The research theme Population Dynamics within the department of Evolutionary and Population Biology focuses on three subthemes: (i) population biology of trophic interactions in species communities, (ii) eco-evolutionary dynamics, iii) population genetics.
Population biology has long focused on relatively simple pair-wise interactions between species, such as competition and predation, and the effects of these interactions on population dynamics and stability. For a better understanding of the functioning of communities, it is essential to go beyond such simple pair-wise interactions by studying motifs of interactions between three or more species, such as intraguild predation, apparent competition, and keystone predation. Read more on the personal web page of Arne Janssen.
In the second subtheme, we go beyond the classic view that evolutionary and ecological processes occur on separate, slow and fast time scales respectively. New findings show that evolutionary change can occur rapidly and thus interact with ecological dynamics. This means that ecological and evolutionary processes can no longer be treated separately and that revision of our fundamental understanding of both ecological and evolutionary dynamics is required. Read more on the personal web pages of Isabel Smallegange and Martijn Egas.
Evolutionary and demographic processes, including migration, selection, drift, but also anthropogenic disturbance, determine the distribution of genetic information in space. By investigating the drivers that govern the distribution of genetic diversity, shifts in allele frequencies can be determined, which is the elementary basis of evolution. Read more on the personal web page of Patrick Meirmans.