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
apl. Prof. Dr. Gerhard Maier Freshwater Ecology

Recently published research (2019):

Aguilar-Rodríguez PA, Tschapka M, García-Franco JG, Krömer T, MacSwiney GMC (2019) Bromeliads going batty: Pollinator partitioning among sympatric chiropterophilous Bromeliaceae. AoB PLANTS, 11, plz014. DOI:10.1093/aobpla/plz014

Aguilar-Rodríguez PA, Krömer T, Tschapka M, García-Franco JG, Escobedo-Sarti J, MacSwiney GMC (2019) Bat pollination in Bromeliaceae. Plant Ecology & Diversity, 12, 1-19.

Brandt K, Dötterl S, Fuchs R, do Amaral Ferraz Navarro DM, Sobreira Machado IC, Dobler D, Reiser O, Ayasse M, Milet-Pinheiro P (2019) Subtle chemical variations with strong ecological significance: Stereoselective responses of male Orchid Bees to stereoisomers of carvone epoxide. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 45, 464–473. doi.org/10.1007/s10886-019-01072-6

Fackelmann G, Sommer S (2019) Microplastics and the gut microbiome: How chronically exposed species may suffer from gut dysbiosis. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 143, 193-203.

Gessinger G, Gonzalez-Terrazas TP, Page RA, Jung K, Tschapka M (2019) Unusual echolocation behavior of the Common Sword-nosed bat Lonchorhina aurita: Adaptation to aerial insectivory in a phyllostomid bat? R Soc open sci, 6, 182165

Gillingham MAF, Béchet A, Cézilly FW, Wilhelm K, Rendón-Martos M, Amat JA, Borghesi F, Nissardi S, Baccetti N, Menke S, Kayser Y, Sommer S (2019) Offspring microbiomes differ across breeding sites in a panmictic species. Frontiers in Microbiology, 10, 35.

Jiménez RR, Alvarado G, Estrella J, Sommer S (2019) Moving beyond the host: unravelling the skin microbiome of endangered Costa Rican amphibians. Frontiers in Microbiology, 10, 2060.

Maier G, Teiber-Siessegger P (2019) Immigration of the calanoid copepod Eudiaptomus graciloides (Lilljeborg 1888) into the pelagic zone of Lake Constance (Lower Lake). Fundamental and Applied Limnology / Archiv für Hydrobiologie, 192,  263–268 DOI: 10.1127/fal/2019/1160.

Martel C, Francke W, Ayasse M (2019) The chemical and visual bases of the pollination of the Neotropical sexually deceptive orchid Telipogon peruvianus. New Phytologist, 233, Issue 4.  doi.org/10.1111/nph.15902

Martel C, Gerlach G, Ayasse M, Milet-Pinheiro P (2019) Pollination ecology of the Neotropical gesneriad Gloxinia perennis: chemical composition and temporal fluctuation of floral perfume. Plant Biology. doi.org/10.1111/plb.12974 

Rose A, Wöhl S, Bechler J, Tschapka M, Knörnschild M (2019) Maternal mouth-to-mouth feeding behaviour in flower-visiting bats, but no experimental evidence for transmitted dietary preferences. Behavioural processes, 165, 29-35. doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2019.06.001

Schwensow N, Castro-Prieto A, Wachter B, Sommer S (2019) Immunological MHC supertypes and allelic expression: how low is the functional MHC variability in wild endangered Namibian cheetahs? Conservation Genetics, 20(1), 65-80.

Šrut M, Menke S, Höckner M, Sommer S (2019) Earthworms and Cadmium - heavy metal resistant gut bacteria as indicators for heavy metal pollution in soils? Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 171, 843-853.

Stribna T, Romportl D, Demjanovič J, Vogeler A, Tschapka M, Benda P., Horáček I, Juste J, Goodman SM, Hulva P (2019) Pan African phylogeography and palaeodistribution of rousettine fruit bats: Ecogeographic correlation with Pleistocene climate vegetation cycles. Journal of Biogeography. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13651

Menke S, Heurich M, Henrich M, Wilhelm K, Sommer S (2019) Impact of winter enclosures on the gut bacterial microbiota of red deer in the Bavarian Forest National Park. Wildlife Biology, 1. doi: 10.2981/wlb.00503

Montero K, Ramanamanjato J-B, Ernest R, Rakotondranary SJ, Ganzhorn JU, Sommer S (2019) Challenges of NGS in conservation management: insights from long-term monitoring of corridor effects on the genetic diversity of mouse lemurs in a fragmented landscape. Evolutionary Applications, 12, 425-442.

Melin AD, Nevo O, Shirasu M, Williamson RE, Garrett EC, Endo M, Sakurai K, Matsushita Y, Touhara K, Kawamura S (2019) Fruit scent and observer colour vision shape food-selection strategies in wild capuchin monkeys. Natur Communications. doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10250-9 


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