Working groups responsible for teaching the master courses

The teaching in the master's program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biology is predominantly supported by the following 5 working groups which deal with current issues of organismic biology.

Working group: Vegetation ecology and nature conservation
Working group: Vegetation ecology and nature conservation

Working group: Vegetation ecology and nature conservation

Under the direction of Florian Jeltsch, the Working Group on Vegetation Ecology and Nature Conservation is investigating how environmental and land use changes affect the dynamics of biodiversity in numerous national and international projects. Different methods of investigation are used, especially experimental approaches and self-developed computer models. Based on an understanding of the effects of change on individual animal or plant individuals and their interactions, the working group employs a 'scaling-up' approach to investigate the reactions of whole populations, communities and landscapes. The focus is on the ecology of drylands (including savannas of southern Africa), in Central European grassland systems and in the linking of research approaches of movement ecology with biodiversity research (including the DFG Research Training Group BioMove).

 

Working group: Vegetation ecology and nature conservation
Working group: Vegetation ecology and nature conservation
AG Eccard
Working group: Animal ecology

Working group: Animal Ecology

The working group of Animal Ecology is led by Jana Eccard. They work on topics of behavioral science, population biology, species interactions and the concept of pace-of-life. The group's favorite book in teaching is Krebs and Davies' introduction to behavioral ecology, and her best-studied model system is small mammals of all kinds. The working group is currently conducting research projects on the following topics:

  •     Biodiversity and movement ecology
  •     Individual behavioral differences
  •     Landscape of fear
  •     Reproductive behavior
  •     Effects of light pollution
  •     Genotypic adaptation to climate change
  •     Urban ecology
  •     Ecosystem services of grazing small mammals
  •     Human Biology and Anthropometry (working group of Dr. Scheffler)

The working group also takes care of the Biological Station in Gülpe, where many of the field courses take place. The teaching in the module Behavioral Ecology includes lectures on behavior, animal ecology, the evolution of life-history parameters, a conference seminar on behavioral ecology and a field course in experimental animal ecology at the Gülpe station.

 

AG Eccard
Working group: Animal ecology
AG Ökologie und Ökosystemmodellierung
Working group: Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling

Working group: Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling

Embedded in numerous research collaborations, the working group Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling headed by Ursula Gaedke investigates aquatic populations, communities and ecosystems. Field observations, experiments with plankton organisms as well as model and theory formation complement each other. One focus is on the interplay of functional diversity and ecological dynamics: if populations and communities are sufficiently diverse, they can adapt to changing environmental conditions, which has an impact on the dynamics of their biomass and, in turn, on the maintenance of diversity (DFG priority program DynaTrait). We are also very interested in experiments on the role of food quality in predator-prey systems, the invasion success of toxic cyanobacteria and the distribution and local adaptation of zooplankton species (DFG Research Training Group BioMove). Mathematical models and computer simulations of species-rich food webs help us understand the distribution of species as well as biodiversity and ecosystem functions.

AG Ökologie und Ökosystemmodellierung
Working group: Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling
Working group: Biodiversity Research / Special Botany

Working group: Biodiversity Research / Special Botany

The Biodiversity Research / Special Botany group investigates cross-scale questions in biodiversity research with a focus on plant communities and fungi in different habitats. Botanically oriented research also takes place in the Botanical Garden in Potsdam (curator: Dr. Michael Burkart), who is strongly committed to the protection of endangered native and exotic wild plants. The main focus of the research and teaching in General Botany of Dr. Ing. Thilo Heinken is the analysis of long-term vegetation changes and their causes. The research has wide-ranging applications in nature conservation.

Working group: Biodiversity Research / Special Botany
Working group: Evolutionary biology / Special zoology

Working group: Evolutionary Biology / Special Zoology

The working group of Evolutionary Biology / Special Zoology is headed by Ralph Tiedemann. Our group is interested in evolutionary biology, molecular biology, molecular evolution and special zoology / systematics. The working group applies various molecular genetic methods in research and also carries out field studies. The employees of the working group are interested in this, for example for the evolution of certain functional properties of organisms and the genetic basis of their adaptability to changing environmental conditions. Another focus is on applied evolutionary biological research (conservation genetics, biodiversity studies).

Working group: Evolutionary biology / Special zoology

Further involved working groups

In addition, there are participating working groups in the field of evolutionary adaptive genomics, genetics, microbiology, and bioinformatics as well as internationally leading non-university research institutes in the Berlin-Potsdam area such as the Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), the Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), the Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), and the Alfred Wegner Institute for Polar Research (AWI), which participate in teaching and to which close research cooperations exist.

Get an overview of the currently 19 full professorships and other associated professorships at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biology.