How does environmental stress trigger the evolution of local adaptation in stress resistance by life history alterations?


My research interests lie in the fields of evolutionary ecology and applied ecology. The major research questions are related to the question how environmental stress triggers the evolution of local adaptation in stress resistance by life history alterations. Specific research questions in this context are:

1. To what extent determines the (genetic) correlation among life history traits the outcome of life history alterations and is their sufficient genetic variation for tolerance traits;
2. What is the effect of strong directional selection for stress tolerance on neutral as well as quantitative genetic variation;
3. Can local adaptation be achieved in case of extant gene flow. This research topic is studied in particular by using metal adapted populations of wolf spiders as a model system.

Topics in applied ecology concentrate on the use of spiders and other invertebrate communities for evaluating the effect of anthropogenic disturbances such as metal contamination and habitat deterioration.

In collaboration with other researchers, my research extends also to other, mainly spider related evolutionary ecological topics such as speciation in wolf spiders from Galapagos and the evolutionary stability of sex-ratio distortion and male dimorphism in a dwarf spider.

A larger part of my time is spent in developing statistical models for testing evolutionary and ecological hypotheses.


local adaptation, life history evolution, anthropogenic stress, quantitative genetics, population genetics, nature conservation, speciation, statistics


Name Role Start End
Matheve, Hans admin
Hendrickx, Frederik promotor


Name Role Start End
Terrestrial Ecology leader

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web

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