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Focus Area "Functional Ecology and Evolution"


The aim of the research of the focus area is to understand the causality of mechanisms and functional relationships in ecology and evolution. The focus is placed on analytical and quantitative approaches of modern ecology and evolutionary biology, which have apart from an experimental or empirical background also a strong theoretical and modeling basis.


The question about the consequences of global and regional change for ecological systems and natural resources over ecological and evolutionary time scales is one of the central challenges of the 21st Century. It is essential to go beyond the description of the phenomena and to understand mechanisms or causal-functional relationships in order to derive forecasts on future changes in the biosphere under alternative climate and utilisation scenarios.

The main aim of modern life sciences is to start with empirical evidence and then apply theories and models to arrive at a causal understanding of processes. Above all, interdisciplinary research approaches such as those used in systems biology and functional biodiversity research will be extremely important.

The University of Potsdam is one of the few universities in Germany that has the potential to pursue various aspects of this fundamental issue by applying a well-founded combination of modern ecological and evolutionary approaches. Organismic Biology is already scientifically well established at the University of Potsdam and very attractive to advanced students and young scientists.




University of Potsdam

Functional Ecology and Evolution

Dr. Simone Pfautsch

Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25
14476 Potsdam-Golm
Tel.: +49 (0) 331-977-5604
Fax: +49 (0) 331-977-5070
E-Mail: pfautsch@uni-potsdam.de

Universität Potsdam, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Profilbereich "Funktionelle Ökologie und Evolution"