Evolutionary Macroecology

We study the evolution and adaptive mechanisms of invertebrate animals from polar and temperate oceans. Invertebrate animals are closely linked to the conditions of their environment. Hence, over the course of millions of years fascinating and diverse adaptations to different environmental conditions developed. On the one hand, we are interested in which way adaptation of an organism is realized in particular. On the other hand, we also trace from our data which environmental conditions and processes are the essential drivers in the evolution of animals.

To this end, we study metabolic pathways as well as specific cellular and molecular mechanisms that allow the animals to successfully inhabit their respective habitats. This includes adult specimens and their reproduction as well as the development of embryonic and larval stages.

We conduct our investigations on all levels of biological organization ranging from the functions of molecules (e.g. enzymes) and cell organelles (e.g. mitochondria) to the performance of the whole organism and the organization of the genome. In our labs we use and develop advanced techniques nowadays applied in physiology, protein biochemistry, phylogeny, and population genetics.