We are a team of young (?) and enthusiastic (!) researchers working on ecological and evolutionary questions around soil biodiversity, soil animal communities, sex evolution, and anything else we find interesting in not only soil but also other ecosystems.
How diverse are soil animals?
What are typical soil animal species living across different habitats?
How far can soil animal species distribute geographically?
To what extent they may temporally change community compositions?
… and why – what is happening now and what has happened before?
Animal taxa we target are
Invertebrate decomposers, e.g.
– Earthworms (big worms living underground)
– Collembola (springtails – the worldwide jumpers)
– Oribatid mites (no house dust mites, no ticks),
Predatory arthropods, e.g. gamasid mites, centipedes, spiders,
Diverse insect groups, e.g. Hymenoptera (ants & wasps), Coleoptera (beetles) & Isoptera (termites),
Nematodes (small worms of diverse feeding guilds),
… and unicellular protists (e.g. testate amoeba)
Common research approaches we use are
– DNA (meta)barcoding
– Phylogenetics and community phylogenetics
– Population (landscape) genetics
– Molecular gut contents
– Genomics and transcriptomics
– R programming
If you are interested in joining our ground-breaking research, check out the projects section and come around for a chat with Ina Schaefer, Ting-Wen Chen and/or André Junggebauer at Untere Karspüle 2, Rooms 0.306 (IS & AJ) and -1.302 (TWC).