Institute of Evolution and Ecology (EvE)

Institute of Evolution and Ecology (EvE)


EVE research groups

BSc Biology

EVE undergrad courses

MSc program

Evolution and Ecology

PhD program

EVEREST grad school

Welcome to EvE!

Research and teaching in EvE focus on how individuals, populations and communities interact and cope with environmental variability. We synergistically address a wide variety of perspectives and methodologies in evolutionary ecology, including plant and animal ecology, integrative botany and zoology, ecotoxicology, and conservation.

EvE News

Defence: Chris Baumann

24 Nov 2020 ► Chris Baumann, EVEREST student in Zooarcheology, has now successfully defended his PhD project. Chris has used stable isotope analyses and archeological tools to investigate the foraging ecology and interactions with humans of paleolithic red and arctic foxes in southwestern Germany. His work generated several publications, including papers in PLoS One, Archeol. and Anthropol. Sci., and Quaternary Science Reviews.


Conference: Meeting StEvE 2020 went online

24 Nov 2020 ► For the first time, the Tübingen Meeting of Students in Evolution and Ecology (Meeting StEvE) has now been held as an entirely web-based remote conference. More than 100 students and faculty from Tübingen and beyond joined an exciting opening lecture by Mark Moore. He illustrated how inferences from stone-flaking experiments on the cognitive abilities of early humans may suffer from biased assumptions. Participants then engaged in lively discussions with 15 EVEREST students, who gave stimulating oral or poster presentations about their current PhD projects. Prizes for the best poster went to Frank Reis (microbiome ecology), and for the best talks to Julia Geue (surrogacy in conservation prioritization), Franziska Koch (stability rules for species networks), and Sophie Habinger (paleoecology of pongin primates).

The PhD students in Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology have made this a highly professional event! Thanks to William Snyder, Eleonora Gargani, Li Li, Diana Marcazzan, Alba Motes Rodrigo, and Jordy Orellana Figueroa.

New publication in Ecology Letters!

31.08.2020 Katja Tielbörger (Plant Ecology) just published a new study showing that plants may rapidly adapt to climate change, albeit not in all relevant traits. So the message is not entirely optimistic (Ecology Letters).

Publication: Wavelength-specific heating of snails

07.08.2020 Based on the work conducted within a course of the MSc programme (Advanced Animal Ecophysiology), Tatjana Tull and Danina Schmidt jointly have published their results on the role of ambient wavelength, shell size and pigmentation intensity in the heating of individuals of a Mediterranean land snail species (Journal of Molluscan Studies).

State Competition "Baden-Württemberg blooms"

31.07.2020 ► The "Colourful Meadow" initiative is among the winners of the state competition Baden-Württemberg blooms in the category "Other actors".


Publication: Insect compound eyes inspired novel adjustable technical optics

24.07.2020 ► Together with researchers from the Vienna University of Technology, Manfred Drack (Evolutionary Biology of Invertebrates) developed a 3D printed prototype for a new optical device. Based on the advantages of compound eyes, an additional technical zooming feature was introduced that cannot be found in the biological system. Furthermore, an adjustable field of view per 'pixel' was implemented (Frontiers in Materials).

Publication: Structure and function of the mouthparts of blood-feeding bugs

24.06.2020 ► Tatjana Tull et al. from the ‘Evolutionary Biology of Invertebrates’ group investigated the joint-free movements of the mouthparts of bloodsucking kissing bugs (Triatominae) using high-speed videography, microscopical and CT-techniques (Arthropod Structure & Development). In addition to describing new structures, this work furthers the understanding of the feeding process of these epidemiologically important insects and might aid in the development of steerable instruments for micro-invasive surgery.

Publication: Environmental effects on plant mixed mating systems

20.06.2020 ► Ellie Gibson-Forty and colleagues now provide equivocal evidence for a change in balance between selfing and pollinator‐mediated reproduction in annual Brassicaceae growing along a rainfall gradient (Journal of Systematics and Evolution).

Publication: Density dependence in plant-plant interactions

21.05.2020 ► New researchs by R.Zhang and K. Tielbörger (Nature Communications) shows how density-dependence tips the change of plant–plant interactions under environmental stress. [Press Release]

Publication: Plant secondary compounds and belowground interactions

12.05.2020 ► New research by Sara Tomiolo (Plant Ecology group) and co-workers (Trends in Ecology & Evolution) investigated Plant Secondary Compounds in Soils and Their Role in Belowground Species Interactions.

In the NEWS: Tourism and coral reef health

11.05.2020 ► A news feed including an interview of Prof. Michiels (Animal Evol. Ecol. group) addresses how Red Sea coral reefs may be affected by tourism lock-downs as those imposed by the current Corona crisis (

Biodiversity: Recommendations for insect-friendly mowing

30.04.2020 ► Since the frequent mowing of private, public and agricultural grassland significantly contributes to the current insect decline, in a current press campaign, the initiative "Colourful meadow" recommends later and less frequent mowing (see also Attempto online).