Nature recycles, evolution gives something a try, and often fails; and sometimes succeeds in generating this novelty at which we marvel. But it is not an arbitrary process and evolutionary theory provides us with a well equipped toolbox to work our way into a deeper understanding of the living world. Research in evolutionary biology sets out to understand the principles that generated the manifestations of life from gene interaction networks to the evolution of altruistic behavior in large societies.
In our research we apply an integrative approach to explore some of the tiers of biological organization that have successfully arrested our attention. We mostly work from a genetic perspective and incorporate information from other biological disciplines. One of the main question in the group is to understand the (micro-)evolutionary processes and genetic mechanisms underlying species divergence. Using large-scale genetic approaches, as well as field based experiments, we characterize genomic divergence across populations and (sub-)species and assess its relationship to functional phenotypic divergence. In addition, we engage in (macro-evolutionary) comparative approaches to study evolution across larger timescales. Empirical systems currently include birds (swallows and corvids), marine mammals (pinnipeds and killer whales) and the European hemiclonal Pelophylax water frog system.
Julia Buskas (research assistant)
Stefanie Großer (post-doc)
Benedikt Holtmann (post-doc)
Glib Mazepa (PhD student)
Melanie Monroe (post-doc)
Ulrich Knief (post-doc)
Verena Kutschera (post-doc)
Claire Peart (post-doc)
Saurabh Pophaly (post-doc)
Sergio Tusso (PhD)
Matthias Weissensteiner (PhD student)
Chi-Chih Wu (post-doc)
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