I am an ecologist with a particular interest in ecomorphology, which studies the morphological adaptations related to the environment. The ecomorphological studies test if morphological differences result in performance differences in environmentally relevant tasks, such as escape predators and competition for food or partners, leading to differences of behaviour and ecology. Therefore, it expands the understanding of very important concepts in biology, such as adaptation, natural selection and ecological niche. That makes me interested in evolutionary processes, generally.
The project entitled “Behavioural niche choice: personality differences and unpredictability in escape behaviour” is part of the Collaborative Research Center on the evolutionary ecology of individualized niches. Using the colour-polymorphic steppe grasshopper (Chorthippus dorsatus), we aim to access: a) adaptive phenotypic responses to environmental variability; b) individual strategy-dependent preferences for habitats of different complexity; c) the ontogeny of (un)predictability in behaviour; and d) fitness consequences of variation in predictability.