growing up with feces: benefits of allo-coprophagy in families of the European earwig. Behavioral Ecology, 27 (6): 1775-1781. https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arw113

Diehl, J, Körner, M, Pietsch, M and Meunier, J (2015). Feces production as a form of social immunity in an insect with facultative maternal care. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 15:40. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-015-0330-4