Climate change as a possible driver of invasion and differential in HSP70 expression in two genetically distinct populations of the invasive killer shrimp, Dikerogammarus villosus

Global climate change is known to affect physiological processes in charge of cellular stress response. That often results in forcing many organisms to shift their biogeographic distribution ranges. It also holds true for euryoecious and highly invasive species like the killer shrimp, Dikerogammarus villosus. In this study we compare the level of response to thermal stress in two genetically diversified populations of the amphipod D. villosus on the cellular level, namely HSP70 expression. The results show clear difference in HSP70 expression, that can be a direct consequence of the different climatic conditions both populations faced along their invasion routes. We conclude that the eastern population of D. villosus is more sensitive to thermal stress than the western population, hence its invasion potential may be lower than that of the latter. Considering the thermal tolerance of both populations and global warming, we can make some predictions about further spread of D. villosus, including the possibility of an emergence of the super-invader that may arise after cross-breeding of both populations, imposing even larger threat to the freshwater ecosystems.

Hupało, K., Riss, H.W., Grabowsk,i M., Thiel, J., Bącela-Spychalska, K., Meyer, E.I. (2018): Climate change as a possible driver of invasion and differential in HSP70 expression in two genetically distinct populations of the invasive killer shrimp, Dikerogammarus villosus. Biological Invasions,

Projektmodul - Vorstellung der Arbeitsgruppen

07.02.2018 - 18 Uhr - Sozialraum des IEB
Ieb Winter2017b
© Peter Lessmann

Wir möchten wieder alle interessierten Studierenden zur Vorstellung der Projektmodule der Arbeitsgruppen des IEB einladen. Stattfinden wir die Vorstellungsrunde im Sozialraum des IEB (Hüfferstr. 1, 48149 Münster) am 07.02.2018 ab 18 Uhr.
Vorstellen werden sich die Arbeitsgruppen des IEB.

  • Bornberg-Bauer (Molekulare Evolution und Bioinformatik)
    Open Student Projects
  • Catania (Evolutionäre Zellbiologie)
  • Fricke (Evolution und Sexual Conflict)
  • Gadau (Moleculare Evolution und Sociobiologie)
  • Kurtz (Evolutionäre Ökologie der Tiere)
  • Meyer (Limnologie)
  • Müller (Evolution und Biodiversität der Pflanzen)
  • Wicke (Pvolutionäre Pflanzen Genomik)

Parasiten - Global Player der Ökosysteme

Ql Stichling
© IEB - Animal Evolutionary Ecology Group

Joachim Kurtz and Jörn Scharsack contributed to a radio broadcast on the role of parasites as "global players" in ecosystems called "Parasiten - Global Player der Ökosysteme" by Rainer B. Langen. It will air Wednesday the 10.01.2018 at 8:30 am on SWR 2. For a recording of the show visit the SWR2 podcast.

Joachim Kurtz und Jörn Scharsack trugen zu einer Radiosendung über die Rolle von Parasiten als "global player" in Ökosystem names "Parasiten - Global Player der Ökosysteme" von Rainer B. Langen bei. Die Sendung wird am Mittwoch dem 10.01.2018 um 8:30 im SWR2 ausgestrahlt. Eine Aufnahme der Sendung wird es im SWR2 Podcast nach der Ausstrahlung geben.


Mistletoe and Christmas scent in the Botanical Garden

© Müller AG

Under the theme "Mistletoe and Christmas scent", the Botanical Garden offered special guided Christmas tours for the first time on the past two Advent Sundays. 50 participants were surprised to see how much there is to be discovered and experienced in the Botanical Garden at Christmas time. This included botanical Christmas traditions, such as the setting up of Barbara branches (Barbarazweige) or kissing underneath the mistletoe. The spices cinnamon, aniseed, star anise and cardamom were presented as typical parts of the Christmas season, as well as Christmas cactus and Poinsettia, for which garden employees gave gardening tips. The highlight of the Christmas tours was the large amount of snow on the 2nd Advent, which finally made the Christmas atmosphere in the garden perfect.
Next year it will be possible to book the guided tour "Mistletoe and Christmas scent" for groups as well (tel. 0251-8323829).

SFB-TRR 212 "NC3“ funded

Nc3 Logo
© SFB TRR 212

Good news from the DFG! The SFB-TRR 212 with the title "A Novel Synthesis of Individualisation across Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution: Niche Choice, Niche Conformance, Niche Construction", short "NC3" was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) as one of 15 newly funded collaborative research centers. The SFB was convieved in cooperation with Oliver Krüger from the University of Bielefeld, who is also the speaker of the SFB. Involved IEB members are Claudia Fricke, Jürgen Gadau and Joachim Kurtz (vice speaker). Other involved scientists from the University of Münster are Norbert Sachser, Helene Richter and Sylvia Kaiser from the Department of Behavioural Biology and Ulrich Krohs from the Department of Philosophy.
Next to NC3, another collaborative research center in biology will be newly funded (SFB 1348, speaker Christian Klämbt, Institute of Neurobiology).

Congratulations to everybody involved! We are looking forward to more exiting news from NC³.

For more details visit the press releases of the DFG, the WWU, the University of Bielefeld or the official "NC³" homepage.

Interview with MGSE Speaker Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gadau

Alumni F _rderer Magazin _interview Gadau

The „alumni | förderer“ magazine of the WWU (suppelment to the University newspaper "wissen | leben" no. 7 in 2017) reports in its new issue about how Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gadau turned from a guest researcher into a professor at the University of Münster. Prof. Gadau visited the MGSE in 2014 as a Fellow of the Evolution Think Tank. In November 2016, he was appointed a professorship for Molecular Evolutionary Biology at the Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity at the WWU. In January 2017, he was finally elected as Speaker of the MGSE, taking over from Prof. Dr. Joachim Kurtz. More about his career paths in the US, the reasons why he decided to move to Münster, and what he likes about the weather in Münster, can be found in the printed edition, the ePaper or the PDF of the magazine.

Task allocation and site fidelity jointly influence foraging regulation in honeybee colonies

"Variation in behaviour among group members often impacts collective outcomes. Individuals may vary both in the task that they perform and in the persistence with which they perform each task. Although both the distribution of individuals among tasks and differences among individuals in behavioural persistence can each impact collective behaviour, we do not know if and how they jointly affect collective outcomes…..Our work provides new insights and generates new hypotheses into how variations in behaviour at both the individual and colony levels jointly impact the trade-off between exploring for new resources and exploiting familiar ones."

Mosqueiro, T., Cook, C., Huerta, R., Gadau, J., Smith, B., & Pinter-Wollman, N. (2017). Task allocation and site fidelity jointly influence foraging regulation in honeybee colonies. Royal Society Open Science, 4(8). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170344

Enhancement of freshwater biodiversity following structural restoration?

© Bever Project 2017

Transversal dams prevent migration of aquatic organisms such as fish and macroinvertebrates. A current student project (Bsc. Biosciences, Msc. Water Sciences) supervised by the Limnology group of the IEB investigates the present ecological status of the structurally modified lowland river Bever near Ostbevern (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany). Restoration measures starting in Autumn 2017 aim at achieving the „good ecological status“, as required by the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). To accomplish this goal the migration barriers (picture) will be removed and natural substrates such as wood will be placed to allow diverse morphodynamic development and free migration of the fauna. An accompanying monitoring will show whether a benthic community typical for sandy lowland streams will establish. Read more about the WFD...

Claudia Fricke has received a "Heisenberg Fellowship"

Claudia Fricke I Kleiner Ausschnitt F _rs Web
© AG Fricke

We want to congratulate our colleague Claudia Fricke for her extraordinary achievements. She received a “Heisenberg Fellowship” of the German Research Foundation (DFG).
The Heisenberg Programme is directed primarily at those researchers who have qualified for professorship via the Emmy Noether Programme, DFG staff positions, private-sector research or non-faculty academic positions. The target group also includes junior professors who have received positive evaluations, those who have achieved their habilitation or equivalent, and German researchers returning from abroad, as well as appropriately qualified foreign researchers looking to pursue careers in Germany.

Source: Deutsche Forschungs Gemeinschaft

A paper on the evolution of eukaryotic gene architecture and expression

© CataniaGroup


Transcription-coupled processes such as capping, splicing, and cleavage/polyadenylation participate in the journey from genes to proteins. Although they are traditionally thought to serve only as steps in the generation of mature mRNAs, a synthesis of available data indicates that these processes could also act as a driving force for the evolution of eukaryotic genes...

For the whole paper please click here.

"Biodiversität unter Wasser“ workshop in Münster

Am 23.06.2017 fand zum zweiten Mal die Veranstaltung "Biodiversität unter Wasser“ in Kooperation mit dem Institut für Evolution und Biodiversität, Abteilung für Limnologie der Westfälischen Wilhelms- Universität Münster (WWU) und dem Landesfischereiverband Westfalen und Lippe e.V. (LFV) im Blauen Klassenzimmer in Münster statt. Prof. Dr. E. Meyer hielt im Rahmen der Veranstaltung einen Vortag mit dem Titel "Welche Tiere leben unter Wasser? Die heimische Gewässerfauna im Überblick".

Weitere Informationen finden Sie auf der Seite der Natur – und Umweltschutz-Akademie NRW.

On 23. June 2017 the second "Biodiversität unter Wasser" workshop was held an organized in cooperation with the Limnology Group of the Instutute for Evolution and Biodiversity and the Landesfischereiverband Westfalen und Lippe e.V. (LFV). Prof. Dr. E. Meyer gave a talk on the topic of biodiveryity under water titled "Welche Tiere leben unter Wasser? Die heimische Gewässerfauna im Überblick".

For more informations visit the page of the  Natur – und Umweltschutz-Akademie NRW.

Rensch-Lecture 2017

Diethard Tautz
© Pivate

On June 13th, 2017 the annual Rensch Lecture was given by Prof. Diethard Tautz from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön in the Aula of the Schloss. Prof. Tautz talked about the controversial hot topic of, if and how it is possible that completely new genes, so called "de novo" genes, emerge from previously non-coding regions on the DNA instead from gene duplications, which was hitherto considered to be the only major source of novel genes. His lecture with the title "Gene aus dem Nichts - wie in Zufallssequenzen genetische Information entsteht" was well attended and spurred a lively discussion.

Paper on automatic plant species identification using convolutional neural networks published

May2017m _ller2new
© Pierre Barré

Together with the Intelligent Vision Systems group at the University of Bonn the Evolution and Biodiversity of Plants group developed the software LeafNet that uses convolutional neural networks to automatically identify plant species from digital images of their leaves. It has been published in the following paper:

Barré P, Stöver BC, Müller KF, Steinhage V: LeafNet: A computer vision system for automatic plant species identification. Ecological Informatics 2017, 40:50-56

Projektmodul - Vorstellung der Arbeitsgruppen

08.02.2017 - 18 Uhr - Sozialraum des IEB

Wir möchten alle interessierten Studierenden zur Vorstellung der Projektmodule der Arbeitsgruppen des IEB einladen. Stattfinden wir die Vorstellungsrunde im Sozialraum des IEB (Hüfferstr. 1, 48149 Münster) am 08.02.2017 ab 18 Uhr.
Vorstellen werden sich die Arbeitsgruppendes IEB.

  • Bornberg-Bauer (Molekulare Evolution und Bioinformatik)
  • Fricke (Evolution und Sexual Conflict)
  • Kurtz (Evolutionäre Ökologie der Tiere)
  • Meyer (Limnologie)
  • Müller (Evolution und Biodiversität der Pflanzen) 
  • Telschow (Genom Evolution, Mathematische Modelierungen) 


12 PhD positions in the Research Training Group “Evolutionary Processes in Adaptation and Disease” (EvoPAD)

Start: 1st April 2017. 3-year positions (TV-L E13 65 %)

The new DFG-funded Research Training Group “Evolutionary Processes in Adaptation and Disease” (EvoPAD, GRK 2220) at the University of Münster is now offering 12 PhD possitions in Biology, Medicine, and Philosophy. Application deadline is January 8th, 2017.

For more information on how to apply and available projects please visit the EvoPAD homepage or the EvoPAD application page.

Prof. Jürgen Gadau and the Molecular Evolution and Sociobiology Group join the IEB

GabdauLab Coat of Arms
© AG Gadau

We want to welcome Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gadau as the head of the Molecular Evolution and Sociobiology Group at the Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity. He got his PhD at the University of Würzburg in 1997 and later worked as a Feodor-Lynen PostDoc at the University of California in Davis. After his stay abroad he habilitated in 2004 in Würzburg under Prof. Bert Hölldobler and accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at the Arizona State University in 2004 where he was an integral part of the Social Insect Research Group and Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity for 12 years. Since November Jürgen Gadau now holds the professorship for Molecular Evolutionary Biology at the IEB. He is also involved in the Münster Graduate School of Evolution (MGSE) as one of many PIs.

This is what he says about his research interests:
"We are using social (ants and bees) and solitary insects (parasitoid wasps like Nasonia) to understand the genetic basis and regulation of adaptive traits across multiple levels from gene to colony and time frames from seconds to millions of years. A major challenge for the future is to map genetic, genomic and epigenetic variation to observable phenotypic variation and understand how these traits evolve."

DFG funds new Research Training Group

Rtg Logo 4

Annual Rensch Price 2016 goes to Jonathan Schmitz

© BornbergLab

Jonathan Schmitz gets awarded the annual Rensch price for his master thesis. In his thesis, Jonathan analysed the evolution of transcription factor families in Metazoa and found out that these families evolve via single gene as well as whole genome duplication and that their functional diversification is facilitated by reshuffling of protein domains, conserved  blocks of protein sequence. The thesis resulted in the publication of a paper in Nucleic Acid Research.


Wir nehmen Abschied von unserem plötzlich und viel zu früh verstorbenen Kollegen, Dozenten, Mitarbeiter und Freund

                                                                     Dr. Joachim Röschenbleck

Mit außergewöhnlichem Engagement und enormer Kompetenz war Joachim Röschenbleck viele Jahre als Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter im Botanischen Garten der Universität Münster und in den Instituten für Evolution und Biodiversität und Biologie und Biotechnologie der Pflanzen tätig.

Durch beharrlichen Einsatz und große Leidenschaft für seine Tätigkeit konnte er nicht nur wesentliche Erkenntnisse zu seinem Forschungsfeld beitragen, sondern auch viele Impulse zur stetigen Weiterentwicklung des Botanischen Gartens geben.

Den Besuchern des Botanischen Gartens war Joachim nicht zuletzt durch seine unzähligen und exzellenten Führungen bekannt. Besonders beeindruckten hierbei seine außergewöhnlichen Pflanzenkenntnisse, wie sie in diesem Umfang inzwischen äußerst selten geworden sind. Dabei vermochte er sein Wissen immer auf sehr unterhaltsame und eindrückliche Weise zu vermitteln. So konnte er auch die Studierenden auf Führungen, Exkursionen und in Praktika für botanische Inhalte und Fragestellungen begeistern und hinterlässt als geschätzter Dozent auch in der universitären Lehre eine große Lücke.

Seine immer lebensfrohe, hilfsbereite und kollegiale Art wird uns allen sehr fehlen.
Unser aufrichtiges Mitgefühl gilt den Angehörigen. Tief betroffen trauern wir mit ihnen um Joachim.

Für den Fachbereich Biologie
Der Dekan
Prof. Dr. Wolf-Michael Weber

Für alle Studierenden des Fachbereichs
Die Fachschaft der Biologie

Für alle Mitarbeiter des Instituts für Evolution und Biodiversität
Prof. Dr. Kai Müller
Geschäftsführender Direktor

Für alle Mitarbeiter des Instituts für Biologie und Biotechnologie der Pflanzen
Prof. Dr. Michael Hippler
Geschäftsführender Direktor

Informationen zur Trauerfeier am 18.06.2016 finden Sie in der Traueranzeige.

Mark C. Harrison and Evelien Jongepier join the BornbergLab

© BornbergLab

Mark C. Harrison and Evelien Jongepier have started as postdoctoral researchers on the Research Unit project "Sociality and the reversal of the fecundity/longevity trade-off". Using comparative genomics, they will unravel fecundity/longevity trade-offs in social insects and their non-social relatives. A hallmark of ageing is the trade-off between fecundity and longevity, although reversals of this trade-off independently evolved in several distant social insect taxa. Indeed, highly fecund individuals in ants, bees and termites can live up to two orders of magnitude longer than their sterile workers. Uncovering the molecular basis of this escape from ageing will provide a deeper understanding of the fundamental biological rules governing fecundity, longevity, senescence, and health.

New Publication

© Nature

Publication of the sea grass (Zostera marina) genome paper in Nature. The collaborative effort revealed key adaptations of a flowering plant that returned to the ocean. Such adaptations include the loss of some genes, such as stomatal genes, and the gain of ancestrally present functions such as full salinity tolerance.

Olsen J. L. et al. (2016): The genome of the seagrass Zostera marina reveals angiosperm adaptation to the sea. Nature, published online 27 January 2016; doi:10.1038/nature16548

  • 2015

    New Publication

    Tribolium Klein

    A new publication by the Kurtz group shows that red flour beetles react with an immune activation and the release of cryptic genetic variation through reduced expression of heat shock protein 90 when there are wounded conspecifics in the group. Click here for details. The article has also been covered by the american magazine 'The Atlantic'.


    Molecular Evolution & Bioinformatics Group In Public Media

    Group 2015

    Talk of Prof. Joachim Kurtz at the "Kinder-Uni"

    Kinderuni Mg 5262 1 1
    © WWU - Judith Kraft

    Frei Plätze im FGM “Subalpine und alpine Vegetation temperater Hochgebirge am Beispiel der Zentralalpen mit Exkursion ins Ötztal“

    Bachelorarbeiten / Bachelor Theses 2015