Universiteit Leiden

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Tijana Vucic


Dr. T. Vucic
+31 71 527 2727

My research is mostly focused on morphology, physiology and life-history traits of Triturus newts. I am also interested in the conservation of biodiversity. For my postdoc, I will focus on the balanced lethal system in Triturus newts and explore embryonic development to reveal mechanisms behind lethality by combining morphological and genetic approaches.

More information about Tijana Vucic


My main field of interest is evolutionary morphology. I am exploring how different morphological traits change and evolve. As a model system, I use Triturus newts. For my PhD study and afterwards, the main focus of my research has been hybridization and its evolutionary consequences. To obtain material for these studies, we have set up an experimental hybrid zone a common-garden experiment. We are conducting breeding crossings for two newt species (which meet and hybridize in the wild on the Balkan Peninsula). One of the characteristics of all Triturus newts is that homozygous embryos die due to chromosome 1 syndrome. During my postdoc at IBL and Naturalis I will compare 3D phenotypic maps of organogenesis and gene expressions at different ontogenetic stages between normally developing embryos (heterozygous, 1A1B and 1B1A) and embryos that will never hatch (homozygous, 1A1A and 1B1B). By combing these two approaches, we will try to depict processes and mechanisms which lead to lethal outcomes in homozygous embryos.

Brief biography

I studied Biology and pursued my PhD at the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Biology, Belgrade, Serbia. My PhD thesis “Hybridization, morphological variability and developmental stability of large-bodied newts (Triturus spp.)” was supervised by Ana Ivanović and Milena Cvijanović. I worked as a researcher and teaching assistant at University of Belgrade (UB – Faculty of Biology and Institute for biological research “Siniša Stanković”). I was also working on projects related to amphibian and reptile conservation, such as establishing the ecological networks in Serbia and Natura2000. Currently, I am a postdoc at IBL and Naturalis in the Wielstra lab, funded by an NWO ENW-M-1 grant.


  • Martin & Temminck Fellowship (Martin-Fellowship with Dr. Ben Wielstra), Naturalis Biodiversity Center

Key publications

Vučić, T., Ivanović, A., Nikolić, S., Jovanović, J., Cvijanović, M., 2020. Reproductive characteristics of two Triturus species (Amphibia: Caudata). Archives of Biological Sciences, 72(3), 321–328.

Vučić, T., Sibinović, M., Vukov, T.D., Tomašević Kolarov, N., Cvijanović, M., Ivanović, A. 2019. Testing the evolutionary constraints of metamorphosis: the ontogeny of head shape in Triturus newts. Evolution, 73(6), 1253–1264.

Vučić, T., Vukov, T.D., Tomašević Kolarov, N., Cvijanović, M., Ivanović, A. 2018. The study of larval tail morphology reveals differentiation between two Triturus species and their hybrids. Amphibia-Reptilia, 39(1), 87–97.

More information



  • Science
  • Instituut Biologie Leiden
  • IBL Animal Sciences

Work address

Sylviusweg 72
2333 BE Leiden



No relevant ancillary activities

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