Welcome to the
Department of Evolutionary Ecology and Genetics
Our department is specifically interested in the processes and mechanisms of evolutionary change. We focus on host-microbe interactions, which often evolve rapidly and therefore allow us to study adaptation in real-time. We use the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as model host and various microbes as pathogens. Our projects look at host-pathogen coevolution, nematode immunity, natural ecology of C. elegans and its microbiota, antibiotic resistance evolution in pathogens, and the genomics of adaptation. Additional projects study flour beetle coevolution with parasites and the life history of the coconut crab. Our teaching activities encompass courses for the Bachelor (e.g., Ecology, Identification of animals) and the Master curriculum (e.g., Ecological Immunology and Infection Biology, Symbiosis). Our department is a member of the Excellence Cluster Inflammation at Interfaces, DFG priority programme SPP 1399 on Host-Parasite Coevolution, and the International Max-Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Evolutionary Biology.