Institute of Ecology and Evolution

with Botanical Garden and Herbarium Haussknecht
Image: Stefan Halle

”Ecology is the scientific study of interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms”. This broadly accepted definition of the discipline by Charles Krebs (1972) describes the general approach of any ecological research. ”Evolution is change in the heritable characteristics of biological populations over successive generations” (Wikipedia) in which the process is driven by adaptation in the sense of fitness-maximisation to an ever-changing environment. Ecology and Evolution are, therefore, intrinsically tied to each other. This also frames the conceptual approach of scientific work at the Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) that covers the three complexity levels individuals, populations and communities.

The mission of the institute is supported by manifold cooperations, e.g. with the Max Planck Institutes for Chemical EcologyExternal link (founded 1996) and for BiogeochemistryExternal link (founded 1997) in Jena as well as with the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv)External link (founded 2012).

The Institute of Ecology and Evolution belongs to the Faculty of Biological Sciences and is distributed over several sites in Jena. It comprises of four professorships:

Flowery meadow
Prof. Dr. Christine Römermann
Leutra valley 2006
Prof. Dr. Stefan Halle
Roeseliana fedtschenkoi
Prof. Dr. Holger Schielzeth
Centaurea phrygia group
Prof. Dr. Frank Hellwig

To the institute belong furthermore:

Botanical garden
Director: Prof. Dr. Frank Hellwig; Curator: Dr. Stefan Arndt
Director: Prof. Dr. Frank Hellwig; Curator: Dr. Jörn Hentschel
Jena Experiment
Coordinator: Dr. Anne Ebeling
Detail of a herbarium specimen
Senckenberg and the Friedrich Schiller University Jena are establishing a novel institute linking traditional natural-history collections with cutting-edge approaches in biodiversity and data science