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Theoretical Research in Evolutionary Life Sciences

TRÊS (Theoretical Research in Evolutionary Λife Sciences) develops theory in evolutionary ecology, the behavioural sciences and evolutionary systems biology. Current research projects focus on adaptive variation (animal personalities, phenotypic plasticity, genetic diversification), the causes and consequences of sexual reproduction (sex determination, sex allocation, sexual selection), evolutionary game theory (conflict and cooperation), cultural versus genetic evolution, the interaction of evolution and self-organization, the relationship between (molecular) mechanisms, adaptation and constraints, non-equilibrium processes in ecology and evolution, and dynamic community assembly theory. Most of these projects are based on a general theoretical question but also closely related to a specific empirical problem in the 'real world'. We try to develop mechanistic models whose predictions can be tested in the lab or in the field. To this end, we closely collaborate with empirical biologists from various departments. TRÊS is a cooperative assembly of the theoretical research units within the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES).

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MARM project

In an era of rapid climate change there is a pressing need to understand whether and how organisms are able to adapt to novel environments. Such understanding is hampered by a major divide in the life sciences between mechanistic and eco-evolutionary approaches of adaptation. In this project we aim to set up a new, mechanism-oriented framework that views the architecture of adaptation, rather than the resulting responses, as the primary target of natural selection. This change in perspective will yield fundamentally new insights, necessitating the re-evaluation of many seemingly well-established eco-evolutionary principles.

Last modified:11 February 2022 7.14 p.m.