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Evolutionary Ecology of Plant–Insect Interactions

We are interested in the processes that generate biodiversity. In our research, we investigate the processes that have made plants and plant-feeding insects two of the most diverse and abundant groups of organisms on earth.

Collage of photos of two thistles and two flies.
The melancholy thistle Cirsium heterophyllum, the fly Tephrititis conura and the cabbage thistle Cirsium olearaceum. Credit: T. Diegisser.

Within- and among species variations

Broadly, we strive to understand how variation within- and among species arise, using several different study systems, each including plant- and insect species that form small interaction networks. In these networks, we study spatial patterns in plant signaling and defense traits and insect host- /and nectar plant preference, and how these interactions are affected by the nature of the plant-insect relationship (antagonistic/mutualistic), and by the specificity of the interaction.

Bridging the gap between zoology and botany

We also study species that have undergone host shifts, and use hybrid species and hybrid zones to investigate the genomic underpinnings of reproductive isolation. Our ambition is to understand how ecological and evolutionary process acting in these species interactions can generate novel biodiversity. Our research bridges the gap between zoology and botany by integrating studies of animal- and plant ecology and evolution, genomics, behavior and chemical ecology.

A dead fly is placed on a white paper.
The fly Tephritis conura.
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A close-up of the thistle Cirsium heterophyllum.

Contact information

Magne Friberg
Associate Senior Lecturer, Docent

Telephone: +46 46 222 8968
E-mail: Magne [dot] Friberg [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Anna Runemark
Evolutionary Ecology

Telephone: +46 46 222 3613
E-mail: Anna [dot] Runemark [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Join the group

If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Magne Friberg or Anna Runemark.