Dr. Niloofar Alaei Kakhki

Profilbild von Niloofar Alaei Kakhki


research group "Hybridization and Speciation"


0711 / 8936-179
0711 / 8936-100

Research profile

My research interests stem from my desire to understand fundamental aspects of biological diversity and evolution. Since I became acquainted with Darwin's finches as one of the classical examples of adaptive radiation and speciation, I have been passionate about speciation and phenotypic diversification. These aspects include the phylogenetic relationships among different organisms, their origin, distribution patterns and morphological complexity.

I am intrigued by questions such as: How do species arise through these processes? What mechanisms contribute to the formation of reproductive barriers? How do various evolutionary forces interact spatially and temporally to facilitate speciation? Additionally, I am keen on exploring the influence of hybridization and gene flow in the processes of diversification and speciation.




  • Alaei Kakhki, N., Schweizer, M., Lutgen, D., Bowie, R. C., Shirihai, H., Suh, A., Schielzeth, H., & Burri, R. A Phylogenomic Assessment of Processes Underpinning Convergent Evolution in Open-Habitat Chats. Molecular biology and evolution, 40(1).https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msac278

  • Peona, V., Palacios-Gimenez O.V., Lutgen, D., Olsen, R.A., Alaei Kakhki, N., Andriopoulos, P., Bontzorlos, V., Manuel Schweizer, M., Suh, A., Burri, R. An annotated chromosome-scale reference genome for Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe melanoleuca). G3 Genes Genomes Genetics. https://doi.org/10.1093/g3journal/jkad088



  • Alaei Kakhki, N., Aliabadian, M., Forschler, M.I., Ghasempouri, S.M., Kiabi, B., Verde Arregoitia, L.D., Schweizer, M. Phylogeography of the Oenanthe hispanica pleschanka–cypriaca complex (Aves, Muscicapidae: Saxicolinae): Diversification history of open-habitat specialists based on climate niche models, genetic data, and morphometric data. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 119: 904–918. https://doi.org/10.1111/jzs.12206


  • Alaei Kakhki, N., Aliabadian, M., Schweizer, M. Out of Africa: biogeographic history of the open-habitat chats (Aves, Muscicapidae: Saxicolinae) across arid areas of the old world. Zoologica Scripta, 45, 237–251. https://doi.org/10.1111/zsc.12151
  • Aliabadian, M., Alaei Kakhki, N., Mirshamsi, O., Nijman, V., Roulin, A.Phylogeny, biogeography, and diversification of barn owls (Aves: Strigiformes). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 119, 904–918. https://doi.org/10.1111/bij.12824


  • Haddadian shad, H., Darvish, J., Mohammadian, T., Mahmoudi, A., Alaei Kakhki, N., Ghanbarifardi, M., Molavi, F., Barani-Beiranvand, H. Preliminary study of rodents using pellets of predatory birds in Iran. Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics, 10: 36-55. 10.22067/IJAB.V10I1.36911


  • Aliabadian, M., Alaei Kakhki, N., Darvish, J. Phylogenetic systematics of Barn Owl (Tyto alba (Scopoli, 1769)) complex inferred from mitochondrial rDNA (16S rRNA) taxonomic implication.Taxonomy and Biosystematics, 11: 1-12.


  • Alaei Kakhki, N., Aliabadian, M. Mitochondrial DNA (CYTB) divergences in two distinct, Old World and New World Barn Owls. Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics, 18: 47-55.