Marine Molecular Ecology Group
Marine Molecular Ecology Group studies patterns and processes of evolution in natural populations. To understand how rapidly evolution can take place, we study marine species that have adapted to different micro-environments and to the brackish waters of the Baltic Sea. Topics include conservation genetics, mechanisms of divergence and local adaptation, hybrid zone analyses and speciation, and genetic effects of range expansions. Our results aid in managing species and populations, and also help us understand the mechanisms generating biodiversity.
More about our research
The evolution of species is determined both by selection, migration and random processes. We use theoretical evolutionary models to help formulate testable hypotheses about mechanisms. We use genomic methods to map populations and to estimate the genetic exchange among different geographical areas. We aim to identify genes that are important for adaptation and conservation, and that also have useful functions and applications in marine biotechnology.
The genetic studies are often combined with experimental work in the laboratory or in the field, oceanographic modelling of connectivity, or with the development and analyses of theoretical models. Target organisms include macroalgae, seagrasses, crustaceans, molluscs and fish, some species being important ecosystem engineers, and others are commercially important.
- Mechanisms of parallel evolution of ecotypes, and the formation of barriers to gene flow (Littorina fabalis, Littorina saxatilis).
- Genetic population structure: The roles of connectivity, adaptation, demographic history, genomic architecture and human translocation (Fucus vesiculosus, Idotea balthica, Zostera marina, Gadus morhua, Symphodus melops, Cyclopterus lumpus, Carcinus maenas)
- Development of management and restoration strategies for marine species based on information on population genetic structure and diversity (Mytilus edulis/trossulus, Ostrea edulis, Zostera marina, Gadus morhua, Symphodus melops).
- Range expansions of populations: The roles of connectivity, selection, genomic architectures, mode of reproduction and plasticity (Symphodus melops, Fucus vesiculosus, Idotea balthica).
- Evolution of clones (Fucus vesiculosus).
- Draft reference genomes (Littorina saxatilis, Idotea balthica, Fucus vesiculosus, Symphodus melops, Ctenolabrus rupestris).
- Development of genetic monitoring in aquatic species.
- Development of eDNA methods for marine communities.
People & Research interests
Carl Andre, population structure and local adaptation in marine fish and shellfish.
Emma Berdan, evolution of large genomic structural variants, such as inversions and translocations in de wild.
Roger Butlin, origin of barriers to gene exchange, especially the evolutionary genetics of reproductive isolation.
Pierre De Wit, population genomics, molecular ecology in a variety of marine invertebrates, primarily bivalves (blue mussels, flat oysters, pacific oysters) and crustaceans (isopods, lobsters, copepods), with a focus on resilience to anthropogenic changes in climate and oceanic water chemistry (e.g. ocean acidification).
Jon Havenhand, ocean acidification in coastal ecosystems.
Kerstin Johannesson, molecular and ecological mechanisms involved in local adaptation, genetic divergence and speciation in littorinid snails and other marine organisms.
Per Jonsson, oceanographic connectivity of metapopulations.
Erica Leder, evolutionary genomics and transcriptomics.
Olga Ortega-Martinez, molecular and developmental biology.
Marina Panova, ecotype evolution in littorinid snails, eDNA analysis of natural species assemblages.
Ricardo Pereyra-Ortega, distribution of genetic variation and patterns of differentiation in natural populations.
Marina Rafaljowic, evolution of range expansions.
Auréliene de Jode, ecotype evolution in littorinid snails.
Marlene Jahnke, conservation genetics of seagrass and connectivity assessments of coastal organisms.
Alan LeMoan, ecotype evolution in littorinid snails, comparative genomics in marie fish.
Suda Ravindran, footprints of adaptation in Fucus vesiculosus and Littorina saxatilis.
Ellika Faust, genetic effects of translocation of fish across population boundaries.
Alexandra Kinnby, effects of climate change on seaweeds.
Samuel Perini, mechanisms of ecotype formation and speciation in the marine snail, Littorina saxatilis.
James Reeve, ecotype evolution in littorinid snails.