Adaptation of natural populations to environmental change: dynamics and interactions
We aim to understand responses of natural populations to natural and human induced environmental change at ecological time scales (i.e. within a few generations). We study ecological and evolutionary responses of natural populations to environmental stress (acidification, micropollutants), spatio-temporal dynamics of natural selection, and the molecular mechanisms of adaptation.
Our research is primarily empirical but with a strong conceptual basis. We are interested in both basic science and applied questions. An important core in our research are interactions between agents of selection (e.g. single vs. multiple stressors; selection vs. gene flow), the quantitative and molecular genetic basis of adaptation (maternal vs. direct genetic effects) and those between ecological and evolutionary processes.
Our current main lines of empirical research are:
- Molecular mechanisms of adaptive maternal effects (in amphibians in Sweden)
- Eco-evolutionary interactions in space and time (in stickleback and arctic charr in Iceland)
- Eco-evolutionary responses to climate change (in alpine stream invertebrates in Switzerland)
- Impacts of micropollutants on aquatic ecosystems (we participate in the interdisciplinary project EcoImpact)