Research Group Community Dynamics
“Density influences selection; selection influences genetic make-up; and in turn, genetic make-up influences density.“ (D. Pimental, 1961, The American Naturalist , Vol. 95, pp. 65-79).
Our research is motivated by an interest in understanding how communities respond to changes in genetic diversity, rapid evolution, changes in intrinsic and extrinsic parameters, and food web structure. We seek to link genetic and phenotypic variation to population dynamics, to understand the ecological consequences of evolutionary processes and the evolutionary consequences of ecological interactions (eco-evolutionary feedback dynamics). We study how ecologically important traits evolve under different ecological conditions and how phenotypic changes are determined at the genetic level and how genetic diversity is maintained (e.g., evolution of sex). To gain insight into these fundamental processes, data-driven mathematical modeling is combined with empirical data derived from experiments using fast-growing organisms (e.g., the rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus and different green algae) and functional genomics.
More information here: www.evolbio.mpg.de/comdyn