My primary research interest is the application of genomic-based analyses to address relevant ecological and evolutionary questions that are useful for gaining a better understanding of ecosystem dynamics and for the management and conservation of animal species. My work focuses on the exploitation of NGS data, such as RAD sequencing and Whole Genome Sequencing, using bioinformatic tools, and of forward genetic simulations, to develop population genomics interpretations of animal and plant species in relation to ecosystem patterns.
Despite my genuine interest towards all living beings on Earth, my academic career has predominantly centered on marine organisms and have recently dealt mostly with Antarctic taxa. Indeed, I’m currently studying the genomic basis of fitness in the Antarctic fur seal and the population genomics of the Antarctic sea snail Margarella antarctica. Nevertheless, I’m also collaborating on projects on brittle starts, non-Antarctic pinnipeds, shellfish and even non-marine organisms such as blue tits, American robins and even palm trees.
Previous Research and Other Interests
I acquired both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at the University of Ferrara. In order to write my BS thesis, I joined the Marine Turtle Rescue Center (CRTM) located in Linosa Island in summer 2012 to study the ecology and behaviour of the endangered Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), as well as to contribute to the monitoring of cetacean species around Linosa Island.
As part of my MS degree, I spent one year at the NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in Santa Cruz, to conduct research on the life-history traits of steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) as revealed by genetic analysis, which has been the focus of my MS thesis. During that time I also had the opportunity to present the results of my work at the 2014 Coastwide Salmonid Genetics Meeting held in Juneau. This was my first time presenting at a conference.
Subsequently, I earned my PhD here at the University of Bielefeld under the supervision of Joe Hoffman. During my PhD project I primarily investigated the population genomics of four European shellfish species, but I could also apply and improve my skills as a geneticist to a number of other projects which I’ve collaborated to. During this time I was an Early Stage Researcher within the Marie Curie CACHE Initial Training Network (ITN), whose overall aim was to understand how the ability of marine mollusks to produce their calcareous shells is impacted by increasing climate change-driven ocean acidification.
Then, my first Postdoc focused on the study of patterns of population genetic structure over time at different geographic scales in the Antarctic limpet Nacella concinna. More specifically, I investigated how chaotic genetic patchiness (CGP) can emerge in this study system and what are its determinants.
In addition to my research activity, I like focusing my attention on playing Capoeria, juggling, slacklining and playing the bass. I also like cooking, reading and occasionally playing JRPG video games.
- 2015–2019: PhD Student – University of Bielefeld & Marie Curie Initial Training Network fellow
- 2012–2015: Master’s Degree in Ecology and Evolution, University of Ferrara
- 2009–2012: Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, University of Ferrara
Hoffman, J.I. & Vendrami, D.L.J. (in press). Population genetics of Mya arenaria. In: The Soft-shell Clam Mya arenaria: Biology, Fisheries, and Mariculture, Chapter 5. American Fisheries Society.
Vendrami, D.L.J., Hoffman, J.I. & Wilding, C.S (2023). Heterogeneous genomic divergence landscape in two commercially important European scallop species. Genes 14: 14. Doi: 10.3390/genes14010014.
Vendrami, D.L.J., Gossmann, T.I., Chakarov, N., Paijmans, A.J., Eyre-Walker, A., Forcada, J. & Hoffman, J.I. (2022). Signatures of selection on mitonuclear integrated genes uncover hidden mitogenomic variation in fur seals. Genome Biology and Evolution, 14(7), evac104.
Nagel, R., Kaiser, S., Stainfield, C., Toscani, C., Fox-Clarke, C., Paijmans, A.J., Costa, C., Vendrami, D.L.J., Forcada, J. & Hoffman, J.I. (2022) Low heritability and high phenotypic plasticity of salivary cortisol in response to environmental heterogeneity in fur seals. Ecology and Evolution,12: e8757.
Hoffman, J.I., Chen, R., Vendrami, D.L.J., Paijmans, A.J., Dasmahapatra, K.K. & Forcada, J. (2022) Demographic reconstruction of Antarctic fur seals supports the krill surplus hypothesis. Genes Special Issue “Polar Genomics”, 13: 541.
Vendrami, D.L.J., Peck, L.S., Clark, M.S., Eldon, B., Meredith, M. & Hoffman, J.I. (2021) Sweepstake reproductive success and collective dispersal produce chaotic genetic patchiness in a broadcast spawner. Science Advances, 7: eabj4713. Doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abj4713
Michalek, K., Vendrami, D. L. J., Bekaert, M., Green, D. H., Last, K. S., Telesca, L., Wilding, T. & Hoffman, J. I. (2021) M. trossulus introgression and consequences for shell traits in longline cultivated mussels. Evolutionary Applications. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.13245
Vu, S.V., Premachandra, H.K.A., O’Connor, W., Nguyen, N.T.H., Dove, M., Vu, I.V., Le, T.S., Vendrami, D.L.J. & Knibb, W. (2021). Development of SNP parentage assignment in the Portuguese oyster Crassostrea angulata. Aquaculture Reports, 19, 100615.
Clark, M.S., Peck, L.S., Harper, E.M., Arivalagan, J., Backeljau, T., Berland, S., Cardoso, J.C.R., Caurcel, C., Chapelle, G., De Noia, M., Dupont, S., Gharbi, K., Hoffman, J.I., Last, K., Marie, A., Melzner, F., Michalek, K., Morris, J., Power, D.M., Ramesh, K., Saunders, S., Sillampää, K., Slight, V., Stewart-Sinclair, P., Sundell, K., Telesca, L., Vendrami, D. L. J., Ventura, A., Wilding, T., Yarra, T. & Harper, E.M. (2021). Deciphering mollusc shell production. Biological Reviews, 95(6), 1812-1837. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/brv.12640
Lilley, T., Sävilammi, T. M., Ossa, G., Blomberg, A. S., Vasemägi, A., Yung, V., Vendrami, D. L. J., & Johnson, J. S. (2020). Population connectivity predicts vulnerability to white-nose syndrome in the Chilean myotis (Myotis chiloensis)-a genomics approach. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, 10(6), 2117-2126. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1534/g3.119.401009
Vendrami, D. L. J., De Noia, M., Telesca, L., Brodte, E. M., & Hoffman, J. I. (2020). Genome‐wide insights into introgression and its consequences for genome‐wide heterozygosity in the Mytilus species complex across Europe. Evolutionary Applications, 13(8), 2130-2142. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12974
De Noia*, M., Telesca*, L., Vendrami, D. L. J.*, Gokalp, H. K., Charrier, G., Harper, E. M., & Hoffman, J. I. (2020). Population Genetic Structure is Unrelated to Shell Shape, Thickness and Organic Content in European Populations of the Soft-Shell Clam Mya Arenaria. Genes, 11(3), 298. Doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11030298 * These authors contributed equally to this work
Vendrami, D.L.J., Forcada, J. & Hoffman, J.I. (2019) Experimental validation of in silico predicted RAD locus frequencies using genomic resources and short read data from a model marine mammal. BMC Genomics, 20(1), 72. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-019-5440-8
Vendrami, D.L.J., De Noia, M., Telesca, L., Handal, W., Charrier, G., Boudry, P., Eberhart-Philips, L. & Hoffman, J.I. (2019) RAD sequencing sheds new light on the genetic structure and local adaptation of European scallops and resolves their demographic histories. Scientific Reports, 9: 7455. Doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-43939-4
Vendrami, D.L.J., Houston, R. D., Gharbi, K., Telesca, L., Gutierrez, A. P., Gurney‐Smith, H., … & Hoffman, J. I. (2019). Detailed insights into pan‐European population structure and inbreeding in wild and hatchery Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) populations revealed by genome‐wide SNP data. Evolutionary Applications, 12(3), 519-534. Doi: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/eva.12736
Klimova, A., Ortega-Rubio, A,. Vendrami, D.L.J. & Hoffman, J.I. (2018). Genotyping by sequencing reveals contrasting patterns of population structure, ecologically mediated divergence and long-distance dispersal in North American palms. Ecology and Evolution, 8(11), 5873-5890. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4125
Vendrami, D.L.J., Telesca, L., Schweyen, H., Weiss, M., Fawcett, K., Lehmann, K., Clark, M.S., Leese, F., McMinn, C., Moore, H. & Hoffman, J.I. (2017) RAD sequencing resolves fine-scale population structure in a benthic invertebrate: implications for understanding phenotypic plasticity. Royal Society Open Science, 4: 160548. Doi: 10.1098/rsos.160548 vendrami-et-al-2017
Vendrami D. L. J., Shah A., Telesca L., Hoffman J.I. (2016) Mining the transcriptomes of four commercially important shellfish species for single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with biomineralization genes. Marine Genomics Special Issue “Cells to Shells”, 27: 17-23. Doi: 10.1016/j.margen.2015.12.009
Department of Animal Behaviour
email: david.vendrami[at]uni-bielefeld.de / david.vendrami[at]edu.unife.it