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

Commission member: Evaluation of Substances Hazardous to Waters (KBwS)

06.12.2018 ► Prof. Rita Triebskorn from the Animal Physiological Ecology group has been appointed as a member of the Commission for the Evaluation of Substances Hazardous to Waters (KBwS). The Commission advises the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and the German Environment Agency (UBA) with respect to toxicity assessment of water pollutants. The commission has assembled on 28 Nov 2018.

Welcome Dr. Maria Májeková

01.12.2018 ► Maja Májeková, a plant ecologist from Slovakia, has now joined the Plant Ecology group as an Assistant Professor. Maja will be involved in various Plant Ecology teaching, and expand her research on the relationships between temporal stability, synchrony and plant strategies. She combines field work on semi-natural gradients with long-term field experiments and greenhouse experiments. Welcome!

Goodbye Dr. Michal Gruntman

30.11.2018 ► Sadly, Michal Gruntman is leaving the Plant Ecology group by the end of November 2018, after 8 years in Tübingen. Michal will take up a senior researcher position at the Ben Gurion University in Tel Aviv, Israel. This is an excellent career move for Michal and allows her to establish an independent lab group. We will greatly miss a lovely colleague, teacher and student supervisor, and wish her all the very best and lots of success for the future!

PhD defence: Eleanor Gibson-Forty

19 Nov 2018 ► Eleanor Gibson-Forty has successfully defended her PhD project on 'Intraspecific variation in plant-animal interactions of the Brassicaceae family along a steep rainfall gradient in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin'.


Prize: PhD Award for Carla Lorenz

14 Nov 2018 ► Already in summer 2018, Carla Lorenz of the Animal Physiological Ecology group has received one of the prestigous  awards of the Reinhold and Maria Teufel-Stiftung, for her PhD entitled "Der Einfluss von Nanopartikeln auf die akute Toxizität des neonikotinoiden Insektizids Thiacloprid auf Zuckmückenlarven (Chironomus riparius)". 


Publication: New evidence for male mate choice based on visual cues

16 Nov 2018 ► Male (vs. female) mate choice remains an understudied phenomenon. Using mate preference trials, EVEREST student Deike Lüdtke and Katharina Foerster from the Comparative Zoology group found that male Alpine newts, Ichthyosaura alpestris, spend more time courting colourful, large females as well as less colourful but responsive females (Animal Behaviour). These findings stress the need to consider multiple cues and female compensation mechanisms when investigating male mate choice.

Publication: No support for the "dangerous life" stereotype in Neanderthals

15 Nov 2018 ► Using a quantitative meta-analysis, EVEREST student Judith Beier and co-workers from Paleoanthropology and Animal Evolutionary Ecology refute the previous hypothesis that Neanderthals, compared to Upper Paleolithic modern humans, experienced more traumatic cranial injuries (Nature). The view that violent social interactions and close-range hunting characterised an exceptionally harsh Neanderthal lifestyle thus needs reconsideration. > Uni Tübingen press release  

Publication: Structure and function of the ovipositor of a parasitoid wasp

14 Nov 2018 ► Benjamin Eggs et al. (BMC Zoology) from the Evolutionary Biology of Invertebrates group combined microscopical and microtomographical studies with muscle and leverage analyses to investigate the structure and function of the musculoskeletal ovipositor system of the parasitoid ichneumonid Venturia canescens. This work complements our understanding of a key feature that likely determined the evolutionary success of the megadiverse Ichneumonidae (> 24,000 hitherto described species) and parasitoid hymenopterans in general.

Publication: Stress tolerance determines facilitative plant responses

23 Oct 2018 ► Plant–plant interactions are reciprocal: they include effects on but also responses to direct neighbours. However, how exactly specific traits determine effect and response in facilitative interactions has not been studied experimentally. This new work by Ruichang Zhang and Katja Tielbörger from the Plant Ecology group (New Phytologist) reveals how between-plant interactions vary with salt tolerance traits along a salinity stress gradient.

Publication: Ancient DNA contamination varies with skeletal element type

26 Sep 2018 ► Ancient DNA fragements are increasingly used to reconstruct evolutionary history from excavated animal remains. A key step in these analyses is the validation of an ancient DNA origin, and an assessment of contamination with modern DNA. This collaborative work (Scientific Reports) of Paleogeneticists and Evolutionary Ecologists reveals how DNA content and bone fragment type affect contamination estimates.

Hilgendorf Lecture: Semester program 2018-19

25 Sep 2018 ► With the winter semester approaching, EVEREST again offers a series of high profile lectures with international guest speakers, this time with a focus on evolutionarly phenomena revealed by paleobiological and pleontological approaches. Dates, times and topics are all on the lecture series website.

Welcome: Neta Manela guest researcher in plant ecology

18 Sep 2018 ► We welcome Neta Manela, a guest PhD student form Ben Gurion University in Israel hosted by the Plant Ecology group under a Minvera grant. Neta will perform a common garden-experiment investigating the effect of smoke exposition on different ecomorphs of plant scpies from a steep climatic gradient.

Funding: PHION - New project on the pH-dependent toxicity of pollutants

14 Sep 2018 ► The cellular uptake and toxicity of ionizable substances strongly depends on their dissociation degree which, in turn, is pH-dependent. The present joint project of the Animal Physiological Ecology group with the University of Athens, funded by the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) will systematically generate toxicity and accumulation data and aims at developing models that allow extrapolation of the toxicity of ionizable substances for different pH values.

Publication: Osteological basis for sexual size dimorphism SSD

10 Sep 2018 ► While SSD is typically studied on external morphology only, EVEREST PhD student Peter Pogoda established novel osteologcial methods based on high-resolution micro Computer Tomography to seek the origin of sexual dimorphism in a terrestrial salamander. His comprehensive multivariate analysis (J. Morphol.) may help us understand the evolution of male and female morphology in a phylogenetic context.

Conference: Registration open for Meeting StEvE 2018

10 Sep 2018 ► The yearly Meeting of Tübingen Students in Evolution and Ecology (Meeting StEvE) takes place on Friday 23 Nov 2018. Please browse the meeting website to find details on conference organisation and registration.

Publication: Structure of insect wing veins

07 Aug 2018 ► Paavo Bergmann et al. (Arthropod Struct Devel) study the microscopic structure of wing veins in shield bugs Graphosoma italicum. The work finds multi-layered tubes incorporating the dorsal and ventral cuticle of the wing and additional internal layers. Transitions between adjacent wing regions of divering mechanical properties are mediated by gradual changes in the degree of cuticle sclerotization, with the elastic protein resilin controling bending stiffness.

Conference: Registration open for Phylogenetic Symposium 2018

25 Jul 2018 ► This years "Phylogenetisches Symposium" will be hosted by Ingmar Werneburg (Senckenberg Center) and Oliver Betz (Evolutionary Biology of Invertebrates) at the University of Tübingen. Registration is now open - please check the meeting website.

PhD Defence: Clara Nesongano

16 Jul 2018 ► Clara Nesongano of the Plant Ecology group has successfully defended her PhD project on effects of climate change, land-use and elevated CO2 on tree-grass interactions in southern African savannas.