Evolution and Ecology of Phenotypes in Nature

Organisational unit: Research group


The research group explore the interface between ecology and evolution, using methods from evolutionary ecology, quantitative genetics and phylogenetic comparative methods. We are quantitative biologists working in natural populations and are interested in linking micro- and macroevolution.


Our research is integrative and focussed on the interface between evolution and ecology of phenotypes in natural populations. One major goal of our research is to connect microevolutionary processes on short time scales with macroevolutionary diversification on longer time scales. We explore various central topics in ecology and evolution, including natural and sexual selection in the wild, the evolutionary dynamics discrete visual phenotypic polymorphisms (e. g. colour polymorphisms), frequency-dependent evolutionary dynamics, the evolution of reproductive isolation, quantitative genetics of trait evolution, canalization and phenotypic plasticity. We also study the evolution of thermal adaptation and thermal plasticity. Our research is theory-based and we use various modelling tools, ranging from classical population genetics to simulation models. However, we are also empiricists and rely on our strong tradition of field experiments in natural settings or in mesocosms.

Recent research outputs

Mads Schou, Maud Bonato, Anel Engelbrecht, Zanell Brand, Erik Svensson, Julian Melgar, Pfunzo T. Muvhali, Schalk WP Cloete & Charlie Cornwallis, 2021 Feb 2, In: Nature Communications. 12, 10 p., 666 (2021) .

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Beatriz Willink, Rachel Blow, David J. Sparrow, Rosalyn Sparrow & Erik I. Svensson, 2021 Jan 4, In: Ecological Entomology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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