Research focus in the field of ecology
The research of the ecological working groups focuses on speciation processes in ecosystems and the associated trophic interactions in marine, limnic and terrestrial systems. These aspects are being studied both at the organismic and molecular level and include the following aspects:
- Molecular biology
- Chemical ecology incl. mass spectroscopy of infochemicals
- Microcosms of the rhizosphere and their feedback to plants
- Genetics and ecology of evolving populations including gene silencing of ecologically relevant functions
- Mechanisms of biodiversity generation in different habitats (cultivated landscapes, deep sea, desert, tropical and polar regions)
- Theoretical ecology and the validation of concepts in model systems
- Conservation-relevant aspects of speciation in tropical areas
The field stations of the Institute of Zoology at the Lower Rhine and the Ecological Rhine Station in Cologne-Marienburg are a unique feature of the ecology in Cologne and offer an excellent opportunity for ecological field work. In addition, there is an intensive co-operation with the Zoological Garden Cologne.
The ecological research is integrated into interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Centers, Cluster of Excellence and Priority Programs.