Center for Computational and Theoretical Biology

Alexander Keller 

Group Leader

Tel: 0931 - 31 84427




My projects focus on a combination of microbiome ecology with bioinformatics and new sequencing technologies. I am very interested in investigation of patterns and structuring forces of microbial communities inhabitating various habitats. This interest applies to various levels, starting with abundance and diversity pattern of species/groups, over phylogenetics, towards environmental and spatial influences and lastly regarding organisms’ molecular interactions with each other on a metagenomic level. From a methodological perspective, my workgroup is currently developing and establishing novel molecular techniques to prepare ecological samples for NGS. This goes hand in hand with the corresponding analytical in silico workflows.

Curriculum Vitae

2017 - now Privatdozent & Akad. Oberrat Bioinformatics Dept. & CCTB, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
2013 - now Principal Investigator Graduate School of Life Sciences, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
2011 - 2017 Young Investigator Group Leader Molecular Biodiversity Group, Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
2014 - 2017 Habilitation Candidate Faculty of Biology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
2010 Visiting Scientist Faculty of Biology and Health Services, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA, USA
2008 - 2010 Graduate School Member Elite Network Bavaria, Bavaria, Germany
2007 - 2010 PhD Candidate Department of Bioinformatics, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
2007 Research Assistant Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
2006 Visiting Scientist Faculty of Science, University of Brunei Darussalam, Gadong, Brunei Darussalam
2005 Visiting Scientist Hitoy Cerere National Park, Talamanca, Costa Rica
2004 - 2007 Diplom Candidate Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology
2001 - 2004 Vordiplom Candidate Faculty of Biology, University of Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany


[ 2017 ] [ 2016 ] [ 2015 ] [ 2014 ] [ 2013 ] [ 2012 ] [ 2011 ] [ 2010 ] [ 2009 ] [ 2008 ]

2017 [ nach oben ]

  • Release from prey preservation behavior via prey switch allowed diversification of cuticular hydrocarbon profiles in digger wasps. Wurdack, Mareike; Polidori, Carlo; Keller, Alexander; Feldhaar, Heike; Schmitt, Thomas in Evolution (2017). in press
  • Generalist social bees maximize diversity intake in plant species-rich and resource-abundant environments. Kaluza, Benjamin F.; Wallace, Helen; Keller, Alexander; Heard, Tim A.; Jeffers, Bradley; Drescher, Nora; Blüthgen, Nico; Leonhardt, Sara D. in Ecosphere (2017). 8(3) e01758--n/a.

2016 [ nach oben ]

  • Silent listeners: Can preferences of eavesdropping midges predict the parasitism risk of their host? Meuche, Ivonne; Keller, Alexander; Ahmadsah, Hanyrol; Ahmad, Norhayati; Grafe, T Ulmar in Behavioral Ecology (2016). 27 995-1003.
  • Pollen DNA barcoding: current applications and future prospects. Bell, Karen; De Vere, Natasha; Keller, Alexander; Richardson, Rodney; Gous, Annemarie; Burgess, Kevin; Brosi, Berry in Genome (2016). 59 629-640.
  • Laboratory rearing of solitary bees and wasps. Becker, Mira; Keller, Alexander in Insect Science (2016). 23 918.
  • Draft genome of the Arabidopsis thaliana phyllosphere bacterium, Williamsia sp. ARP1. Horn, Hannes; Keller, Alexander; Hildebrandt, Ulrich; Kämpfer, Peter; Riederer, Markus; Hentschel, Ute in Standards in Genomic Sciences (2016).
  • DNA-Metabarcoding – ein neuer Blick auf organismische Diversität. Keller, Alexander; Grimmer, Gudrun; Sickel, Wiebke; Ankenbrand, Markus J in BioSpektrum (2016). 22 147-150.
  • Crown galls of grapevine (Vitis vinifera) host distinct microbiota. Faist, Hanna; Keller, Alexander; Hentschel, Ute; Deeken, Rosalia in Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2016). 82 5542-5552.
  • Contact of myeloma cells induces a characteristic transcriptome signature in skeletal precursor cells--Implications for myeloma bone disease. Dotterweich, Julia; Schlegelmilch, Katrin; Keller, Alexander; Geyer, Beate; Schneider, Doris; Zeck, Sabine; Tower, Robert JJ; Ebert, Regina; Jakob, Franz; Schütze, Norbert in Bone (2016). 93 155--166.
  • biojs-io-biom, a BioJS component for handling data in Biological Observation Matrix (BIOM) format. Ankenbrand, Markus J.; Terhoeven, Niklas; Hohlfeld, Sonja; Förster, Frank; Keller, Alexander in F1000Research (2016). 5 2348.
  • bcgTree: automatized phylogenetic tree building from bacterial core genomes. Ankenbrand, Markus J; Keller, Alexander in Genome (2016). 59 783-791.
  • Bacterial Diversity and Community Structure in Two Bornean Nepenthes Species with Differences in Nitrogen Acquisition Strategies. Sickel, Wiebke; Grafe, T. Ulmar; Meuche, Ivonne; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Keller, Alexander in Microbial Ecology (2016). 71 938–953.

2015 [ nach oben ]

  • Reptiles as reservoirs of bacterial infections: real threat or methodological bias? Zancolli, Giulia; Mahsberg, Dieter; Sickel, Wiebke; Keller, Alexander in Microbial Ecology (2015). 70(3) 579-84.
  • Monophyletic clades of Macaranga pollinating thrips with high specificity to host plant taxonomic sections. Fiala, Brigitte; Wells, Konstans; Haubenreisser, Julia; Pittroff, Andreas; Kaya-Zeeb, Sinan; Chung, Arthur Y.C.; bin Hashim, Rosli; Keller, Alexander in Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (2015). 116(3) 558–570.
  • Microhabitat heterogeneity across leaves and flower organs promotes bacterial diversity. Junker, Robert R; Keller, Alexander in FEMS Microbiology Ecology (2015). 91(1) fiv09.
  • ITS2 Database V: Twice as Much. Ankenbrand, M. J.; Keller, A.; Wolf, M.; Schultz, J.; Forster, F. in Mol. Biol. Evol. (2015). 32(11) 3030--3032.
  • ITS2 Database V: Twice as Much. Ankenbrand, Markus J.; Keller, Alexander; Wolf, Matthias; Schultz, Jörg; Förster, Frank in Molecular Biology and Evolution (2015). 32(11) 3030-3032.
  • Increased efficiency in identifying mixed pollen samples by meta-barcoding with a dual-indexing approach. Sickel, Wiebke; Ankenbrand, Markus; Grimmer, Gudrun; Holzschuh, Andrea; Härtel, Stephan; Lanzen, Jonathan; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Keller, Alexander in BMC Ecology (2015). 15 20.
  • Functional and phylogenetic diversities of plant communities differently affect the structure of flower-visitor interactions and reveal convergences in floral traits. Junker, Robert R.; Blüthgen, Nico; Keller, Alexander in Evolutionary Ecology (2015). 29 437-450.
  • Evaluating multiplexed next-generation sequencing as a method in palynology for mixed pollen samples. Keller, Alexander; Danner, Nadja; Grimmer, Gudrun; Ankenbrand, Markus; von der Ohe, Katharina; von der Ohe, Werner; Rost, Simone; Härtel, Stephan; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf in Plant Biology (2015). 17 558-566.
  • DNA-analyses of Venerupis philippinarum (Adams and Reeve, 1850) with a new and constant shell-pattern from Italy, Emilia Romagna. Wölfling, Mirko; Rohrhirsch, Manuela; Uhl, Britta; Keller, Alexander in Malacologia (2015). 86(1) 30-32.

2014 [ nach oben ]

  • Pollen DNA barcoding using next-generation sequencing. Keller, Alexander; Härtel, Stephan; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf in Barcode Bulletin (2014). 5(3) 8.
  • Novel form of X-linked nonsyndromic hearing loss with cochlear malformation caused by a mutation in the type IV collagen gene COL4A6. Rost, Simone; Bach, Elisa; Neuner, Cordula; Nanda, Indrajit; Dysek, Sandra; Bittner, Reginald E; Keller, Alexander; Bartsch, Oliver; Mlynski, Robert; Haaf, Thomas in European Journal of Human Genetics (2014). (22) 208-215.
  • Identification of WISP1 as an important survival factor in human mesenchymal stem cells. Schlegelmilch, Katrin; Keller, Alexander; Zehe, Viola; Hondke, Silvia; Klein-Hitpass, Ludger; Schütze, Norbert in Gene (2014). 551(2) 243-54.
  • Density-dependent responses by bumblebees to flower dwelling bacteria. Junker, Robert R; Romeike, Tanja; Keller, Alexander; Langen, Daniela in Apidologie (2014). 45 467-477.
  • Confirmation of warfarin resistance of naturally occurring VKORC1 variants by coexpression with coagulation factor IX and in silico protein modelling. Müller, Elisabeth; Keller, Alexander; Fregin, Andreas; Müller, Clemens R; Rost, Simone in BMC Genetics (2014). 15 17.
  • Computational integration of genomic traits into 16S rDNA microbiota sequencing studies. Keller, Alexander; Horn, Hannes; Förster, Frank; Schultz, Jörg in Gene (2014). 549(1) 186-191.

2013 [ nach oben ]

  • Only distance matters--non-choosy females in a poison frog population. Meuche, Ivonne; Brusa, Oscar; Linsenmair, K Eduard; Keller, Alexander; Pröhl, Heike in Frontiers in Zoology (2013). 10(1) 29.
  • Diverse microbiota identified in whole intact nest chambers of the red mason bee Osmia bicornis (Linnaeus 1758). Keller, Alexander; Grimmer, Gudrun; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf in PloS one (2013). 8(10) e78296.

2012 [ nach oben ]

  • Common ancestry or environmental trait filters: cross-continental comparisons of trait--habitat relationships in tropical anuran amphibian assemblages. Ernst, Raffael; Keller, Alexander; Landburg, Gwendolyn; Grafe, T Ulmar; Linsenmair, K Eduard; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Dziock, Frank in Global Ecology and Biogeography (2012). 21(7) 704--715.

2011 [ nach oben ]

  • Internal transcribed spacer 2 (nu ITS2 rRNA) sequence-structure phylogenetics: towards an automated reconstruction of the green algal tree of life. Buchheim, Mark A; Keller, Alexander; Koetschan, Christian; Förster, Frank; Merget, Benjamin; Wolf, Matthias in PLoS One (2011). 6(2) e16931.
  • Hawaiian ant-flower networks: nectar-thieving ants prefer undefended native over introduced plants with floral defenses. Junker, Robert R; Daehler, Curtis C; Dötterl, Stefan; Keller, Alexander; Blüthgen, Nico in Ecological Monographs (2011). 81(2) 295--311.
  • Composition of epiphytic bacterial communities differs on petals and leaves. Junker, Robert R; Loewel, Christina; Gross, Roy; Dötterl, Stefan; Keller, Alexander; Blüthgen, Nico in Plant Biology (2011). 13(6) 918--924.

2010 [ nach oben ]

  • The ITS2 Database III—sequences and structures for phylogeny. Koetschan, Christian; Förster, Frank; Keller, Alexander; Schleicher, Tina; Ruderisch, Benjamin; Schwarz, Roland; Müller, Tobias; Wolf, Matthias; Schultz, Jörg in Nucleic Acids Research (2010). 38(Suppl 1) D275--D279.
  • Ribosomal RNA phylogenetics: the third dimension. Keller, Alexander; Wolf, Matthias; Dandekar, Thomas in Biologia (2010). 65(3) 388--391.
  • ITS2 sequence-structure phylogeny in the Scenedesmaceae with special reference to em Coelastrum em (Chlorophyta, Chlorophyceae), including the new genera em Comasiella em and em Pectinodesmusem. Hegewald, Eberhard; Wolf, Matthias; Keller, Alexander; Friedl, Thomas; Krienitz, Lothar in Phycologia (2010). 49(4) 325--335.
  • Including RNA secondary structures improves accuracy and robustness in reconstruction of phylogenetic trees. Keller, A.; Forster, F.; Muller, T.; Dandekar, T.; Schultz, J.; Wolf, M. in Biol. Direct (2010). 5 4.
  • Including RNA secondary structures improves accuracy and robustness in reconstruction of phylogenetic trees. Keller, Alexander; Förster, Frank; Müller, Tobias; Dandekar, Thomas; Schultz, Jörg; Wolf, Matthias; others, in Biology Direct (2010). 5 4.

2009 [ nach oben ]

  • The importance of environmental heterogeneity for species diversity and assemblage structure in Bornean stream frogs. Keller, Alexander; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Linsenmair, K Eduard; Grafe, T Ulmar in Journal of Animal Ecology (2009). 78(2) 305--314.
  • ITS2 secondary structure improves phylogeny estimation in a radiation of blue butterflies of the subgenus em Agrodiaetus em (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae: \em Polyommatus\em ). Wiemers, Martin; Keller, Alexander; Wolf, Matthias in BMC Evolutionary Biology (2009). 9(1) 300.
  • Die Artenvielfalt der Amphibien in einem Tieflandregenwald auf Borneo. Keller, Alexander (2009). 80--83.
  • A Bornean amphibian hotspot: the lowland mixed dipterocarp rainforest at Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei Darussalam. Grafe, T Ulmar; Keller, Alexander in Salamandra (2009). 45 16--25.
  • 5.8S-28S rRNA interaction and HMM-based ITS2 annotation. Keller, Alexander; Schleicher, Tina; Schultz, Jörg; Müller, Tobias; Dandekar, Thomas; Wolf, Matthias in Gene (2009). 430(1) 50--57.

2008 [ nach oben ]

  • ITS2 data corroborate a monophyletic chlorophycean DO-group (Sphaeropleales). Keller, Alexander; Schleicher, Tina; Förster, Frank; Ruderisch, Benjamin; Dandekar, Thomas; Müller, Tobias; Wolf, Matthias in BMC Evolutionary Biology (2008). 8(1) 218.
  • Geographic distribution: Xenodermus javanicus (Short Note). Keller, Alexander; Siegle, Matthias; Grafe, T Ulmar in Herpetological Review (2008). 39 373.
  • Geographic distribution: Parias sumatranus (Short Note). Keller, Alexander; Siegle, Matthias; Grafe, T Ulmar in Herpetological Review (2008). 39 373.