(Dept. 5) Evolutionary and Integrative Ecology

The Department of Evolutionary and Integrative Ecology, which is located in both Friedrichshagen and Dahlem, advances the eco-evolutionary understanding of freshwater organisms in the Anthropocene. Our research has two overarching themes:

  • Evolutionary ecology and eco-evolutionary dynamics
  • Synthesis across scales, disciplines and actors

Within these themes, we address different research topics, varying from the ecological and evolutionary consequences of global change (e.g. biological invasions, climate change, pollution) to species interactions and long-term dynamics. Urban systems are of particular relevance here, as they integrate multiple dimensions of global change. Berlin is also a perfect place to study urbanisation! Species interactions we are investigating include competition, parasitism and predation, and interactions between species and different human actors are of high relevance as well.

We collaborate with researchers within and beyond IGB, nationally and internationally. Particularly strong connections are with Freie Universität Berlin and KU Leuven, as group leaders in the department hold professorships at these universities. We are active in the Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB) and play a leading role in the Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversity Research (BeGenDiv), both of which involve extensive collaboration with other Leibniz institutes and universities. International initiatives that we are strongly engaged in include the Alliance for Freshwater Life, Future Earth and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Contact persons

Research groups

Luc De Meester
Jonathan Jeschke
Michael T. Monaghan

Department members

Selected publications

May 2023
Oikos. - (2023)5, Art. e09645

A synthesis of biological invasion hypotheses associated with the introduction–naturalisation–invasion continuum

Ella Z. Daly; Olivier Chabrerie; Francois Massol; Benoit Facon; Manon C.M. Hess; Aurélie Tasiemski; Frédéric Grandjean; Matthieu Chauvat; Frédérique Viard; Estelle Forey; Laurent Folcher; Elise Buisson; Thomas Boivin; Sylvie Baltora-Rosset; Romain Ulmer; Patricia Gibert; Gabrielle Thiébaut; Jelena H. Pantel; Tina Heger; David M. Richardson; David Renault

Empirical studies show divergent impacts of alien populations on ecosystems which hinders the creation of a unified theory. The authors propose a synthesis that categorizes hypotheses along a timeline of invasion considering population, community and ecosystem levels. For any given case study, this framework provides a guide to choose the appropriate concepts according to the stage of invasion.

March 2023
Nature Communications. - 14(2023), Art. 1389

Global Protected Areas as refuges for amphibians and reptiles under climate change

Chunrong Mi; Liang Ma; Mengyuan Yang; Xinhai Li; Shai Meiri; Uri Roll; Oleksandra Oskyrko; Daniel Pincheira-Donoso; Lilly P. Harvey; Daniel Jablonski; Barbod Safaei-Mahroo; Hanyeh Ghaffari; Jiri Smid; Scott Jarvie; Ronnie Mwangi Kimani; Rafaqat Masroor; Seyed Mahdi Kazemi; Lotanna Micah Nneji; Arnaud Marius Tchassem Fokoua; Geraud C. Tasse Taboue; Aaron Bauer; Cristiano Nogueira; Danny Meirte; David G. Chapple; Indraneil Das; Lee Grismer; Luciano Javier Avila; Marco Antônio Ribeiro Júnior; Oliver J. S. Tallowin; Omar Torres-Carvajal; Philipp Wagner; Santiago R. Ron; Yuezhao Wang; Yuval Itescu; Zoltán Tamás Nagy; David S. Wilcove; Xuan Liu; Weiguo Du

The authors investigated the effectiveness of Protected Areas (PAs) in conserving amphibians and reptiles under climate change. They found that PAs are effective in providing refuge to these species, but spatial conservation gaps still exist and many species may go extinct due to climate change.


December 2022
Ecological Applications. - 32(2022)8, Art. e2703

Urban biotic homogenization: approaches and knowledge gaps

Sophie Lokatis; Jonathan M. Jeschke

The authors mapped and analyzed the literature on the hypothesis of urban biotic homogenization. They identified 225 studies addressing the hypothesis. Half of them investigated homogenization across cities, the other half investigating homogenization within cities. There are strong research biases and thus knowledge gaps in the literature and about 55% of the studies supported the hypothesis.

November 2022
Ecological monographs. - 92(2022)4, Art. e1531

Quantifying eco-evolutionary contributions to trait divergence in spatially structured systems

Lynn Govaert; Jelena H. Pantel; Luc De Meester

In both time and space, the observed differentiation in trait values among populations and communities can be the result of interactions between ecological and evolutionary processes. The authors extended methods to quantify ecological and evolutionary contributions to trait changes to account for empirical studies that document trait differentiation among populations structured in space.

September 2022
eLife. - 11(2022), Art. e70780

The LOTUS initiative for open knowledge management in natural products research

Adriano Rutz; Maria Sorokina; Jakub Galgonek; Daniel Mietchen; Egon Willighagen; Arnaud Gaudry; James G. Graham; Ralf Stephan; Roderic Page; Jiří Vondrášek; Christoph Steinbeck; Guido F. Pauli; Jean-Luc Wolfender; Jonathan Bisson; Pierre-Marie Allard

Scientists integrated data about natural chemical compounds and the organisms they have been documented in, provided literature references and exposed the information both as a stand-alone database and via Wikidata.The database enables queries that relate natural chemical compounds to the taxa they have been found in and the literature documenting the evidence.

Share page