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Chair Animal Ecology I (Prof. Dr. Christian Laforsch)

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The research focus of the working group is in the field of zoology and evolutionary ecology, in particular the adaptation of living organisms to biotic and abiotic environmental factors in the form of phenotypic plasticity and adaptation. To this end, both marine and limnetic organisms from protozoa to vertebrates are studied, with a focus on the model organism Daphnia (water flea).

Another focus is the ecology of coral reefs and the influence of multiple stressors on communities, food webs and ecosystem functions. In addition to biotic stressors such as predators and parasites, anthropogenic stressors such as micropollutants are also studied. In order to determine the influence of the stressors on the organisms and subsequently on the ecosystems, sublethal effects in particular are recorded. The contamination of the environment with microplastics and the associated effects on organisms and ecosystems is one of the central research areas of the Laforsch group. Prof. Laforsch is the spokesperson for the Collaborative Research Centre 1357 Microplastics.

In the interdisciplinary studies, current molecular biological methods, classical experimental approaches in laboratory and field studies - especially mesocosms, residue analysis (GCMS, LCMS), sub-mm material analysis (FTIR; GCMS, Raman, EDX) as well as modern imaging microscopic methods (fluorescence microscopes, binoculars, scanning electron microscopes) are used.

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