To explain how biological diversity comes into existence and is maintained, it is important to identify processes involved in adaptation, differentiation and speciation. In this theme, we focus on three subthemes: chemical interactions within and between species, interactions between pollinators and plants, and symbiotic interactions between arthropod hosts, microbes and fungi.
Many interactions between individuals are through chemical communication, such as sexual communication with pheromones (see personal web page Astrid Groot), plant recognition (see personal web page Peter Roessingh) and manipulation of plant defence systems by herbivores (see personal web page Merijn Kant).
See personal web page Gerard Oostermeijer.
Many traits of arthropods, such as mode of reproduction, food plant choice, interaction with defence system of food plants and reproductive isolation, are affected or altered by their symbionts (see personal web page Hans Breeuwer). We aim to determine the molecular ecological mechanisms of traits involved in these interactions to understand the proximate and ultimate factors that affect their evolution.