Population biology and evolution

IntroductionResearch PublicationsGroup members

At the Population biology research group we are interested in the lower levels of biological diversity ie those of populations and their genetic variability. Within a given landscape, species exist as local populations. A population is a group of individuals of a certain species that are in contact with each other and that interbreed. The lowest level of biodiversity is the genetic variability within populations and individuals. This variability is the basis for the evolution of new species and allows individuals to adapt to changes in environmental conditions. We hope with our research to get a better understanding of the interactions between individuals, populations and species of plants and animals. As ultimate goal, we would like to understand how much variation and interactions between organisms are mere coincidence or the result of evolutionary processes underlying them.

We use a multidisciplinary approach to study the biology and population genetics of populations and their interactions. Our model systems are experimental and natural populations of plant species and plant-animal interactions.

Research Topics

  • Population biology: ecology and genetics of small populations
  • Microevolution: local adaptation
  • Conservation biology of endangered species
  • Phylogeography and phylogenetics of plant species
  • Plant-animal interactions