Within the research field of Ecology, Evolution, Behavioural Biology and Conservation, which forms the core of the Functional Ecology and Evolution profile area at the University of Potsdam, urgent questions resulting from a rapidly changing environment are addressed. Against the backdrop of current climate change, mechanisms, functional relationships and consequences of the spread of invasive species, the decline in biological diversity and the increasing use of natural resources are investigated at the level of organisms, populations and communities.
In teaching and research, we focus on quantitative ecology including theoretical concepts and in-depth data evaluation through statistical methods and modelling. Central to this is a clear orientation towards defined, scientific questions as well as the formulation and testing of hypotheses in field studies, experiments and models. The complexity of ecological and nature conservation issues also requires essential additional knowledge in neighbouring scientific disciplines as well as in statistics and modelling. We make every effort to provide graduates with a systematic introduction and above-average qualifications in the field of ecological data analysis and modelling, as this sustainably improves their chances on the labour market. Students have the opportunity to gain practical experience in numerous third-party funded projects. To enable this breadth in teaching, we cooperate with various other institutes within and outside the university, both in Germany and abroad.
The aim is to introduce students to independent scientific work and to train the next generation of scientists for research and professional activities. This also makes it possible to work outside of higher education and research institutes, which must be oriented towards international standards (e.g. environmental monitoring, management and education, institutional nature conservation). In order to obtain a permanent job in ecological research and the world of work, a doctorate is often completed after the Master's degree, thereby acquiring the necessary qualifications and experience for successful employment.