Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Temperature adaption in invertebrates

Temperature affects all biological processes from the level of single molecules to growth and survival of entire populations. Accordingly, evolutionary adaptations and responses have refined these biological processes to allow different species to cope with different thermal environments, and temperature is often regarded one of the most important environmental factors shaping the fundamental niche of species.

Our research in temperature adaptation spans multiple levels of biological complexity from the function of a single gene to complex behaviors of individuals and groups. Much of this work rely on the model system of fruit flies (Drosophila sp.). This model allows us to investigate responses to selection in the laboratory or adaptive processes in experiments comparing species or populations of different origin to understand the links between environmental conditions, laboratory conditions and physiological performance in different genetic backgrounds. The aim of the research is to contribute to our knowledge and understanding of the interaction between environmental factors and the evolutionary processes that lead to adaptation in terrestrial invertebrates.

The research program in thermal adaptation investigates:

  • The adaptive role of physiology versus behavior
  • Function of genes investigated in knock-down mutant lines
  • Acclimation capacity to constant and variable temperature conditions

Research on temperature adaptation is supported by the Danish Council for Independent Research and AUFF.