Fedtschenkoi's Bush-cricket (Roeseliana fedtschenkoi)

Welcome to the Population Ecology Group

We are interested in eco-evolutionary processes and how they contribute to the evolution and maintenance of biodiversity. Our special focus lies on local adaptation and the role of species interactions. We approach this topic from different angles, including long-term experimental field work, controlled laboratory experiments, and genomic analyses.
Fedtschenkoi's Bush-cricket (Roeseliana fedtschenkoi)
Image: Holger Schielzeth

Recent news

January: A recording of Holger's mini-presentation on our Bachlor teaching de supporting student's independent learning is now available on the university website.

December: Anne has held here teaching probation lecture. The last step in her habilitation process. And it was a great talk on seed dispersal as an endanged ecosystem functions. Congratulations, Anne, you've made it excellently!

November: The ceremony of the 2022 ALe Teaching Award was held has part of our university's Dies legendi. Holger give a short presentation of our practical in evolutionary biology.

November: Elina has successfully defended her PhD thesis on individualized ecological niches. Congratulations, Elina, on being a Dr. now.

November: Anne has successfully defended her habilitation thesis. Congratulations, Anne. Now there is only the teaching demonstration still to come.

November: Holger is giving a presentation at a workshop on Bayesian analyses organized by the interactive inference project.

News archive

Research Expand entry
Sting Bug (Antheminia varicornis) Sting Bug (Antheminia varicornis) Image: Holger Schielzeth

Our group covers three main lines of research, all united by the interest in understanding population-level biodiversity and its consequences for intra- und inter-species population dynamics. (i) trophic interactions and community dynamisc are the focus of Community Population Ecology line of research. (ii) Local adaptation, temporal population dynamics and behavioural ecology are the focus of Evolutionary Population Ecology line of resaerch. (iii) And the genomic architecture of genetic polymorphisms, speciation and hybridization are the focus of Molecular Population Ecology line of resarch. Furthermore, we are interested in (iv) ecological, evolutionary and startistical methods and therefore also cover the field that we call Population Ecology Methods.

Projects Expand entry
Jena Experiment aerial photograph Jena Experiment aerial photograph Image: Jena-Experiment

Contemporary scientific work is often very collaborative. We are therefore involved in several large collaborative research project. This includes the long-running Jena Experiment that was established in 2002 and has been DFG-funded since then. More recently, we got engaged in a NC3 Collaborative Research Center that is also funded by the DFG and studies the evolutionary ecology of individualized niches. Furthermore, we are participating in the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) in Halle-Jena-Leipzig, the Michael Stifel Center Jena (MSCJ) for Data-Driven & Simulation Science and the Interantional Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) run by Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena. Additionally, we are involved in more grass-roots projects such as the Nutrient Network (NutNet) and the team for the Statistical Quantification of Individual Differences (SQuID). And finally, there are always ongoing individually funded projects that are also important.

Team Expand entry
Population Ecology Group 2016 Population Ecology Group 2016 Image: Holger Schielzeth

We are a team of currently six postdoctal researchers, three PhD students, five technical assistants, and four gardeners. We will occasionally solicit applications for funded PhD student positions. Furthermore, if you are interested in joining the group with external funding or as part of your studies, you may contact us at popecol@uni-jena.de.

Teaching Expand entry
Fieldwork with students Fieldwork with students Image: Günter Köhler

We offer a variety of classes for the BSc level in Biology and the MSc level in Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. The topics range from introduction to faunistic field methods, evolutionary, community and conservation ecology, via population genetics to scientific writing and presentations. We also continously offer a selection of topics for Bachelor or Master projects. The list of ongoing and completed projects gives an impression about the range of topcis that we offer. Please to not hesitate to contact us if you are interested and movitated to work in the field of evolutiony, molecular or community ecology.

Recent publications Expand entry

Alaei Kakhki, N., Schweizer, M., Lutgen, D., Bowie, R.C.K., Shirihai, H., Suh, A., Schielzeth, H. & Burri, R. (2022). A phylogenomic assessment of processes underpinning convergent evolution in open-habitat chats. Molecular Biology and Evolution doi: 10.1093/molbev/msac278 

Achury, R., Clement, L., Ebeling, A., Meyer, S., Voigt, W. & Weisser, W.W. (2022). Plant diversity and functional identity alter ant occurrence and activity in experimental grasslands. Ecosphere 13: e4252 doi: 10.1002/ecs2.4252 

Gerber, R., Cabon, L., Piscart, C., Roussel, J.-M. & Bergerot, B. (2022). Body stores of emergent aquatic insects are associated with
body size, sex, swarming behaviour and dispersal strategies. Freshwater Biology doi: 10.1111/fwb.14003 

Ladouceur, E., Blowes, S.A., Chase, J.M., Clark, A.T., Garbowski, M., Alberti, J., Arnillas, C.A., Bakker, J.D., Barrio, I.C., Bharath, S., Borer, E.T., Brudvig, L.A., Cadotte, M.W., Chen, Q., Collins, S.L., Dickman, C.R., Donohue, I., Du, G., Ebeling, A., Eisenhauer, N., Fay, P.A., Hagenah, N., Hautier, Y., Jentsch, A., Jonsdottir, I.S., Komatsu, K., MacDougall, A., Martina, J.P., Moore, J.L., Morgan, J.W., Peri, P.L., Power, S.A., Ren, Z., Risch, A.C., Roscher, C., Schuchardt, M.A., Seabloom, E.W., Stevens, C.J., Veen, G.F.C., Virtanen, R., Wardle, G.M., Wilfahrt, P.A. & Harpole, W.S. (2022). Linking changes in species composition and biomass in a globally distributed grassland experiment. Ecology Letters doi: 10.1111/ele.14126 

Takola, E. & Schielzeth, H. (2022). Hutchinson’s ecological niche for individuals. Biology & Philosophy doi: 10.1007/s10539-022-09849-y

Bračić, M., Bohn, L., Krakenberg, V., von Kortzfleisch, V., Schielzeth, H., Kaiser, S., Sachser, N. & Richter, S.H. (2022). Once an optimist, always an optimist? Studying cognitive judgment bias in mice. Behavioral Ecology doi: 10.1093/beheco/arac040

Schielzeth, H. & Nakagawa, S. (2022). Conditional repeatability and the variance explained by reaction norm variation in random slope models. Methods in Ecology and Evolution doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.13856  [Code avilability]

Trappes, R., Nematipour, B., Kaiser, M.I., Krohs, U., van Benthem, K.J., Ernst, U.R., Gadau, J., Korsten, P., Kurtz, J., Schielzeth, H., Schmoll, T. & Takola, E. (2022). How individualized niches arise: Mechanisms of niche construction, niche choice, and niche conformance. BioScience doi: 10.1093/biosci/biac023

Heinze, P., Dieker, P., Rowland, H. & Schielzeth, H. (2021). Evidence for morph-specific substrate choice in a green-brown polymorphic grasshopper. Behavioral Ecology doi: 10.1093/beheco/arab133 [Data and code availability]

Radujkovic, D., Verbruggen, E., Seabloom, E.W., Bahn, M., Biederman, L.A., Borer, E.T., Boughton, E.H., Catford, J.A., Campioli, M., Donohue, I., Ebeling, A., Eskelinen, A., Fay, P.A., Hansart, A., Knops, J.M.H., MacDougall, A.S., Ohlert, T., Venterink, H.O., Raynaud, X., Risch, A.C., Roscher, C., Schutz, M., Silveira, M.L., Stevens, C.J., Van Sundert, K., Virtanen, R., Wardle, G.M., Wragg, P.D. & Vicca, S. (2021). Soil properties as key predictors of global grassland production: Have we overlooked micronutrients? Ecology Letters doi: 10.1111/ele.13894

Grenzer, J., Kulmatiski, A., Forero, L., Ebeling, A., Eisenhauer, N. & Norton, J. (2021). Moderate plant-soil feedbacks have small effects on the biodiversity-productivity relationship: A field experiment. Ecology and Evolution 11: 11651-11663. doi: 10.1002/ece3.7819

Schielzeth, H. & Wolf, J.B.W. (2021). Community genomics: A community-wide perspective on within-species genetic diversity. American Journal of Botany doi: 10.1002/ajb2.1796

Ebeling, A., Strauss, A., Adler, P.B., Arnillas, C., Barrio, I., Biederman, L., Borer, E., Bugalho, M., Caldeira, M., Cadotte, M., Daleo, P., Eisenhauer, N., Eskelinen, A., Fay, P., Firn, J., Graff, P., Hagenah, N., Haider, S., Komatsu, K., McCulley, R., Mitchell, C., Moore, J., Pascual, J., Peri, P., Power, S., Prober, S., Risch, A., Roscher, C., Sankaran, M., Seabloom, E., Schielzeth, H., Schutz, M., Speziale, K., Tedder, M., Virtanen, R. & Blumenthal, D. (2021). Nutrient enrichment increases invertebrate herbivory and pathogen damage in grasslands. Journal of Ecology doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.13801

Moran, N.P., Caspers, B.A., Chakarov, N., Ernst, U.R., Fricke, C., Kurtz, J., Lilie, N.D., Lo, L.K., Müller, C., Takola, E., Trimmer, P.C., van Benthem, K.J., Winterlitz, J. & Wittmann, M.J. (2021). Shifts between cooperation and antagonism driven by individual
variation: a systematic synthesis review. Oikos doi: 10.1111/oik.08201

Takola, E., Krause, E.T., Müller, C. & Schielzeth, H. (2021). Novelty at second glance: a critical appraisal of the novel object paradigm based on meta-analysis. Animal Behaviour 180: 123-142. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2021.07.018

Peona, V., Palacios-Gimenez, O.M., Blommaert, J., Liu, J., Haryoko, T., Jønsson, K.A., Irestedt, M., Zhou, Q., Jern, P. & Suh, A. (2021). The avian W chromosome is a refugium for endogenous retroviruses with likely effects on female-biased mutational load and genetic incompatibilities. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 376: 20200186. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2020.0186

Martí, E., Milani, D., Bardella, V.B., Albuquerque, L., Song, H., Palacios-Gimenez, O.M. & Cabral-de-Mello, D.C. (2021). Cytogenomic analysis unveils mixed molecular evolution and recurrent chromosome rearrangements shaping the multigene families on Schistocerca grasshopper genomes. Evolution doi: 10.1111/evo.14287

Stoffel, M.A., Nakagawa, S. & Schielzeth, H. (2021). partR2: Partitioning R2 in generalized linear mixed models. PeerJ 9: e11414. doi: 10.7717/peerj.11414 [R package]

Winter, G., Varma, M. & Schielzeth, H. (2021). Simple inheritance of color and pattern polymorphism in the steppe grasshopper Chorthippus dorsatus. Heredity doi: 10.1038/s41437-021-00433-w [Data availability]

van Moorsel, S.J., Hahl, T., Petchey, O.L., Ebeling, A., Eisenhauer, N., Schmid, B. & Wagg, C. (2021). Co-occurrence history increases ecosystem stability and resilience in experimental plant communities. Ecology 102: e03205. doi:10.1002/ecy.3205 [Data availability]

Roeder, A., Schweingruber, F.H., Ebeling, A., Eisenhauer, N., Fischer, M. & Roscher, C. (2021). Plant diversity effects on plant longevity and their relationships to population stability in experimental grasslands. Journal of Ecology doi:10.1111/1365-2745.13661

Strecker, T., Jesch, A., Bachmann, D., Jüds, M., Karbstein, K., Ravenek, J., Roscher, C., Weigelt , A., Eisenhauer, N. & Scheu, S. (2021). Incorporation of mineral nitrogen into the soil food web as affected by plant community composition. Ecology and Evolution doi:10.1002/ece3.7325

Mutwill, A.M., Schielzeth, H., Zimmermann, T.D., Richter, H., Kaiser, S. & Sachser, N. (2021). Individuality meets plasticity: endocrine phenotypes across male dominance rank acquisition in a complex social environment. Hormones and Behavior doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2021.104967

Van Sundert, K., Arfin Khan, M.A.S., Bharath, S., Buckley, Y.M., Caldeira, M.C., Donohue, I., Dubbert, M., Ebeling, A., Eisenhauer, N., Eskelinen, A., Finn, A., Gebauer, T., Haider, S., Hansart, A., Jentsch, A., Kübert, A., Nijs, I., Nock, C.A., Nogueira, C., Porath‐Krause, A.J., Radujković, D., Raynaud, X., Risch, A.C., Roscher, C., Scherer‐Lorenzen, M., Schuchardt, M.A., Schütz, M., Siebert, J., Sitters, J., Spohn, M., Virtanen, R., Werner, C., Wilfahrt, P. & Vicca, S. (2021). Fertilized graminoids intensify negative drought effects on grassland productivity. Global Change Biology doi: 10.1111/gcb.15583

Mahadevaraju, S., Fear, J.M., Akeju, M., Galletta, B.J., Pinheiro, M.M.L.S., Avelino, C.C., Cabral-de-Mello, D.C., Conlon, K., Dell’Orso, S., Demere, Z., Mansuria, K., Mendonça, C.A., Palacios-Gimenez, O.M., Ross, E., Savery, M., Yu, K., Smith, H.E., Sartorelli, V., Yang, H., Rusan, N.M., Vibranovski4, M.D., Matunis, E. & Oliver, B. (2021). Dynamic sex chromosome expression in Drosophila male germ cells. Nature Communications 12: 892. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-20897-y

Santander, M.D., Cabral-de-Mello, D.C., Taffarel, A., Martí, D.A., Palacios-Gimenez, O.M. & Castollo, E.R.D. (2021). New insights into the six decades of Mesa’s hypothesis of chromosomal evolution in Ommexechinae grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acridoidea). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 20: 1-15. doi: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlaa188/6138200

Institute of Ecology and Evolution

The Population Ecology Group is one of the four research groups in the Institute of Ecology and Evolution de (est. 2018). The joint interest of the institute representing evolutionary processes and functional biodiversity analyses in teaching and research at the FSU. The other three groups in the institute are the Biodiversity of Plants Group (Prof. Römermann) de, the Systematic Botany Group (Prof. Hellwig) de and the Ecology Group (Prof. Halle) de.

Astragalus
Prof. Christine Römermann
Centaurea phrygia Group
Prof. Frank Hellwig
Leutra near Jena
Prof. Stefan Halle