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Ecology and Ecosystem Modelling

Ecosystems provide important services that are necessary for human well-being. Understanding the structure and functioning of these complex systems fascinates us. In the face of massive anthropogenic disturbances like climate change, habitat degradation and loss of biodiversity it is also a task of utmost importance.

Our working group analyses ecological systems on different organizational levels, from individuals and populations up to complex food webs. We combine field observations and laboratory experiments with (freshwater) plankton communities with novel theoretical and modelling approaches. With one full professor, an associated Heisenberg research group, two assistant professors, two post docs as well as several PhD- and master students, our theory division is among the largest groups in theoretical ecology in Germany. Our goal is, based on a firm basis of observations and experiments, to understand how the adaptability of individuals, populations and communities affects the reaction of ecosystems on a changing world.