We study the evolution and adaptation mechanisms of invertebrates from polar and temperate oceans. Reconstruction of the distribution of species in the past allows us to draw conclusions about their adaptability to the ongoing rapid climate and environmental change.
Using state-of-the-art methods of biodiversity research, we examine every level of organization, from the base sequence of DNA through the structure and function of proteins to the organization of the genome and the ecophysiological strategies of adaptation employed by different organisms.
We use the knowledge we generate to model the current distribution of species, to identify emerging patterns and to make statements about ecological changes under future environmental scenarios. Our research focuses on the immediate consequences of regional warming such as the melting of glaciers at the polar coasts as well as the consequences of global warming and the progressive pollution of coasts and seas.