Dr. Thomas von Rintelen

Museum für Naturkunde
Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science
Invalidenstrasse 43
10115 Berlin

Phone +49 (0)30 2093 8428
Fax +49 (0)30 2093 8565
E-mail thomas.rintelen(at)mfn-berlin.de


  • Coordinator of DNA laboratory
  • Curator of DNA and tissue collection
  • Research in evolutionary biology, particularly biogeography and systematics


  • DNA & tissue collection

Research interests

  • My research focuses on the origin and distribution of biodiversity, i.e. species, speciation and biogeography. While my group mostly studies aquatic organisms, mainly several groups of snails & shrimps, we also work on terrestrial taxa including frogs and birds of paradise.

Research projects

  • Transcriptomics of the freshwater snail Tylomelania
  • Systematics, phylogeography and evolution of the freshwater snail Tylomelania from Sulawesi, Indonesia
  • Phylogeny, biogeography and evolution of viviparid freshwater snails
  • (Kristina von Rintelen) > Phylogeny of atyid freshwater shrimps and evolution of subterranean lineages
  • (Kristina von Rintelen) > Evolutionary biology of cave shrimps from Maros karst on the Indonesian island Sulawesi
  • Biogeography of freshwater snails in the Indo-Australian Archipelago
  • Speciation and phylogeography of birds of paradise
  • Taxonomy and biogeography of microhylid frogs from Indonesian New Guinea (Papua)

Grants - Current projects

  • The role of the Pleistocene mega-lake Palaeo-Makgadikgadi, Kalahari, for the biodiversity and biogeography of modern non-marine aquatic organism of southern Africa, with special focus on riverine gastropods (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG)
  • Development of high-throughput methods for DNA isolation from museum specimens with muco-polysaccharide rich tissue - Joint Research Activity (WP5) in SYNTHESYS2 (EU FP7 Projekt)
  • Diversität benthischer Zysten und Phylogenie kalkiger Dinoflagellaten (Thoracosphaeraceae, Peridiniales) (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG)
  • Diversifikationsmuster durch die Zeit: Geht die rezente Vielfalt der limnischen Schneckengruppe Viviparidae auf eine "alte" Radiation zurück? (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG)
  • Testing biogeographic hypotheses in Wallacea using freshwater gastropods (German Science Foundation, DFG)



von Rintelen, T., von Rintelen, K., Glaubrecht, M., Schubart, C. & Herder, F. Aquatic biodiversity hotspots in Wallacea - the species flocks in the ancient lakes of Sulawesi, Indonesia. In: Biotic evolution and environmental change in southeast Asia (Gower, D.J., Johnson, K.G., Richardson, J.E., Rosen, B.R., Rüber, L. & Williams, S.T., eds). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, in press.

von Rintelen, K., & Glaubrecht, M., Schubart, C. & von Rintelen, T. Adaptive radiation and ecological diversification of Sulawesi's ancient lake shrimps. Evolution, in press.

von Rintelen, T., Bouchet, P. & Glaubrecht, M. 2007. Ancient lakes as hotspots of diversity: a morphological review of an endemic species flock of Tylomelania (Gastropoda: Cerithioidea: Pachychilidae) in the Malili lake system on Sulawesi, Indonesia. Hydrobiologia, 592: 11-94.

von Rintelen, T. von & Glaubrecht, M. 2005. Anatomy of an adaptive radiation: a unique reproductive strategy in the endemic freshwater gastropod Tylomelania (Cerithioidea: Pachychilidae) on Sulawesi, Indonesia, and its biogeographic implications. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 85: 513-542.

von Rintelen, T. von, Wilson, A.B., Meyer, A. & Glaubrecht, M. 2004. Escalation and trophic specialization drive adaptive radiation of freshwater gastropods in ancient lakes on Sulawesi, Indonesia. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London, Biological Series, 271: 1541-1549

Last update: 06.03.2014