Parasites are ubiquitous and their presence affects
almost every aspect of the host’s ecology and evolution. Vice versa,
parasites have to adapt to their hosts and so give rise to dynamic
host-parasite co-evolution. Research done in the group of Experimental
Ecology uses the concepts and tools of ecology and evolution to study
Our main interests include the study of how parasites affect host genetic diversity and defense strategies, including innate immune defenses. Consequently, we are also studying how parasites evolve and adapt to their host populations and so change their virulence and impact. Our research involves a variety of methods, from laboratory experiments to field studies, molecular analyses and theoretical models.
The consequences of host-parasite co-evolution are not only important for major unsolved questions in basic biology but they are also directly relevant for applications in many areas including human health and our relationship to the environment.
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