The research focuses on the current environmental changes and its effect on biological systems. We investigate if and how organisms can adapt to environmental change such as increased and more variable temperatures through plastic and evolutionary changes. We study responses to environmental stress at the molecular, individual, population and community level. Furthermore, we look at emission of greenhouse gases from different ecosystems and how this might change under future climate scenarios. Projects include comparative studies looking at geographical differences in thermal resistance in Musca domestica, quantitative genetic studies on Drosophila melanogaster investigating the genetic architecture of stress resistance and ecophysiological studies on Ribes nigrum and Drosophila melanogaster looking at physiological responses to environmental changes. For further information, please see below projects:
Global Change Biology
Global Change Biology
Effect of climate changes on soil ecosystems
Many aspects of the effect of global environmental change on soil ecosystems are poorly understood and needs to be further elucidated. This includes both temporal changes in the soil fauna, but also the importance of plastic responses and underlying physiological adaptations. Such information is important when trying to predict the effect of global environmental change on soil ecosystems.
Winter climate change effects on plants
Most research on climate change and plants is conducted during the growing season; therefore plant related research on the effects of winter climate change is underrepresented. In particular, temperate regions have rarely been studied with respect to winter climate change, although the few existing studies imply strong effects on plant frost injury, phenology, species ranges or species compositions. Hence, off-season responses (from late autumn to early spring) may be quantitatively much more important for successful adaptation of temperate plants to climate change than previously thought.
In an ongoing project we investigate how milder winter weather, caused by global climate change, influences freezing tolerance and dormancy responses of temperate fruit crops. Such information may help to identify traits that are decisive for the susceptibility of temperate fruit crops to winter climate change.
Physiological adjustments in ectotherms
Ectotherms acclimate to their thermal environments through physiological adjustments. In an ongoing project we investigate plastic responses to changing and variable temperatures across seasons in insect populations in nature. The scope of this project is to assess benefits and potential costs associated with acclimation to temperature stress under field conditions.
Emission of methane and nitrous oxide
The importance of physical and biological control on emission of methane and nitrous oxide from wetlands, meadows and agricultural soil is currently being investigated in order to elucidate which factors that control the emission of these gases. The scope of the project is to analyse how transforming agricultural soil and meadows to wetland may affect the emission of nitrous oxide and methane and if it is possible to reduce the emission of these gases by simple design measures of the constructed wetlands.