Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg


Antonella Soro

phone: 0345 5526504

room 6.07.0
Hoher Weg 8
06120 Halle

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Dr. Antonella Soro

Antonella Soro

Antonella Soro


B.Sc. Botany; M.Sc. Plant Ecology; D. Phil. Zoology

Current Position

Research associate, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

Professional Career

1990-1995 - Biology at University of Milan, Italy

1995-1997 - Masters in Plant Ecology, University of Uppsala, Sweden

1998-1999 - Research Assistant in the Institute of Systematic Botany, University of Tübingen, Germany

2000-2002 - Maternity leave

2003-2009 - Ph.D. Zoology, University of Tübingen, Germany

2009-2011 - Postdoc, Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom

2012-present - Research associate, Martin Luther-University of Halle- Wittenberg


I am interested in the evolution of sociality and in the impact of anthropogenic changes, such as urbanisation and agriculture intensification, on the population genetics and on the life history traits (body size in particular) of bees. The adaptive value of plasticity, whether behavioural or morphological, is the conceptual bridge between my two main areas of research. My studies rely on experiments and field-based observations and are often integrated with molecular genetic analyses. They encompass the organisation of life at the organismal, population and community levels.


Santangelo James S, Ness Rob W, Cohan B, Fitzpatrick Connor R, Innes Simon G, Koch S, ..., Soro A,. . . Johnson Marc, T. J. (2022). Global urban environmental change drives adaptation in white clover. Science, 375(6586), 1275-1281. doi:10.1126/science.abk0989   

Theodorou P, Baltz LM, Paxton RJ & Soro A (2021). Urbanization is associated with shifts in bumblebee body size, with cascading effects on pollination. Evolutionary Applications, 14(1), 53-68. doi:   

Séguret A, Stolle E, Fleites-Ayil FA., Quezada-Euán JJG., Hartfelder K, Meusemann K, Harrison MC, Soro A, Paxton, R. J. (2021). Transcriptomic Signatures of Ageing Vary in Solitary and Social Forms of an Orchid Bee. Genome Biology and Evolution, 13(6). doi:10.1093/gbe/evab075   

López-Uribe MM, Jha S & Soro A (2019). A trait-based approach to predict population genetic structure in bees. Molecular Ecology, 28(8), 1919-1929. doi:10.1111/mec.15028   

Kahnt B, Theodorou P, Soro A, Hollens-Kuhr H, Kuhlmann M, Pauw A, Paxton RJ (2018) Small and genetically highly structured populations in a long-legged bee, Rediviva longimanus, as inferred by pooled RAD-seq. BMC Evolutionary Biology 18, 196.   

Theodorou P, Radzevičiūtė R, Kahnt B, Soro A, Grosse I, Paxton RJ (2018) Genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism scan suggests adaptation to urbanization in an important pollinator, the red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius L.). Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 285.   

Soro A, Quezada-Euan JJG, Theodorou P, Moritz RFA, Paxton RJ (2017) The population genetics of two orchid bees suggests high dispersal, low diploid male production and only an effect of island isolation in lowering genetic diversity. Conservation Genetics 18, 607-619.   

López-Uribe MM, Soro A, Jha S (2017) Conservation genetics of bees: advances in the application of molecular tools to guide bee pollinator conservation. Conservation Genetics 18, 501-506.   

Friedel A, Paxton RJ, Soro A (2017) Spatial patterns of relatedness within nesting aggregations of the primitively eusocial sweat bee Lasioglossum malachurum. Insectes Sociaux.   

Menger J, Henle K, Magnusson WE, Soro A, Husemann M, Schlegel M (2017) Genetic diversity and spatial structure of the Rufous-throated Antbird (Gymnopithys rufigula), an Amazonian obligate army-ant follower. Ecology and Evolution7, 2671-2684.   

Kahnt B, Soro A, Kuhlmann M, Gerth M, Paxton RJ (2014) Insights into the biodiversity of the Succulent Karoo hotspot of South Africa: the population genetics of a rare and endemic halictid bee, Patellapis doleritica. Conservation Genetics 15, 1491-1502.   

Boff S, Soro A, Paxton R, Alves-dos-Santos I (2014) Island isolation reduces genetic diversity and connectivity but does not significantly elevate diploid male production in a neotropical orchid bee. Conservation Genetics 15, 1123-1135.   

Field J, Paxton RJ, Soro A, Craze P, Bridge C. (2012) Body size, demography and foraging in a socially plastic sweat bee: a common garden experiment. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology.   

Pérez-Balam J, Quezada-Euán JJG, Alfaro-Bates R, Medina S, McKendrick L, Soro A, Paxton RJ (2012) The contribution of honey bees, flies and wapsp to avocado (Persea americana) pollination in southern Mexico. Journal of Pollination Ecology 8, 42-47. 10.26786/1920-7603(2012)6

Soro A, Ayasse M, Zobel MU, Paxton RJ (2011) Kin discriminators in the eusocial sweat bee Lasioglossum malachurum: the reliability of cuticular and Dufour’s gland odours. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology65: 641-653.   

Field J, Paxton RJ, Soro A, Bridge C. (2010) Cryptic plasticity underlies a major evolutionary transition. Current Biology20: 1–4.   

Soro A, Bridge C, Field J, Cardinal SC, Paxton RJ (2010) Genetic differentiation across the social transition in a socially polymorphic sweat bee, Halictus rubicundus. Molecular Ecology19: 3351-3363.   

Soro A, Ayasse M, Zobel M, Paxton RJ (2009) Complex sociogenetic organization and the origin of unrelated workers in a eusocial sweat bee, Lasioglossum malachurum. Insectes Sociaux56: 55-63.   

Soro A, Paxton RJ (2009) Characterization of 14 polymorphic microsatellite loci for the facultatively eusocial sweat bee Halictuc rubicundus (Hymenoptera, Halictidae) and their variability in related species. Molecular Ecology Resources 9: 150-152.   

Paxton RJ, Ayasse M, Field J, Soro A (2002) Complex sociogenetic organization and reproductive skew in a primitively eusocial sweat bee, Lasioglossum malachurum, as revealed by microsatellites. Molecular Ecology 11: 2405-2416.   

Soro A, Sundberg S, Rydin H. (1999) Species diversity, niche metrics and species associations in harvested and undisturbed bogs. Journal of Vegetation Science10: 549-560.   

Soro A, Paxton RJ (1999) Plants for bees: the strawberry tree: a significant source of nectar around the Mediterranean basin. Bee World 80: 140-144