Our research focusses at the interface of Evolutionary Ecology, Genetics and Functional Biodiversity research. We aim to understand the fundamental ecological, behavioral, chemical and genetic/genomic processes that drive and limit adaptive evolution to maintain ecosystem functions and wildlife health. Details on current projects, target species, methods and technologies used to achieve our goals, as well as on our team can be found here:

Prof. Dr. Simone Sommer Conservation Genomics and EcoHealth
Prof. Dr. Manfred Ayasse Chemical Ecology
Prof. Dr. Lena Wilfert Functional Biodiversity
apl. Prof. Dr. Marco Tschapka Tropical Ecology

Recently published research (2021):

Fackelmann F, Gillingham MAF, Schmid J, Heni AC, Wilhelm K, Sommer S. Human encroachment into wildlife gut microbiomes. Communications Biology.

Jiménez RR, Alvarado G, Mena F, Ruepert C, Ballestero E, Sommer S. The fungicide chlorothalonil changes the amphibian skin microbiome: a potential factor disrupting a host disease-protective trait. Applied Microbiology, 1, 26–37. 

Risely A, Gillingham MAF, Béchet A, Brändel S, Heni A, Heurich M, Menke S, Manser M, Schmid J, Tschapka M, Wasimuddin, Sommer S. Phylogeny- and abundance-based metrics allows for consistent comparison of core gut microbiome diversity indices across host species. Frontiers in Microbiology.

Kingwell C, Böröczky K, Steitz IAyasse M, Wcislo W (2021) Cuticular and Dufour’s gland chemistry reflect reproductive and social state in the facultatively eusocial sweat bee Megalopta genalis (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). J Chem Ecol 47, 420–432 (2021). doi.org/10.1007/s10886-021-01262-1

Kuppler J & Kotowska MM (2021). A meta‐analysis of responses in floral traits and flower‐visitor interactions to water deficit. Global Change Biology. doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15621

Kuppler J, Wieland J, Junker RR, Ayasse M (2021) Drought-induced reduction in flower size and abundance correlates with reduced flower visits by bumble bees. AoBPlants doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plab001

Höfer RJ, Ayasse MKuppler J (2021) Bumblebee behavior on flowers, but not initial attraction, is altered by short-term drought stress. Front. Plant Sci. 11:564802. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2020.564802

Martel C, Scopece G, Cozzolino S, Ayasse M, Pinheiro F, Cafasso D (2021) Genetic diversity in natural populations of the endangered Neotropical orchid;Telipogon

Steitz I, Paxton RJ, Schulz S, Ayasse M (2021) Chemical variation among castes, female life stages and populations of the facultative eusocial sweat bee Halictus rubicundus (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). J Chem Ecol 47, 406–419 (2021). doi.org/10.1007/s10886-021-01267-w

Weithmann S, von Hoermann C, Degasperi G, Brandt K, Steiger S, Ayasse M (2021) Temporal variability of the rove beetle (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) community on small vertebrate carrion and its potential use for forensic entomology. Forensic Science International, 110792, doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2021.110792

More Publications of the Institute


Prof. Dr. Simone Sommer (Director)
University of Ulm
Institute of Evolutionary Ecology
and Conservation Genomics
Albert-Einstein Allee 11
D-89069 Ulm
Tel.: 0049-731-5022660
Simone.Sommer () uni-ulm.de

Kerstin Karrasch (Secretary)
Tel.: 0049-731-5022661
Fax: 0049-731-5022683
Sekretariat_Bio3 () uni-ulm.de