Department Fish Ecology and Evolution

Interactive effects of diet and nutrition on phenotypic plasticity and adaptation

Multiple components of environmental change threaten the persistence of natural populations, and many of these relate to the quantity and quality of organisms’ diet. Together with Katja Räsänen, and other members of an “Asellus Consortium”, we are interested in using the detritivorous isopod (Asellus aquaticus) to address both fundamental applied questions about adaptation to stress in both natural and human modified ecosystems. Isopods are a particularly useful model to study developmental plasticity of pigmentation and growth during development to maturity, and, more generally, life history evolution in response to predation pressure and nutritional environments.

Research team

Dr. Katja RäsänenTel. +41 58 765 5186Send Mail
Dr. Elvira LafuentePostdoctoral researcherTel. +41 58 765 5447Send Mail


Lundsgaard-Hansen, B.; Matthews, B.; Vonlanthen, P.; Taverna, A.; Seehausen, O. (2013) Adaptive plasticity and genetic divergence in feeding efficiency during parallel adaptive radiation of whitefish (Coregonus spp.), Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 26(3), 483-498, doi:10.1111/jeb.12063, Institutional Repository
Fischer, B. B.; Kwiatkowski, M.; Ackermann, M.; Krismer, J.; Roffler, S.; Suter, M. J. F.; Eggen, R. I. L.; Matthews, B. (2014) Phenotypic plasticity influences the eco-evolutionary dynamics of a predator-prey system, Ecology, 95(11), 3080-3092, doi:10.1890/14-0116.1, Institutional Repository
Lundsgaard-Hansen, B.; Matthews, B.; Seehausen, O. (2014) Ecological speciation and phenotypic plasticity affect ecosystems, Ecology, 95(10), 2723-2735, doi:10.1890/13-2338.1, Institutional Repository
Matthews, B.; Aebischer, T.; Sullam, K. E.; Lundsgaard-Hansen, B.; Seehausen, O. (2016) Experimental evidence of an eco-evolutionary feedback during adaptive divergence, Current Biology, 26(4), 483-489, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.11.070, Institutional Repository
Lürig, M. D.; Best, R. J.; Svitok, M.; Jokela, J.; Matthews, B. (2019) The role of plasticity in the evolution of cryptic pigmentation in a freshwater isopod, Journal of Animal Ecology, 88(4), 612-623, doi:10.1111/1365-2656.12950, Institutional Repository


Dr. Blake MatthewsTel. +41 58 765 2120Send Mail