Baylor University
Department of Biology
College of Arts and Sciences

Baylor > Biology > Student Spotlights > Martin Husemann
Martin Husemann
Doctoral Student

Spotlight 5

From Germany to Texas

Martin Husemann's perpetual interest in biology spurred his journey overseas to further his studies at Baylor University. He wanted to participate in the lab of Dr. Patrick Danley, a prominent researcher in the field of evolution of radiating systems. Martin earned bachelors and masters degrees in science at the University of Osnabrück in Germany. There, he worked on the phylogeny and evolution of sound producing systems of the grasshopper genus Sphingonotus. During an internship in Luxembourg he worked on projects investigating the phylogeography of Northern African, European and Central Asian mountain ranges using different invertebrate organisms as model systems.

Researching Evolution of Species Rich Systems

"I am generally interested in the evolution of species rich systems, in the behavioral ecology of communication systems (e.g. acoustic behavior in fish and Orthoptera), and in biogeography and phylogeography of Europe and Africa and in phylogenetics," Martin says. Martin's research at Baylor focuses on the evolution of the non-visual mate recognition system in Malawi rock-dwelling cichlid fish. While the visual component is thoroughly investigated, studies concerning acoustic and chemical communication remain sparse. Martin wants to identify the importance of these alternative methods of communication to these colorful fish, in order to prevent hybridization between closely related species. "I am applying molecular genetics tools along with behavioral experiments to answer my research questions," he explains. He also hopes to uncover how the expansive biodiversity in cichlid fish of Lake Malawi evolved.

Baylor's First Rate Biology Program

Baylor's amicable environment, helpful professors and abundant resources make this university unique. All laboratories are well-equipped and in prime condition; classes provide ample preparation for scientific pursuits. The faculty value teaching proper scientific habits pertaining to experimental design, proposal writing and presentations. Martin commends the faculty as "always available, professional and welcoming." He strongly recommends this exclusive biology graduate program that prepares students for future careers and encourages independent research. "As one of many international students, Baylor gives me a good opportunity to learn about the American culture, as well as others, in a friendly and stimulating environment," he says enthusiastically. Martin foresees his future applying knowledge gained from his doctoral program in a European post-doctoral position concentrated on evolutionary biology. He hopes to continue exploring species rich systems to discern the reasons some taxa have high speciation rates and others do not.

Department of Biology