Life History and Functional Ecology

Organisational unit: Research group


The research group Life History and Functional Ecology studies physiological and ecological mechanisms affecting the balance between reproduction and survival. This involves both special adaptations and evolutionary constraints. Birds such as the blue tit invest in many offspring and have shorter lifespans, while the white-tailed eagle invests in a long lifespan and fewer offspring.


The general framework for our research is how investment into reproduction and survival forms different life history strategies. Individuals have to make decisions about how to allocate limited resources, such as energy and time. Life history strategies are chosen by individuals as to maximize life-time reproductive success. To understand how evolution has formed such strategies, we are interested in the role of physiological adaptations and constraints. We are talso interested in how human activities and urbanisation might affect the life-history trade-offs. Furthermore, parasite resistance and hormones may be transferred to the young from their mother through the egg, thereby influencing the phenotype of the next generation. Studies of ultimate aspects related to the evolution of life histories are combined with proximate aspects of the mechanisms that set the limit to this evolution.

Recent research outputs

Johan Nilsson, Jan-Åke Nilsson, Juli Broggi & Hannah Watson, 2020 Jun 3, In : Biology letters. 16, 6, 4 p., 20200133.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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