“He smiles a lot. But I think there might be worms inside him making him smile.”
— Stephen King [The Strand]

I've been studying worms...


In 2015 I received my PhD with my thesis on chaetogenesis in annelids.


Currently, my research is focused on using molecular phylogenetic methods to help uncover the evolutionary relationships of marine invertebrates (mainly polychaetes), while studying their morphology using a variety of advanced bioimaging techniques like LM, SEM, serial TEM, CLSM, µCT, immunohistochemistry and 3D modelling.

Tel: +49 228 73 57 54

e-mail: etilic@evolution.uni-bonn.de




Ultrastructure, cellular and molecular mechanisms of chaetal formation in annelids.


Tilic, E., Atkinson, S. and Rouse, G.W. (2020) Mitochondrial genome of the freshwater annelid Manayunkia occidentalis (Sabellida: Fabriciidae). Mitochondrial DNA Part B, 5(3): 3313-3315.

Goffredi, S.K., Motooka, C., Fike, D.A., Gusmão, L.C., Tilic, E., Rouse, G.W., Rodríguez, E. (2020) Facultative chemosynthesis in a deep-sea anemone from hydrothermal vents in the Pescadero Basin, Gulf of California. bioRxiv 2020.08.10.245456

Tilic, E., Sayyari, E., Stiller, J., Mirarab, S. and Rouse, G.W. (2020) More is needed — Thousands of loci are required to elucidate the relationships of the ‘flowers of the sea’ (Sabellida, Annelida). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 151: 106892.

Tilic, E. and Rouse G.W. (2020) Hidden in plain sight, Chaetopterus dewysee sp. nov. (Chaetopteridae, Annelida) — A new species from Southern California. European Journal of Taxonomy, 643.

Stiller, J., Tilic, E., Rousset, V., Pleijel, F. and Rouse, G.W. (2020). Spaghetti to a tree: A robust phylogeny for Terebelliformia (Annelida) based on transcriptomes, molecular and morphological data. Biology, 9, 73.

Goffredi, S.K., Tilic, E., Mullin, S.W., Dawson K.S., Keller, A., Lee, R.W., Wu, F., Levin, L.A., Rouse, G.W., Cordes, E.E. and Orphan, V.J. (2020). Methanotrophic bacterial symbionts fuel dense populations of deep-sea feather duster worms (Sabellida, Annelida) and extend the spatial influence of methane seepage. Science Advances 6: eaay8562.


Watson, C., Tilic, E. and Rouse G.W. (2019) Revision of Hyalopale (Chrysopetalidae; Phyllodocida; Annelida): an amphi-Atlantic Hyalopale bispinosa species complex and five new species from reefs of the Caribbean Sea and Indo-Pacific Oceans. Zootaxa 4671(3).

Tilic, E., Feerst, K. and Rouse, G.W. (2019) Two new species of Amphiglena (Sabellidae, Annelida), with an assessment of hidden diversity in the Mediterranean. Zootaxa 4648(2).

Tilic, E., Sermelwall, S. and Bartolomaeus, T. (2019) Formation and structure of paleae and chaetal arrangement in Chrysopetalidae (Annelida). Zoomorphology 138(2): 209―220.

Tilic, E., Pauli, B. and Bartolomaeus, T. (2017) Getting to the root of fireworms' stinging chaetae — chaetal arrangement and ultrastructure of Eurythoe complanata (Pallas, 1766) (Amphinomida). Journal of Morphology 278:865―876.​​

Tilic, E. and Bartolomaeus, T. (2016). Structure, function and cell dynamics during chaetogenesis of abdominal uncini in Sabellaria alveolata (Sabellariidae, Annelida). Zoological Letters 2:1.

Tilic, E., Bartolomaeus, T. and Rouse, G.W. (2016). Chaetal type diversity increases during evolution of Eunicida (Annelida). Organisms Diversity & Evolution 16(1): 105―119.

Tilic, E., von Döhren, J., Quast, B., Beckers, P. and Bartolomaeus, T. (2015). Phylogenetic signicance of chaetal arrangement and chaetogeneis in Maldanidae (Annelida). Zoomorphology 134 (3): 383―401.

Tilic, E., Lehrke, J. and Bartolomaeus, T. (2015). Homology and evolution of the chaetae in Echiura (Annelida). PLoS ONE 10 (3): e0120002.

Tilic, E., Hausen, H. and Bartolomaeus, T. (2014). Chaetal arrangement and chaetogenesis of hooded hooks in Lumbrineris (Scoletoma) fragilis and Lumbrineris tetraura (Eunicida, Annelida). Invertebrate Biology 133 (4): 354―370.




SS 2020


onlıne CLAss STARTING April 20

SS 2020



new dates: 28 Sept 2020  –  09 Oct 2020

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©2019 Ekin Tilic