Research Group

Molecular Evolutionary Biology

Our research aims at understanding organism-environment interactions using molecular tools. We address the following questions: Which genetic and genomic signatures (in populations, species and communities) are a result of environmental conditions? How do climatic factors influence the interaction of organisms, and what role do partners in a symbiosis and microbiomes play in this regard?

To study these questions we use comparative genomics, phylogenetics, population genetics and community ecology methods. We study lichens, i.e. a symbiosis of fungi, algae and bacteria, as well as plant- and soil-based fungal communities.


Selected publications

Rolshausen G, Dal Grande F, Sadowska-Des AD, Otte J, Schmitt I (2018) Quantifying the climatic niche of symbiont partners in a lichen symbiosis indicates mutualist-mediated niche expansions. Ecography. Early view. DOI: 10.1111/ecog.03457.

Dal Grande F, Rolshausen G, Divakar P, Crespo A, Otte J, Schleuning, M, Schmitt I (2018) Environment and host identity structure green-algal communities in lichens. New Phytol 217: 277-289.

Singh G, Dal Grande F, Divakar P, Otte J, Crespo A, Schmitt I (2017) Fungal-algal association patterns in lichen symbiosis linked to macroclimate. New Phytol 214: 317-329