Research & Projects

The working group Animal Ecology focuses on

  • the role of invertebrates in ecosystem functioning
    (including habitat engineering, herbivory, predation)
  • large-scale distribution patterns of biodiversity and species traits in the Palaearctic and worldwide
  • molecular ecology (population genetics, phylogeography, conservation genetics and landscape genetics)
  • conservation biology (conservation genetics, fragmentation biology, restoration ecology)
  • biospeleology (biogeography, adaptation)
  • taxonomy and systematics of insects (especially carabids beetles)
    (classical and modern approaches: morphology, morphometry, DNA technics)

Projects are performed mainly in Germany, the Middle East (especially Israel), Spain, and China.

Landscape genetics (PopGeneLand)

Recent studies show a substantial influence of landscape structure on intraspecific genetic diversity, which is considered one of the three levels of biodiversity. The aim of the project is to investigate the combined effect of present and historical landscape structure on both neutral and adaptive genetic diversity.

BEF China

Subtropical forests in southeastern China are characterized by an extraordinary diversity of woody species. The aim of the DFG project "BEF China" is to uncover the relationships between biodiversity in these forests and the functioning of such highly diverse ecosystems. In this context, our subproject deals with the interactions between plant diversity and higher trophic levels.