Department Aquatic Ecology

Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics

We are part of the Institute of Integrative Biology (IBZ) and the Department of Environmental System Sciences (D-USYS) at ETH Zürich. Our group is hosted by Eawag in Kastanienbaum, where our offices and labs are based. We are interested in ecology and evolution of aquatic ecosystems. Food webs exhibit remarkable structural diversity, but how does this influence the functioning of ecosystems? To predict how ecosystems will respond to global environmental change, we need to understand the processes that maintain food web diversity and functioning of ecosystems. This requires a more complete integration of ecology, evolution, and ecosystem science.

We focus on the ecological, evolutionary, and anthropogenic processes that create, maintain, and change biodiversity and how these processes affect the functioning of aquatic ecosystems (e.g. productivity, nutrient cycling, organic matter flux).

We approach these questions using large scale mesocosm experiments, and a combination of comparative field surveys, modeling, and lab studies.

M.Sc. students and undergraduates are welcomed. For further information please contact Blake Matthews.

Current Projects

New tools to monitor changes in ecosystem conditions and to quantify genetic changes of populations in (semi-)natural environments to predict how human mediated environmental change will influence stability and resilience of ecosystems.
Understand the mechanisms how adaptive evolution shapes reciprocal interactions between organisms and their environment, leading to either new opportunities or new constraints for further adaptation.
Ecosystem effects of parasitism, and how such effects might alter selection pressures on subsequent generations in mesocosm experiments.


Dr. Blake MatthewsTel. +41 58 765 2120Send Mail
Dr. Romana LimbergerTel. +41 58 765 2250Send Mail
Moritz LürigTel. +41 58 765 2228Send Mail
Daniel SteinerTel. +41 58 765 2118Send Mail