The Struck Lab














2017 / 08/ 17


After field work all are back in Oslo now

We had a quite successful season this year (especially Jose). Collection of Stygocapitella around the Northern hemisphere has been successfully finished. The last trip this year is going to the Red Sea for Asmaa's project.

2017 / 03/ 27


Spiralian phylogeny remains a tough nut to crack

The phylogenetic relationships within Spiralia and Lophotrochozia remains one of the major challenges in animal evolution. Please see our new publication in Systematic Biology (Kocot et al.)

2016 / 05/ 15


Asmaa arrived from Egypt visiting my lab for two years

Asmaa is finishing her PhD thesis and got a fellowship from the Egyptian government to conduct her research in my lab on polychaetes from Egypt. Welcome Asmaa and a good start in Oslo.

2015 / 12/ 01


Jose started his PhD position today

Welcome Jose as the first member of the Struck lab in Oslo. Jose will work on the species complex of Stygocapitella subterranea using phylogeographic and population genomic approaches.

2015 / 09 / 04


New position started at the Natural History Museum of UiO

At the 1st I started as a Professor of Evolutionary Genomics at the University of Oslo. I am now also Curator of the Helminth collection. Please see my new contact information below.

2015 / 07 / 23


Our analyses on interstitial annelids got published in Current Biology.

In these analyses we showed that the interstitial annelid grouped into groups. Given our results the interstitial realm was inhabited by two evolutionary trajectories.

2015 / 03 / 27


Mitochondrial genomes support monophyly of Gnathifera.

We were able to determine the first mitochondrial genomes for Gnathostomulida and Gastrotricha.

2015 / 03 / 11


First paper on fossils.

My first paper on a fossil is out in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. Thanks Joachim for getting me involved.

2014 / 08 / 26


The Heisenberg fellwoship got extended for two more years.

Good news on my own part. My fellowship was evaluated positively and I have two more years doing my research. Stay tuned.

2014 / 05 / 06


Two new phylogenomic paper are publishec in MBE.

We published two new papers addressing annelid and spiralian phylogeny, respectively, in MBE. Check them out.

2014/ 03 / 31


BaCoCa and TreSpEx manuscripts have been printed now.

Now the manuscripts discribing both programs have been printed.

2013 / 10 / 06


TreSpEx new version is released.

I have released now the version v1 of TreSpEx including a manual, example files and precompiled databases.

2013 / 10 / 06


BaCoCa new version is released.

As MPE accepted our paper on BaCoCa. We have released now the Alpha version.


2013 / 04 / 19


New paper about Diurodrilidae is out.

Congratulations to Anja for the paper published in MPE on the position of Diurodrilidae using mitochondrial genomes.


2013 / 02 / 11


Webpage is online!

Hi all, I moved my web presence to this page, so that it is more independent of my chaniging work places. It will be under construction for some time, but enjoy exploring it anyway.



Torsten H. Struck

Professor of Evolutionary Genomics

Curator of the Helmint collection

Department of Research and Collections

Natural History Museum


Postal address:

PO Box 1172 Blindern

N-0318 Oslo



Visiting address:

Room 209

Zoological Museum

Sars gate 1

0562 Oslo



phone: +47-228-51740



Peer-Viewed Publications

  1. Struck, T. H., Koczula, J., Stateczny, D., Meyer, C. & Purschke, G. (2017). Two new species in the annelid genus Stygocapitella (Orbiniida, Parergodrilidae) with comments on their biogeography. ZooTaxa 4286: 301–332.
  2. Kocot, K. M., Struck. T. H., Merkel, J., Waits, D. S., Todt, C., Brannock, P. M., Weese, D. A., Cannon, J. T., Moroz, L. L., Lieb, B. & Halanych, K. M. (2017). Phylogenomics of Lophotrochozoa with Consideration of Systematic Error. Systematic Biology 66: 256–282.
  3. Aguado, M. T., Richter, S., Sontowski, R., Golombek, A., Struck, T. H. & Bleidorn, C. (2016). Syllidae mitochondrial gene order is unusually variable for Annelida. Gene 594: 89-96.
  4. Sielaff, M., Schmidt, H., Struck, T. H., Rosenkranz, D., Welch, D. B. M., Hankeln, T. & Herlyn, H. (2016). Phylogeny of Syndermata (syn. Rotifera): Mitochondrial gene order verifies epizoic Seisonidea as sister to endoparasitic Acanthocephala within monophyletic Hemirotifera. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 96: 79–92.
  5. Weigert, A., Golombek, A., Gerth, M., Schwarz, F., Struck, T. H. & Bleidorn, C. (2016). Evolution of mitochondrial gene order in Annelida. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 94: 196–206.
  6. Struck, T. H., Golombek, A., Weigert, A., Franke, F. A., Westheide, W., Purschke, G., Bleidorn, C. & Halanych, K. M. (2015). The evolution of annelids reveals two adaptive routes to the interstitial realm. Current Biology 25: 1993–1999.
  7. Golombek, A., Tobergte, S. & Struck, T. H. (2015). Elucidating the phylogenetic position of Gnathostomulida and first mitochondrial genomes of Gnathostomulida, Gastrotricha and Polycladida (Platyhelminthes). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 86: 49–63.
  8. Struck, T. H., Haug, C., Haszprunar, G., Prpic, N. & Haug, J. T. (2015). Enalikter aphson is more likely an annelid than an arthropod: A comment to Siveter et al.. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological sciences 282: 20140946.
  9. Purschke, G., Bleidorn, C. & Struck, T. H. (2014). Systematics, evolution and phylogeny of Annelida – a morphological perspective. Memoirs of Museum of Victoria 71: 247-269.
  10. Struck, T. H., Wey-Fabrizius, A. R., Golombek, A., Hering, L., Weigert, A., Bleidorn, C., Klebow, S., Iakovenko, N., Hausdorf, B., Petersen, M., Kück, P., Herlyn, H. & Hankeln, T. (2014). Platyzoan paraphyly based on phylogenomic data supports a non-coelomate ancestry of Spiralia. Molecular Biology and Evolution 31: 1833-1849.
  11. Weigert, A., Helm, C., Meyer, M., Nickel, B., Arendt, D., Hausdorf, B., Santos, S. R., Halanych, K. M., Purschke, G., Bleidorn, C. & Struck, T. H. (2014). Illuminating the base of the annelid tree using transcriptomics. Molecular Biology and Evolution 31: 1391-1401.
  12. Struck, T. H. (2014). TreSpEx – Detection of misleading signal in phylogenetic reconstructions based on tree information. Evolutionary Bioinformatics 10: 51-67.
  13. Kück, P. & Struck, T. H. (2014). BaCoCa – a heuristic software tool for the parallel assessment of sequence biases in hundreds of gene and taxon partitions. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 70: 94–98.
  14. Nesnidal, M. P., Helmkampf, M., Meyer, A., Witek, A., Bruchhaus, I., Ebersberger, I., Hankeln, T., Lieb, B., Struck, T. H. & Hausdorf, B. (2013). New phylogenomic data support the monophyly of Lophophorata and an Ectoproct-Phoronid clade and indicate that Polyzoa and Brachiozoa are caused by systematic bias. BMC Evolutionary Biology 13: 253.
  15. Bernt, M., Bleidorn, C., Braband, A., Dambach, J., Donath, A., Fritzsch, G., Golombek, A., Hadrys, H., Jühling, F., Meusemann, K., Middendorf, M., Misof, B., Perseke, M., Podsiadlowski, L., von Reumont, B., Schierwater, B., Schlegel, M., Schrödl, M., Simon, S., Stadler, P. F., Stöger, I. & Struck, T. H. (2013). A comprehensive analysis of metazoan mitochondrial genomes and animal phylogeny. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69: 352-364.
  16. Golombek, A., Tobergte, S., Nesnidal, M. P., Purschke, G. & Struck, T. H. (2013). Mitochondrial genomes to the rescue – Diurodrilidae in the myzostomid trap. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 68: 312–326.
  17. Struck, T. H. (2013). The impact of paralogy on phylogenomic studies – a case study on annelid relationships. PLoS ONE 8: e62892.
  18. Perseke, M., Golombek, A., Schlegel, M. & Struck, T. H. (2013). The Impact of Mitochondrial Genome Analyses on the Understanding of Deuterostome Phylogeny. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66: 898-905.
  19. Thornhill, D. J., Struck, T. H., Ebbe, B., Lee, R. W., Mendoza, G. F., Levin, L. A. & Halanych, K. M. (2012). Adaptive Radiation in Extremophilic Dorvilleids: Diversification of a Single Colonizer or Multiple Independent Lineages? Ecology & Evolution 2: 1958–1970.
  20. Hartmann, S., Helm, C., Struck, T. H., Tiedemann, R., Selbig, J. & Bleidorn, C. (2012). Phylogenomic analysis of the adult myzostomid Solexa-based transcriptome. PLOS one 7: e29843.
  21. Zhong, M., Hansen, B., Nesnidal, M., Golombek, A., Halanych, K. M. & Struck, T. H. (2011). Detecting the symplesiomorphy trap: A multigene phylogenetic analysis for terebelliform annelids. BMC Evolutionary Biology 11: 369.
  22. Struck, T.H. (2011). Direction of evolution within Annelida and the definition of Pleistoannelida. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 49: 340-345.
  23. Struck, T. H., Paul, C., Hill, N., Hösel, C., Kube, M., Lieb, B., Meyer, A., Tiedemann, R., Purschke, G. & Bleidorn, C. (2011). Phylogenomic analyses unravel annelid evolution. Nature 471: 95-98.
  24. Dordel, J., Fisse, F., Purschke, G. & Struck, T. H. (2010). Phylogenetic position of Sipuncula derived from multi-gene and phylogenomic data and its implication for the evolution of segmentation. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 48: 197-207.
  25. Struck, T. H. & Halanych, K. M. (2010). Origins of holopelagic Typhloscolecidae and Lopadorhynchidae within Phyllodocidae (Phyllodocida, Annelida). Zoologica Scripta 39: 269–275.
  26. Zanol, J., Halanych, K. H., Struck, T. H. & Fauchald, K. (2010). Phylogeny of the bristle worm family Eunicidae (Eunicida, Annelida) and the phylogenetic utility of noncongruent 16S, COI and 18S in combined analyses. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 55: 660-676.
  27. Podsiadlowski, L., Braband, A., Struck, T. H., v. Döhren, J. & Bartolomaeus T. (2009). The mitochondrial genome of Lineus viridis and mitochondrial gene order variation in Lophotrochozoa. BMC Genomics 10: 364.
  28. Struck, T. H., Nesnidal, M. P., Purschke, G. & Halanych, K. M. (2008). Detecting Possibly Saturated Positions in 18S and 28S Sequences and their Influence on Phylogenetic Reconstruction of Annelida (Lophotrochozoa). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 48: 628–645.
  29. Zhong, M., Struck, T. H. & Halanych, K. M. (2008). Phylogenetic information from three mitochondrial genomes of Terebelliformia (Annelida) worms and duplication of the methionine tRNA. Gene 416: 11–21.
  30. Struck, T. H. & Fisse, F. (2008). Phylogenetic position of Nemertea derived from phylogenomic data. Molecular Biology and Evolution 25: 728–736.
  31. Hausdorf, B., Helmkampf, M., Meyer, A., Witek, A., Herlyn, H., Bruchhaus, I., Hankeln, T., Struck, T. H. & Lieb, B. (2007). Spiralian phylogenomics supports the resurrection of Bryozoa including Ectoprocta and Entoprocta. Molecular Biology and Evolution 24: 2723-2729.
  32. Halanych, K. M., Cox, L. N. & Struck, T. H. (2007). A brief review of holopelagic annelids. Integrative and Comparative Biology 47: 872-879.
  33. Struck, T. H. (2007). Data congruence, paedomorphosis and salamanders. Frontiers in Zoology 4: 22.
  34. Struck, T. H., Schult, N., Kusen, T., Hickman, E., Bleidorn, C., McHugh, D. & Halanych, K. M. (2007). Annelida phylogeny and the status of Sipuncula and Echiura. BMC Evolutionary Biology 7:57.
  35. Struck, T. H. (2006). Progenetic species in polychaetes (Annelida) and problems assessing their phylogenetic affiliation. Integrative and Comparative Biology 46: 558-568.
  36. Struck, T. H., Purschke, G. & Halanych, K. M. (2006). Phylogeny of Eunicida (Annelida) and Exploring Data Congruence using a Partition Addition Bootstrap Alteration (PABA) approach. Systematic Biology 55: 1-20.
  37. Struck, T. H., Purschke, G. & Halanych, K. M. (2005). A scaleless scale worm: Molecular evidence for the phylogenetic placement of Pisione remota (Pisionidae, Annelida). Marine Biology Research 1: 243-253.
  38. Struck, T. H. & Purschke, G. (2005). The sister group relationship of Aeolosomatidae and Potamodrilidae (Annelida: “Polychaeta”) – a molecular phylogenetic approach based on 18S rDNA and cytochrome oxidase I. Zoologischer Anzeiger 243: 281-293.
  39. Burnette, A. B., Struck, T. H. & Halanych, K. M. (2005). Holopelagic Poeobius meseres (“Poeobiidae,” Annelida) Is Derived From Benthic Flabelligerid Worms. Biological Bulletin 208: 213-220.
  40. Struck, T. H., Halanych, K. M. & Purschke, G. (2005). Dinophilidae (Annelida) is most likely not a progenetic Eunicida: Evidence from 18S and 28S rDNA. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37: 619-623.
  41. Jördens, J., Struck, T. & Purschke, G. (2004). Phylogenetic inference regarding Parergodrilidae and Hrabeiella periglandulata (‘Polychaeta’, Annelida) based on 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA and COI sequences. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 42: 270-280.
  42. Struck, T., Hessling, R. & Purschke, G. (2002). The phylogenetic position of the Aeolosomatidae and Parergodrilidae, two enigmatic oligochaete-like taxa of the ‘Polychaeta’, based on molecular data from 18S rDNA sequences. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 40: 155-163.
  43. Struck, T. H., Westheide, W. & Purschke, G. (2002). Progenesis in Eunicida (“Polychaeta,” Annelida) - separate evolutionary events? Evidence from molecular data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 25: 190-199.

Book chapters

  1. Struck, T. H. (2017). Spiralia/Lophotrochozoa. In Laurin, M. (editor) The Evolutionary Tree of Life. UNESCO-EOLSS, New York.
  2. Struck, T. H. (2017). Phylogeny of Annelida. In Gopalakrishnakone, P. & Malhotra, A. (editors) Evolution of Venomous Animals and Their Toxins. Springer, Berlin.
  3. Struck, T. H., Purschke, G., Dordel, J., Hösel, C., Nesnidal, M. P., Fisse, F., Bleidorn, C., Paul, C., Hill, N., Tiedemann, R., Selbig, J. & Hartmann, S. (2014). Phylogeny and evolution of Annelida based on molecular data. In Wägele, W. & Bartolomaeus, T. (editor) Deep Metazoan Phylogeny: The Backbone of the Tree of Life. New insights from analyses of molecules, morphology, and theory of data analysis. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin.
  4. Hankeln, T., Wey-Fabrizius, A., Herlyn, H., Witek, A., Weber, M., Nesnidal, M. P. & Struck, T. H. (2014). Phylogeny of platyzoan taxa based on molecular data. In Wägele, W. & Bartolomaeus, T. (editor) Deep Metazoan Phylogeny: The Backbone of the Tree of Life. New insights from analyses of molecules, morphology, and theory of data analysis. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin.
  5. Bleidorn, C., Helm, C., Weigert, A., Eeckhaut, I., Lanterbecq, D., Struck, T. H., Hartmann, S. & Tiedemann, R. (2014). From morphology to phylogenomics: placing the enigmatic Myzostomida in the tree of life. In Wägele, W. & Bartolomaeus, T. (editor) Deep Metazoan Phylogeny: The Backbone of the Tree of Life. New insights from analyses of molecules, morphology, and theory of data analysis. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin.
  6. Struck, T. H. (2012). Phylogeny of Annelida. Zoology Online. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin. (published online ahead of print).



  1. Börgel, C., Lethmate, J., Sommermeyer, J. & Struck, T. H. (1993). Blei im Quellwasser – Ein Fallbeispiel zu den ökosystemaren Folgen der Luftverschmutzung. Biologie In Unserer Zeit 23: 63–70.


Book reviews

  1. Struck, T. H. (2007). Book Review: Reproductive Biology and Phylogeny of Annelida. Greg Rouse and Frederik Pleijel (editors) 2006. Volume 4 of Series: Reproductive Biology and Phylogeny. Barrie G.M. Jamieson (editor). Science Publishers, Enfield, NH, USA. Acta Zoologica 88: 351–353.