Dr. Ellen van Velzen

Photo: v. Velzen

Postdoctoral Researcher

velzenuni-potsdamde

0049-(0)331 977 1907

Maulbeerallee 2, 2nd floor

14469 Potsdam

Photo: v. Velzen

Research fields

How does coevolution between predators and prey affect their ecological dynamics? How, when, and why can rapid adaptation enable coexistence of prey, and coexistence of predators? Do inducible defenses have different effects on predator-prey dynamics than rapid defense evolution? What happens to the predictions derived from “simple” predator-prey models, which investigate only a single predator-prey pair, when these species are embedded in a larger community?

I am currently trying to answer the above questions in my ongoing research, working as a postdoctoral researcher in the DFG Priority Programme DynaTrait. In this project I model the feedbacks between ecological dynamics and trait changes (eco-evolutionary dynamics) in predator-prey interactions. As a theoretical ecologist, my main focus is on the development of new theory on how eco-evolutionary feedbacks shape predator-prey dynamics: how they affect stability, phase relationships, intermittent patterns in predator-prey cycles, and coexistence. Currently I am expanding this work into population responses to environmental change, investigating the intriguing potential for eco-evolutionary feedbacks to drive evolutionary rescue in simple and complex communities.

More about my current research:

Poster 1 on trait variation and predator prey oscillations

Poster 2 on antiphase predator-prey cycles

Poster 3 on inducible defenses and (de)stabilization of predator-prey dynamics

Visit my profile on Research Gate

Eco-evolutionary feedbacks in predator-prey systems (Open Access in Ecol Evol. 6(18), 2018)

Disentangling eco-evolutionary dynamics of predator-prey evolution: the case of antiphase cycles (Open Access in Scientific Reports 7, 2017)

Publications

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Raatz, M., E. van Velzen and U. Gaedke (2019) Co-adaptation impacts the robustness of predator-prey dynamics against perturbations. Ecology and Evolution, in press

Yamamichi, M., T. Klauschies, B. Miner and E. van Velzen (2019) Modelling inducible defenses in predator-prey interactions: assumptions and dynamical consequences of three distinct approaches. Ecology Letters 22: 390-404 DOI: 10.1111/ele.13183

van Velzen, E. and E.D. Brodie (2018) Co-evolution between predators and prey. In: Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, Second Edition. Elsevier. Editor: Jae Choe

van Velzen, E., T. Thieser, T.U. Berendonk, M. Weitere and U. Gaedke (2018) Inducible defense destabilizes predator-prey dynamics: the importance of multiple predators. Oikos, Oikos 127: 1551-1562 DOI: 10.1111/oik.04886

van Velzen, E. and U. Gaedke (2018) Reversed predator-prey cycles are driven by the amplitude of prey oscillations. Ecology & Evolution 8:6317–6329  DOI: 10.1002/ece3.4184

van Velzen, E. and U. Gaedke (2017) Disentangling eco-evolutionary dynamics of predator-prey coevolution: the case of antiphase cycles. Scientific Reports 7:17125  DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-17019-4

Bengfort, M., E. van Velzen and U. Gaedke (2017) Slight phenotypic variation in predators and prey causes complex predator-prey oscillations. Ecological Complexity 31:115-124 DOI: 10.1016/j.ecocom.2017.06.003

Seiler, C., E. van Velzen, T.R. Neu, U. Gaedke, T.U. Berendonk and M. Weitere (2017) Grazing resistance of bacterial biofilms: a matter of predators' feeding trait. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 93:fix112 DOI: 10.1093/femsec/fix112

van Velzen E., S. Pérez-Vila and R.S. Etienne (2016) The role of within-host competition in coexistence in multiparasitoid-host systems. American Naturalist 187:48-59 DOI: 10.1086/684157

van Velzen E. and R.S. Etienne (2015) The importance of ecological costs for the evolution of plant defense against herbivory. Journal of Theoretical Biology 372:89-99 DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2015.02.027

Encinas-Viso, F., T.A. Revilla, E. van Velzen and R.S. Etienne (2014) Frugivores and cheap fruits make fruiting fruitful. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 27:313-324 DOI: 10.1111/jeb.12301

van Velzen E. and R.S. Etienne (2013) The evolution and coexistence of generalist and specialist herbivores under between-plant competition. Theoretical Ecology 6:87-98 DOI: 10.1007/s12080-012-0162-4

van Velzen, E., L. Schärer and I. Pen (2009) The effect of cryptic female choice on sex allocation in simultaneous hermaphrodites. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 276: 3123-3131 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.0566

Conference contributions

Conference of the British Ecological Society (BES) (2016), Ghent, Belgium: Phenotypic plasticity destabilizes predator-prey dynamics: the importance of multiple predators (Poster III)

Conference of the Priority Programe DynaTrait (2017), Hannover, Germany: Phenotypic plasticity destabilizes predator-prey dynamics: the importance of multiple predators (Talk); Explaining antiphase predator-prey cycles (Poster II); Slight trait variation causes complex predator-prey oscillations (Poster I)

Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) (2017), Groningen, The Netherlands: Explaining antiphase predator-prey cycles (Talk)

Conference of the British Ecological Society (BES) (2016), Liverpool, UK: Explaining antiphase predator-prey cycles (Talk)

Annual meeting of the Priority Programme DynaTrait (2016), Potsdam, Germany: Explaining antiphase predator-prey cycles (Poster II); Coupling of food chains: small exchange, large effect? (Poster I)

Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of Japan (2016), Sendai, Japan: Mechanisms driving phase dynamics in predator-prey models with mutual adaptation (Invited talk)

Annual Meeting of the German Ecological Society (GfÖ) (2015), Göttingen, Germany: The role of within-host competition for coexistence in multiparasitoid-host systems (Talk)

Mathematical Models in Ecology and Evolution (2011), Groningen, The Netherlands: The evolution of specialist and generalist herbivores under between-plant competition (Talk)

Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (2011), Lunteren, The Netherlands: The evolution of specialist and generalist herbivores under between-plant competition (Talk)

Qualifications and work experience

2014 - presentPostdoctoral Researcher, Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam

2015

PhD in Biology, University of Groningen, NL

2009 - 2014Assistant Researcher (PhD Student), University of Groningen