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

We are seeking a PhD candidate to work on Evidence synthesis on individual niche spezialization. [pdf, 379 kb] de Please apply if you are interested.

Furthermore, we are seeking student helper with experience in data handling/management to support a practical course in September/October. Please contact Holger if you are interested.

Recent news

June: The Michel Stifel Center Jena (MSCJ) is supporting us with a grant to promote data literacy training at the Bachelor level. Thank you!

June: Our paper on conditional repeatability is featured by a cover image on this month's issue of Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

June: We received some funding from the Michael Stifel Centre Jena (MSCJ) to implement a new practical course to promote data literacy among bachelor students. The course will hopefully later be intergrated within the developing certificate program on Data Literacy Jena (DaLiJe).

May: Franziska Beran received on individual grant from the DFG to join our group later this year. Franzi will work on the molecular basis of chemical defense in horseradish flea beetles.

May: Field work in Kazakhstan, Romania and Greece. We are searching for wheatear hybrids at places that seem to be melting pots where multiple species meet. A project in collarboration with Reto Burri.

April: Our next meadow grasshopper hatching season start. Never has hatching been more successful as this time. Thanks to everyone who were tendering the eggs over the winter.

April: The next collaboratiove paper from the NC3 Collaborative Research Center on mechanisms in niche individualization is out in BioScience.

April: Mahendra is presenting a poster at the first in-person symposium of the IMPRS "Exploration of Ecological Interactions with Molecular and Chemical Techniques".

April: The first Squid teaching-and-research meeting takes place as a hybrid meeting in Trondheim, Norway. Squid group (statistical quantification of indivdiual differences) aims to promote multi-level statistical modelling via simulation tools.

April: Elina is representing our contribution to NC3 Collaborative Research Center with a talk at the JICE/InChangE meeting in Bielefeld.

April: Sabine has officially joined our group with her own DFG-funded project on the origins of divergence in Spodoptera strains. Welcome, Sabine!

March: Juan submitted his Master thesis on differential gene expression in the club-legged grasshopper. Congratulations, Juan!

March: Time for the next Jena Experiment Retreat, including three days of Writing Retreat for PhD students. It is great to see so many exciting results coming out from the Jena Experiment Research Unit.

March: Felix joined the group as a member of the gardenere team at the Jena Experiment field site. Welcome, Felix!

March: Dörte has joined Ricardo Pereira's group as a PhD student on a joined DFG funded project on reticulated speciation in grasshoppers. Looking forward to a productive collarboration with both of them.

February: Elina and Gabe are attending the ESMAR conference and evidence synthesis and meta-analysis in R.

February: Gabe is organizing a weekly in-group meeting on clean data processing and plotting called the TidyFriday. A great opportunity for peer-facilitated improvement of data literacy.

February: Niloo and Dave is presenting at an Internatial Wheatear meeting organized by Reto.

January: Elina is presenting her work in the group of Niels Dingemanse at LMU Munich.

January: Holger is presenting his work on grasshopper color polymorphisms at Uppsala University.

January: Our guest in the EES Colloquium is Polina Novikova. Polina is presenting on her exciting work on polypoidization in plants and animals.

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 Collaborative Reserach Center (SFB-TRR 212) 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

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. http://dx.doi.org/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.

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