Dr. Emmanuel Toussaint

Dr. Emmanuel Toussaint

Sektion Coleoptera

I am especially interested in the forces that shaped and still drive the evolution of biodiversity. To do so, I work at different scales on tropical insects which represent an astonishing assemblage of organisms under such latitudes. At a large scale, molecular phylogenies combined with analyses of historical biogeography, diversification and character evolution help to bring new insights towards a better comprehension of biota evolution in response to past climatic and/or geological events. At a finer scale, phylogeographic networks, population genetics and historical demography permit to untangle the recent past, present and future of species and populations, therefore assuming an important role in conservation and management of biodiversity. Using these different tools I aim to decipher evolutionary patterns and investigate the effects of global changes and macroevolutionary processes on the diversity of several groups of insects. As a result, my main ongoing projects regarding these topics are:

  • Evolution, ecology and biogeography of different families and subordinated groups of diving beetles in Southeast Asia. Aim: Unveil the evolutionary history of Southeast Asian diving beetles through a large taxon sampling and within a robust analytical framework including population-level to family-level phylogenetics, diversification rate inference, divergence time estimates, ancestral character state reconstructions and ecological niche modeling.
  • Biogeography and diversification of the Nawab (Nymphalidae: Charaxinae: Charaxes: Polyura) and peacock swallowtail (Papilionidae: Papilioninae: Papilio: Achillides) butterflies. Aim: Focus on the historical biogeography, diversification pattern and systematics of these insects indentured to Southeast Asia using fresh material as well as museum specimens.
  • Evolution of ecological preferences and Systematics of African noctuid stemborers (Noctuidae: Apameini). Aim: Investigate the impact of Miocene grassland supremacy on the diversification of African moth pests with a strong focus on the evolution of host-plant specialization.

Personal Website

Here you will be able to find more details about my work: emmanueltoussaint.wordpress.com



[11] Hendrich L, Toussaint EFA, Balke M (2014) A new genus of Hydroporini from south-western Australia (Coleoptera, Dytiscidae). Spixiana, 37(1): 103-109.

[10] Toussaint EFA, Hall R, Monaghan M, Sagata K, Ibalim S, Shaverdo HV, Vogler AP, Pons J, Balke M. (2014) The towering orogeny of New Guinea as a trigger for arthropod megadiversity. Nature Communications, 5:ncomms5001.

[9] Tänzler R, Toussaint EFA, Suhardjono YR, Balke M, Riedel A (2014) Multiple transgressions of Wallace’s Line explain diversity of flightless Trigonopterus weevils on Bali. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 281(1782): 2013-2528.


[8] Balke M, Warikar E, Toussaint EFA, Hendrich L. (2013) Papuadessus baueri sp.nov. from Biak Island, Papua (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae: Hydroporinae). Spixiana, 36(2): 283-288.

[7] Balke M, Hendrich L., Toussaint EFA, Zhou X, von Rintelen T, de Bruyn M. (2013) Suggestions for a molecular biodiversity assessment of South East Asian freshwater invertebrates. Lessons from the megadiverse beetles (Coleoptera). Journal of Limnology, 72(2): 61-68.

[6] Balke M, Schmidt S, Hausmann A, Toussaint EFA, Bergsten J, Buffington M, Haeuser C, Kroupa A, Riedel A, Polaszek A, Ubaidillah R, Krogmann L, Zwick L, Fikacek M, Hajek J, Michat M, Dietrich C, LaSalle J, Mantle B, Ng P (2013) Biodiversity into your hands – A call for a virtual global natural history ‘metacollection’. Frontiers in Zoology, 10: 55.

[5] Balke M, Toussaint EFA, Hendrich L, Hajek J (2013) A new species of the Australian genus Necterosoma from Timor (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae: Hydroporini). Acta Entomologica Musei Nationalis Pragae, 53(1): 65-74.

[4] Toussaint EFA, Sagata K, Surbakti S, Hendrich L, Balke M (2013) Australasian sky islands act as a diversity pump facilitating peripheral speciation and complex reversal from narrow endemic to widespread ecological supertramp. Ecology and Evolution, 3(4): 1031-1049.

[3] Condamine FL, Toussaint EFA, Cotton A, Sperling FAH, Genson G, Kergoat GJ (2013) Fine-scale biogeographic and temporal diversification processes of peacock swallowtails (Papilio subgenus Achillides) in the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Cladistics, 29(1): 88-111.


[2] Hawlitschek O, Hendrich L, Espeland M, Toussaint EFA, Genner MJ, Balke M (2012) Pleistocene climate change promoted rapid diversification of aquatic invertebrates in South-East Australia. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 12: 142.

[1] Toussaint EFA, Condamine FL, Kergoat GJ, Capdevielle-Dulac C, Barbut J, Silvain J-F, Le Ru BP (2012) Palaeoenvironmental shifts drove the adaptive radiation of a noctuid stemborer tribe (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Apameini) in the Miocene. PLoS ONE 7(7): e41377.