Zelluläre und Organismische Netzwerke
Our research projects combine field ecology with bioinformatics and new sequencing technologies. We are interested in various types of ecological and evolutionary research, starting with abundance and diversity of taxa, over phylogenetic reconstructions, towards environmental and spatial influences and lastly regarding organisms’ molecular interactions with each other on a genomic level. Methodologically, the workgroup is developing computational workflows and databases as well as laboratory protocols to analyse ecological samples with next-generation sequencing technologies.
Our major research theme is diversity, dynamics and processes in the plant-microbe-pollinator triangle, where we conduct research on all three inherent networks, i.e. the mutualism between the two hosts, but also their respective interactions with microbiomes. This triangle is essential for terrestrial ecosystems and agricultural processes, yet threatened by a variety of risk factors. Our overarching goal is to contribute novel and valuable insights into the diversity of organisms, their ecology in changing landscapes and resiliences of their biotic interactions that will help to gain a solid understanding of health, needs and threats as well as to engage into actions to mitigate currently observed biodiversity declines and the loss of ecosystem functionality."