I am interested in patterns and processes that give rise to phenotypic variation in natural populations over ecological timescales. Specifically, I study how phenotypes are shaped by complex selection scenarios, such as selection for combinations of traits (correlational selection) or modularization (phenotypic integration).
Moreover, I am investigating how variation in the environment experienced during early life stages can lead to alternative developmental trajectories (developmental plasticity), and how this may affect speed and direction of evolutionary change, for example, by selecting for plastic responses to variation of the environment (adaptive plasticity).
My aim is to understand both proximate and ultimate causes of phenotypic variation within and across natural populations.
Throughout my career I have used a variety of aquatic invertebrate model systems to investigate the causes of variation in phyisology, morphology, and behaviour with controlled laboratory experiments, outdoor mesocosm experiments, and field surveys. This includes stone corals (Scleractinia), marine and freshwater amphipods (Amphipoda) and isopods (Isopoda), and, more recently, damselflies and dragonflies (Odonata).
To uncover the causal links between genotypes, environmental factors, and multivariate phenotypes, I am collecting high dimensional phenotypic (phenomic) data in high throughput using computer vision; the automated extraction of meaningful information from digital images. To that end I employ a combination of techniques, ranging from semi-manual signal processeing over classical machine learning to deep learning.
Phenomics of sexual conflict in Ischnura elegans
Here I am investigating correlational selection on colouration and morphology in a female limited sexual polymorphism of the common bluetail damselfly (Ischnura elegans) in Southern Sweden.
development, plasticity, crypsis
In a series of in- and outdoor experiments I explore how selection and diet-based developmental plasticity affects pigmentation and body size in the freshwater isopod Asellus aquaticus.
Determinants of temporal variation in aquatic ecosystems
In a series of large scale outdoor experiments we quantified ecosystem effects in various ecological contexts using cutting-edge autonomous high frequency sensor technology.
Trophic diversification of Lake Victoria Cichlids
Reconstructing the evolutionary history of trophic diversification in Lake Victoria cichlids by mapping fossil teeth onto teeth from contemporary trophic guilds using 2D and 3D images.
Seagrass mesograzer microhabitat choice under predation pressure
My master's thesis on drivers of community composition in seagrass mesograzers, where microhabitat choices remain consisten across multiple predator and competitor contexts
Ecophysiology of tropical corals experiencing multiple stressors
Although it is recognized that temperature and the carbonate system of a coral reef can change rapidly and with great amplitude, little is known about how this may affect the metabolism and productivity of stone corals.