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

October: The autumn retreat of the Jena Experiment Research Unit will bring us all up-to-date with freshest results on ecosystem functiong in one of the longest running experiemental biodiversity projects.

October: We are running a new practical in our Bachelor program using Netlogo as a teaching tool. A great opportunity to train observations, hypothesis building and learn about evolutionary concepts.

October: All-week virtual discussion meetings with the Squid group (statistical quantification of indivdiual differences). Not quite the same as an in-person meeting, but still highly productive.

October: Chongyi has finished our MEES master program and is now starting as a PhD student to work with Jochen Wolf and the Jena Experiment Research Unit on genetic diversity in ecosystem functioning research. Welcome, Emma!

September: The annual retreat of the NC3 Collaborative Research Center is this year happing on Heligoland. Great location and great to see the progress that has been made within the last 4 years on individualized niches.

September: We are contributing to the annual MINT-Festival of the FSU de that aims to promote interest in STEM subjects. Our contribution includes practical parts and introductory information on polination and was again booked by several elementary classes.

September: Group excursion to northern Italy in search of grasshoppers. Found 56 species within a few days, including some real highlights. 

September: Elina was awared a best-poster-prize at 50th GfÖ Annual Meeting for her topic-modelling analysis of the ecological niche. Congratulations, Elina!

Sebtember: Sabine has joined our group with her very own DFG funding. Sabine will work on adaptation in an invasive species of moths. Welcome, Sabine!

Sebtember: Suvratha has joined our group as a PhD student to work with Octavio on dosage compoentation and sex chromosome evolution in grasshoppers. Welcome, Suvratha!

August: The DFG has decided to fund a joint project with Ricardo Pereira on reticulared evolution (speciation with prevalent hybridization) in grasshoppers. Looking forward to more collabrations with LMU. Watch our for a PhD advert in the near future.

August: Elina's first paper is out in Animal Behaviour. The paper presents an meta-analysis on the suitability of the novel-object paradigm for a quantification of individuals differences.

July: The first SORTEE conference on open, reproducible and transparent science is held online and Elina has been one of the conference organizers. An important push to the field of ecology and evolution.

July: Abhijeet has left us to continue his work as a bioinformatician. Thanks, Abhijeet, for several fun years and productive collaboration.

June: The team of the NC3 Collaborative Research Center is defending the application for a second funding phase. Thanks everyone for their efforts, great team-work and hope for four more years of work on individualization in ecology and evolution.

May: Niloo got her application for an for an FSU Career Advancement Scholarship approved. Very well deserved, Niloo! And great that you can stay with us to continue your work on hybridization in birds.

May: Laura from the Technical University Munich (TUM) is visiting for a joint analysis of ecosystem functioning. We aim to use covariance decomposition to understand BEF relationshops. Great to see quantitative genetics tools applied to ecological data.

News archive

Research Show content
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 Show content
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 Show content
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 Show content
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 Show content

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

Skarbek, C.J., Ebeling, A., Meyer, S.T., Schulze, C., Sepperl, A. & Pufal, G. (2021). Testing a highly replicable and standardized method to rapidly assess seed removal probabilities. Basic and Applied Ecology 52: 15-23. doi: 10.1016/j.baae.2021.02.008

Barnes, D., Scherber, C., Brose, U., Borer, E.T., Ebeling, A., Gauzens, B., Giling, D.P., Hines, J., Isbell, F., Ristok, C., Tilman, D., Weisser, W.W. & Eisenhauer, N. (2020). Biodiversity enhances the multitrophic control of arthropod herbivory. Science Advances doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abb6603

van der Plas, F., Schröder-Georgi, T., Weigelt, A., Barry, K., Meyer, S., Alzate, A., Barnard, R.L., Buchmann, N., de Kroon, H., Ebeling, A., Eisenhauer, N., Engels, C., Fischer, M., Gleixner, G., Hildebrandt, A., Koller-France, E., Leimer, S., Milcu, A., Mommer, L., Niklaus, P.A., Oelmann, Y., Roscher, C., Scherber, C., Scherer-Lorenzen, M., Scheu, S., Schmid, B., Schulze, E.-D., Temperton, V., Tscharntke, T., Voigt, W., Weisser, W., Wilcke, W. & Wirth, C. (2020). Plant traits alone are poor predictors of ecosystem properties and long-term ecosystem functioning. Nature Ecology & Evolution doi: 10.1038/s41559-020-01316-9

Moran, N., Sánchez-Tójar, A., Schielzeth, H. & Reinhold, K. (2020). Poor nutritional condition promotes high-risk behaviours: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Biological Reviews doi: 10.1111/brv.12655

Westneat, D.F., Araya-Ajoy, Y.G., Allegue, H., Class, B., Dingemanse, N., Dochtermann, N.A., Garamszegi, L.Z., Martin, J.G.A., Nakagawa, S., Réale, D. & Schielzeth, H. (2020). Collision between biological process and statistical analysis revealed by mean-centering. Journal of Animal Ecology doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.13360.

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.

Biodiversity of Plants
Prof. Christine Römermann
Centaurea phrygia Group
Systematic Botany
Prof. Frank Hellwig
Leutra near Jena
Prof. Stefan Halle
Population Ecology Group
Dornburger Str. 159
07743 Jena
+49 3641 9-49410
+49 3641 9-49402
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