Adekanmi Daniel Omole

PhD Student


Adekanmi Daniel Omole
© Adekanmi Daniel Omole

Theoretical Biology
Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity
Hüfferstr. 1
D-48149 Münster, Germany
Tel.: +49 251/83-21660

Nationality: Nigerian Ng


  • Since 2022:
    PhD studies in the Theoretical Biology Group, Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, University of Münster, Germany
  • 2020 - 2022:
    Master of Science in Mathematical Modelling in Engineering (M.Sc.), University of L'Aquila, Italy and University of Hamburg, Germany
    Thesis: "Stochastic numerical modelling for fake news diffusion"
  • 2014 - 2018:
    Bachelor of Science in Mathematics (B.Sc.), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
    Thesis: Finite difference schemes for solving singularly perturbed differential equations arising from the boundary layer problem

Work experience

  • 2019 - 2020:
    Undergraduate Mathematics Tutor and Grader, Department of Mathematics, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria


  • Dr. Pete Czuppon, Theoretical Biology, Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, University of Münster

Research interests

  • Mathematical modelling

  • Genome evolution

  • Transposable elements

PhD project description

Evolutionary dynamics of transposable elements

Project funded in the framework of the priority program: Genomic Basis of Evolutionary Innovation (GEvol), in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Lena Wilfert, University of Ulm.

Telomeres are a widespread solution to the challenge eukaryotes face; protecting coding DNA from the shortening of chromosomal termini with each round of cell replication, and telomeres themselves are maintained by the enzyme telomerase, which adds repeating DNA motifs onto chromosome ends. Drosophila are the only unique genus of Diptera that we know of where transposable elements (TEs) are the sole means of maintaining chromosome ends. These TEs act like telomerase, extending telomeric regions by successive transposition. This system has been heralded as a clear-cut example of TE domestication but evidence in support of this idea is lacking and the evolution of telomere-specific TEs is not well understood. This project will determine if telomere-specific TEs are an innovative means of preserving telomeres in the absence of telomerase or simply selfish genetic elements avoiding host-silencing in a genomic safe-site. To achieve this, we will apply concepts from ecology to model the evolutionary dynamics of TEs under neutral scenarios, and empirically test (conducted by our collaborators in Ulm) for signatures of conflict or cooperation between host and TEs to understand any deviation from neutral modelling predictions. By integrating theoretical and empirical approaches across taxonomic levels, we will gain insight into TE domestication and the evolutionary drivers of innovative mechanisms of telomere maintenance.

This project will also determine if telomere-specific TEs are an innovative means of preserving telomeres in the absence of telomerase or if these TEs are simply localizing in a genomic safe-site to avoid host-regulation. Bridging the gap between these existing models and a neutral biodiversity model that predicts TE diversity within and between species is the ultimate goal of the theoretical part of this project.The development of these models will be informed by the empirical work conducted by our collaborators in Ulm. In turn, empirical data will
be tested against neutral model predictions and drivers of potential deviation from neutrality will be identified experimentally. Collectively, this will elucidate the evolution of telomere-specific TEs from a theoretical and empirical perspective. By integrating these approaches across taxonomic levels, this project will provide insight into the evolutionary drivers of alternative innovative end-replication solutions.