The department evolutionary theory uses mathematics and computer simulations to study the dynamics of evolution. Our team is interdisciplinary, with backgrounds ranging from biology, physics, and mathematics to computer science and economics. Our goal is, on the one hand, to model biological systems with a close connection to empirical research, on the other hand we develop the mathematical toolbox of theoretical biology further and aim to generate new conceptual insights. The biological problems we address include the emergence and maintenance of polymorphisms in natural populations, the evolution of cooperation and the evolutionary dynamics of cancer.

The department is organised into the three main themes Cancer Evolution, Metaorganisms, as well as Population Structure and Game Theory. In addition, the department is hosting four research groups, which independently pursue their own research directions.

Cancer Evolution

The accumulation of mutations within the cells of a tissue can be viewed as an evolutionary process. We use mathematical and computational models to gain insights into the dynamics of these processes. In collaboration with clinicians, experimentalists and bioinformaticians, we have so far mostly focussed on blood diseases, but several general insights can be used to construct theoretical models for other systems.

 
 

Metaorganisms

Why do individuals from different taxonomic groups and even kingdoms of life interact with each other within a metaorganism in a generally beneficial way and thereby form a unit of selection? This question is one of the most fascinating, unresolved mysteries in current evolutionary biology. We develop mathematical models to understand interactions within the metaorganism in close collaboration with the CRC 1182 Origin and Function of Metaorganisms.

Population Structure and
Game Theory

While the evolution of cooperation is the most popular topic in evolutionary game theory, the game theoretical approach offers much more to evolutionary biology. We are interested in eco-evoluionary dynamics under frequency and density dependent selection, in the evolution of multicellular units, but also in the general role that population structure (in terms of groups, networks or age) plays for evolutionary dynamics.

 

Research Group
Microbial Evolutionary Dynamics

In the Microbial Evolutionary Dynamics group, we use bacterial and phage populations to empirically investigate fundamental evolutionary processes. Our over-arching theme is the evolution and maintenance of genetic structure – how and why particular genetic entities come to exist.

Jenna

Dr. Jenna Gallie

Research Group
Theoretical Models of Eco-evolutionary Dynamics

Evolution proceeding at ecological time scales changes the way we approach traditional evolutionary dynamics. We are interested in understanding the evolutionary change in interactions in the light of the ecology in which they take place.
 

Chaitanya

Dr. Chaitanya Gokhale

Research Group
Stochastic Evolutionary Dynamics

Our research lies at the intersections of evolution with ecology and with medicine. Using mathematical models, we study which factors promote or hamper rapid adaptation to changing environments.

 

Hildegard

Dr. Hildegard Uecker

Research Group
Dynamics of Microbial Collectives

Microbial ecology often deploys in the context of collectives -- communities, biofilms, multicellular aggregates. We inquire how the properties of such collectives emerge and evolve based on cellular-level mechanisms.

 

Silvia

Dr. Silvia De Monte

The Team

Arne
Prof. Dr. Arne Traulsen

Director

Jenna
Dr. Jenna Gallie

Group leader

Chaitanya
Dr. Chaitanya Gokhale

Group leader

Silvia
Dr. Silvia De Monte

Group leader

Hildegard
Dr. Hildegard Uecker

Group leader

Ursula
Ursula Krützfeldt

Secretary

Maren
Maren Lehmann

Workshop Coordination

Gökce
Dr. Gökce Ayan

Postdoc (Gallie group)

Maria
Maria Bargués i Ribera

PhD student (Gokhale group)

Marvin
Dr. Marvin Böttcher

Postdoc

Gunda
Gunda Dechow-Seligmann

Technician

Yuanxiao
Yuanxiao Gao

PhD student

Stefano
Dr. Stefano Giaimo

Postdoc

Zahra
Zahra Khomarbaghi

PhD student (Gallie group)

Anuradha
Anuradha Mukherjee

PhD student (Gallie group)

Luka
Luka Opasic, M.D.

PhD student

Hye Jin
Dr. Hye Jin Park

Postdoc

Yuriy
Dr. Yuriy Pichugin

Postdoc

Mario
Mario Santer

PhD student (Uecker group)

Hanna
Hanna Schenk

PhD student

Michael
Dr. Michael Sieber

Postdoc

Vandana
Vandana Venkateswaran

PhD student (Gokhale group)

Noemi
Noemi Woltermann

PhD student

Román
Román Zapién-Campos

PhD student

Da
Prof. Dr. Da Zhou

Visiting Scientist

Interested in joining the team? Excellent candidates are always encouraged to apply directly to Arne Traulsen .

Alumni

 
 
last known coordinates
Dr. Jordi Arranz
Postdoc
 
Dr. Maria Abou Chakra
Postdoc
Postdoc at Donelly Center (Toronto, Canada)
Dr. Philipp Altrock
Phd student, Postdoc
Assistant Faculty Member at Moffit Cancer Center (Tampa, FL, USA)
Dr. Benedikt Bauer
Phd student, Postdoc
Research Associate at Evotec AG, Hamburg
Dr. Frederic Bertels
Postdoc
Group leader at MPI Plön (Department of Microbial Population Biology)
Dr. Kathrin Büttner
Phd student
Postdoc at Kiel University (Animal Husbandry)
Dr. Silke Bumann
Postdoc
Postdoc at University of Hamburg
Dr. Pete Czuppon
Postdoc
Postdoc at College de France (Paris, France)
Dr. Julian Garcia
Postdoc
Senior Lecturer at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia)
Dr. Jelena Grujic
visiting Phd student
Postdoc Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium (Artificial Intelligence Lab)
Dr. Christian Hilbe
Postdoc
PostDoc at IST Austria
Dr. Laura Hindersin
Phd student, Postdoc
Statistician at Koehler eClinical GmbH, Freiburg
Dr. Weini Huang
Phd student, Postdoc
Lecturer at Queen Mary University (London, UK) and tenured group leader at Sun Yat-Sen University (China)
Sonja Jäckle
MSc student
Fraunhofer Institute Lübeck
Dr. Thijs Janzen
Postdoc
Postdoc at Oldenburg University
Dr. Xiang-Yi (Cindy) Li
Phd student
Ambizione group leader at Neuchatel (France)
Sarah Schoenmakers
MSc student
PhD student at Oldenburg University
Albert Krewinkel
Phd student
Programmer at freiheit.com
Ricarda Mißfeldt
MSc student
PhD student at Lübeck University
Marius Möller
MSc student
PhD student at Queen Mary University (London, UK)
Dr. Jorge Peña
Postdoc
Assistant Professor (Institute for Advanced Study, Toulouse)
Dr. Han The Anh
visiting Phd student
Lecturer at Teesside University (Middlesbrough, UK)
Dr. Torsten Röhl
Scientific Programmer
Teacher at FSG Preetz
Dr. Dave Rogers
Postdoc
Scientist at MPI Plön (Department of Microbial Population Biology)
Dr. Yixian Song
Postdoc
 
Dr. Benjamin Werner
Phd student, Postdoc
Postdoc at Institute of Cancer Research (London, UK)
Prof. Dr. Bin Wu
Postdoc
Associate Professor, School of Sciences, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (China)
Modeling treatment-dependent glioma growth respecting a dormant cell subpopulation

BMC Cancer
18, 376 (2018)

M. A. Böttcher, J. Held-Feindt, M. Synowitz, R. Lucius, A. Traulsen and K. Hattermann

| doi

Fragmentation modes and the evolution of life cycles

PLoS Computational Biology
13, e1005860 (2017)

Y. Pichugin, J. Peña, P. Rainey and A. Traulsen

| doi

 

Discovering complete quasispecies in bacterial genomes

Genetics
206, 4 2149-2157 (2017)

F. Bertels, C. S. Gokhale and A. Traulsen

| doi

Ordering structured populations in multiplayer cooperation games

Journal of the Royal Society Interface
13, 20150881 (2016)

J. Peña, B. Wu and A. Traulsen

| doi

 

Coordinates

August-Thienemann-Str. 2, 24306 Plön, Germany