Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology

Welcome to the web pages of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön!

We are an internationally oriented institution dedicated to exploring the principles, mechanisms, and impacts of evolutionary change.

The institute comprises the departments of Theoretical Biology and Microbial Population Biology, along with several independent research groups. Currently, around 180 individuals from over 30 nations are actively contributing to research at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön.
Discover more about our research activities under the "Research" section and stay updated on the innovative insights generated by our diverse and collaborative team.
Symposium for new paths in evolutionary medicine

Symposium for new paths in evolutionary medicine

In endemic settings, behavioral adjustments can fully compensate increasing infection risk 

In endemic settings, behavioral adjustments can fully compensate increasing infection risk
 

Deceiving cancer to facilitate treatment 

Deceiving cancer to facilitate treatment
 

Theoretical assessment of persistence and adaptation in weeds with complex life cycles

Theoretical assessment of persistence and adaptation in weeds with complex life cycles

State Secretary Guido Wendt visited the Max Planck Institute in Plön

State Secretary Guido Wendt visited the Max Planck Institute in Plön

Evolving viruses to fight bacterial infections 

Evolving viruses to fight bacterial infections
 

Farewell without a farewell - Professor Diethard Tautz retires in a not entirely restful retirement 

Farewell without a farewell - Professor Diethard Tautz retires in a not entirely restful retirement
 

Alice and Bob

Evolution of double-sided social norms 

New insights into the evolution of the plague pathogen

New insights into the evolution of the plague pathogen

Individual costs and social benefits of interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic

Individual costs and social benefits of interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic

Bacterial colonisation of the lung also depends on the host genome

Bacterial colonisation of the lung also depends on the host genome

Fungal infections of crops threaten global food security

Fungal infections of crops threaten global food security

Being Noisy in a Crowd

Being noisy in a crowd:
How gene interactions shape the evolution of cell-to-cell variation.
 

Quantitative social norms favor the evolution of cooperation

Quantitative social norms favor the evolution of cooperation

Genetic redundancy in translational components is costly under nutrient poor conditions, but beneficial under nutrient rich conditions.

The benefit of redundancy in biological systems

Two players play a coordination task: they have an initial endowment and have to simultaneously decide how much of it they contribute to a public good. Each contribution is multiplied by a productivity factor. If the collective amount is equal to or above a pre-defined threshold, all players receive a reward.

How does inequality affect cooperation and coordination?

Evolutionary medicine: What does evolutionary biology have to offer biomedical research?

Evolutionary medicine: What does evolutionary biology have to offer biomedical research?

Prof. Eva Stukenbrock

Eva Stukenbrock receives ERC funding to study fungal pathogens

Julien Dutheil

Julien Dutheil appointed as honorary professor at the CAU Kiel
 

Evolutionary trade-offs: Balancing genetic disease risks and pathogen protection 

Evolutionary trade-offs: Balancing genetic disease risks and pathogen protection 

Interplay between artificial intelligence and natural body functions. Will humans and AI form more and more symbiotic units in the future?

Evidence of evolutionary transitions between humans and artificial intelligence (AI)

When germs become resistant and mathematics can help 

When germs become resistant and mathematics can help
 

Sequential antibiotic therapy

Sequential antibiotic therapy in the laboratory and in patients

Patrick Cramer's visit to Plön

Newly elected President of the Max Planck Society visits Plön

Neanderthals and us: Svante Pääbo is fascinated by the genomes of our ancestors. 
© Karsten Möbius

From Neandertal to the Nobel Prize: 
How Svante Pääbo wrote evolutionary history

IMPRS Retreat in Flensburg 

IMPRS Retreat in Flensburg
 

Players keep track of the cooperation imbalance in their repeated interaction.

Evolution of Cooperation through cumulative reciprocity

Social Rewarding

Why do we learn to reward cooperation?

Hinrich Schulenberg

Kiel evolutionary biologist receives the prestigious Max Planck Fellowship a second time

The Moran Bd update mechanism with continuous mutation is shown for a small graph. An individual is first selected to reproduce with probability proportional to its fitness. The offspring mutates with probability μ, and its fitness f' is sampled from a distribution ρ(f',f), where f is the parent’s fitness. A neighboring individual is then chosen for death at random among the neighboring nodes, and the offspring is placed in the empty node.

Which Population Structures Maximize Evolutionary Fitness?

New bacterial species discovered in the intestine

New bacterial species discovered in the intestine

Alexandra Zoe Worden has been elected member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. She is a professor of ecology at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and at Kiel University. She is also a Max Planck Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön. Photo: Todd Walsh/MBARI

Researcher from Schleswig-Holstein becomes member of Leopoldina

The path to the fitness summit. The younger the genes, the faster they adapt.

Young genes adapt faster than old ones

Volvox daughter colonies within a Volvox mother colony.

Evolution and ecological competition of multicellular life cycles

Disocuri Workshop

Successful completion of the Disocuri workshop "Physical and chemical determinants of biological evolution"

Individual genetics helps determine composition of the gut microbiome

Individual genetics helps determine composition of the gut microbiome

The T6SS, an all-rounder of many - but not all - bacteria.

The T6SS, an all-rounder of many - but not all - bacteria.

Laying of the foundation stone: New building at the Max Planck Institute in Plön officially started

Laying of the foundation stone: New building at the Max Planck Institute in Plön officially started

Why do we age? The role of natural selection

Why do we age? The role of natural selection

Animal vaccines with self-spreading viruses

Animal vaccines with self-spreading viruses

Tracking down the origin of cholera pandemics

Tracking down the origin of cholera pandemics

Transposable Elements: What role do they play in genome evolution?

Transposable Elements: What role do they play in genome evolution?

News

On 21 November, the "Symposium for the Promotion of Interdisciplinary Exchange in Evolutionary Medicine" took place at the Max Planck Institute in Plön. The aim was to redefine the collaboration between basic research at the MPI and Kiel University ...

To reduce the transmission during the COVID-19 pandemic and to lower infection rates, so-called non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing were prescribed in many regions of the world. These measures ...

Cancer cells are notorious for rapidly changing their phenotype, driving within-host spread and evading treatment. Scientists in Plön used a mathematical model to understand the role of a signal used by cancer cells to control their phenotype. By ...

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön and the University of Würzburg present a new mathematical model on population dynamics and the evolution of herbicide resistance in perennial weeds.

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