Michael Poulsen (Michael Thomas-Poulsen)


I am interested in the evolutionary origin and stability of symbioses, including conflict and cooperation within beneficial symbiotic associations (mutualisms). My work focuses on host-symbiont interactions and the coevolutionary histories of fungus-growing insect-microbe associations. My current main model system is the fungus-farming termites, which are dominant plant decomposers in (sub)tropical Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. The termites owe this massive success to their advanced symbiosis with Termitomyces fungi, which they rear for food, but also gut bacteria that complement the processes taken care of by the food fungus. Using a combination of microbiological, phylogenetic, genomic, and metagenomic approaches, we are exploring the plant biomass and antibiotic/probiotic roles of symbionts associated with fungus-growing termites, to understand how natural selection has shaped and optimised the multipartite collaboration through division of labor within this ancient stable association.

I have since 2004 reviewed at least 122 manuscripts in a diversity of journals, some of which are included in this profile.

In addition, I have served as a reviewer for the following granting agencies:

2016 European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant 2016 Call. 2016 Panel member for the Swedish Research Council; Ecology, Systematics and Evolution NT-12. 2016 Fellowship application, LE STUDIUM, Loire Valley Institute for Advanced Studies, Centre-Val de Loire, France. 2016 UK-China AMR Partnership Initiative application, Medical Research Council, UK. 2015 "MOVE-IN Louvain incoming post-doc Fellowships” for The Research Council of the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium. 2008, 2010, 2014 National Science Foundation, USA. 2014 The Austrian Science Fund, Austria. 2013 The Icelandic Research Fund, Iceland. 2012 French Research Agency, France. 2012 Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, UK.

Research Fields

Behavioural Ecology

Editorial Board Memberships
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Reviews (last 12 months)


Reviews (average per year)






Review to Publication ratio


Journal Impact Factors of journals reviewed for

The distribution of the Journal Impact Factors of journals Michael Poulsen (Michael Thomas-Poulsen) has reviewed for.

Michael Poulsen (Michael Thomas-Poulsen)

All fields reviewers

Total reviews over time

A cumulative record of Michael Poulsen (Michael Thomas-Poulsen)'s total number of reviews.

Reviews per month

The total number of reviews performed by Michael Poulsen (Michael Thomas-Poulsen) each month.

Average review length

The average number of words per review compared to the average of All fields reviewers and the average of reviewers at affiliated institutions.

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Weekly review punchcard

The distribution of days that reviews were performed on, compared to All fields reviewers and reviewers at affiliated institutions.