We approach the topic from a trait-based perspective to link individual and population level responses to community and ecosystem level processes. Our goal is to understand the drivers and mechanisms governing phytoplankton community responses at different scales, and to use this information to predict future changes in plankton biodiversity and aquatic ecosystem services (e.g. forecasting of cyanobacterial blooms).
We address high profile fundamental questions in microbial ecology and evolution. We are interested in the effects that anthropogenic environmental change has on biodiversity and community dynamics, and on the role that individual level variability in functional traits and phenotypes has for larger scale processes. We aim at understanding the feedbacks between plankton phenotypic changes, population responses and food-web dynamics in lakes that are changing due to eutrophication, pollution and climate warming.
We study phytoplankton communities in their natural environment by using historical series of lake monitoring data, high frequency automated monitoring, environmental DNA, and in situ experiments. For this reasons we explore, develop and test new tools and approaches for monitoring plankton diversity and water quality.