Research Group of Population Biology (IBED-PB)
We are witnessing a period of increased species extinctions and biodiversity loss, not in the least as a consequence of human activities. Yet, humans strongly depend on many ecosystems and the services provided by them. To mitigate the consequences of these losses, it is paramount to understand and predict the ecological and evolutionary processes that govern the persistence of populations and communities of interacting species that comprise ecosystems. To this end, the Section Population Biology studies the fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes that link individuals, populations and communities of plants and animals. We specifically focus on developing an empirical and theoretical basis for understanding how the phenotypic, genetic, physiological, social and spatial structures of populations affect their persistence and that of communities of species. This knowledge is tested and put to practice by focussing on experimental systems with a clear applied component, predominantly consisting of herbivorous and predacious terrestrial arthropods, plants, and their microbial pathogens.