Finn Piatscheck

Ph.D. Student
Photograph of Finn Piatscheck

Research Interests

My research interests focus on the ecology and the evolution of mutualistic symbioses. Despite being such spectacular interactions, mutualistic symbioses are also fascinating in the way they perform and evolve. These interactions are ubiquitous in nature and in the past, have been underestimated in their role as ecological and evolutionary drivers of biodiversity. Mutualistic symbionts are often interacting in different ways with other species, establishing fascinating complex multipartite interactions. Each symbiont has important impacts on the ones it interacts with and so can act as an important evolutionary driver. Thus it is interesting to me to define the real nature of these interactions and study their variation across space and time. 

In the Nason lab I am interested in investigating the local- and landscape-level environmental factors that may affect interactions between the Sonoran Desert rock fig, Ficus petiolaris, and species-specific fig wasp mutualists (Pegoscapus pollinating seed consumer) and antagonists (diverse non-pollinating seed consumers), as well as fruit consuming lepidopteran larvae (Crambidae). I want to infer the past demographic history of the mutualists as well as their parasites, estimate the current effect of several ecological factors on the costs and benefits involved in the mutualism, and predict how global change might impact this interaction.


  • B.S. Biology, Université Montpellier 2, 2009
  • M.S. Evolutionary biology and Ecology, Université Montpellier 2, 2011



Piatscheck, F., J. Van Goor, D. D. Houston, & J. D. Nason. (2017). Ecological factors associated with pre-dispersal predation of fig seeds and symbionts by specialist lepidopteran larvae. Acta Oecologica, accepted pending minor revision. 

Van Goor, J., F. Piatscheck, D. D. Houston, and J. D. Nason. (2017). Figs, pollinators, and parasites: a longitudinal study on the effects of nematode infection on fig wasp fitness. Acta Oecologica, accepted pending minor revision.

Blatrix, R., Peccoud, J., Born, C., Piatscheck, F., Benoit, L., Sauve, M., ... & McKey, D. (2017). Comparative analysis of spatial genetic structure in an ant–plant symbiosis reveals a tension zone and highlights speciation processes in tropical Africa. Journal of Biogeography.

McCombs, A. L., Albertsen, A. J., Cox, M. M., Ernst, E. E., Haley, H. J., Loney, D. A., ... & Altrichter, E. A. (2016). Large Carnivore Conservation: Integrating Science and Policy in the North American West.

Peccoud, J., Piatscheck, F., Yockteng, R., Garcia, M., Sauve, M., Djiéto-Lordon, C., ... & Blatrix, R. (2013). Multi-locus phylogenies of the genus Barteria (Passifloraceae) portray complex patterns in the evolution of myrmecophytism. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 66(3), 824-832.

Arias, M. C., Arnoux, E., Bell, J. J., Bernadou, A., Bino, G., Blatrix, R., ... & Souche, E. L. (2012). Permanent genetic resources added to molecular ecology resources database 1 December 2011–31 January 2012. Molecular Ecology Resources, 12(3), 570-572.
A’Hara, S. W., Amouroux, P., Argo, E. E., Avand‐Faghih, A., Barat, A., Barbieri, L., ... & Magnoux, E. (2012). Permanent Genetic Resources added to Molecular Ecology Resources Database 1 August 2011–30 September 2011. Molecular Ecology Resources, 12(1), 185-189.


Area of Expertise: 
Evolutionary Biology
Biotic Interactions
Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB)
251 Bessey Hall