Universiteit Leiden

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Institute of Biology Leiden

Evolution & Biodiversity

Evolution & Biodiversity is one of the four research themes of the Institute of Biology Leiden.

Evolutionary and ecological interactions affect species on genetic and phenotypic levels. The Evolution & Diversity research theme aims to understand these processes at multiple levels: from molecules to genomes to populations and to communities. Our research focuses on evolutionary responses to anthropogenic change, the role of phenotypic plasticity, coevolution, and the mechanisms of adaptive changes. We thereby seek to develop an integrated understanding of how life on Earth evolves.


The major theme in evolutionary biology at IBL is:

Mechanisms of phenotypic diversity (from molecule to population level)

We study the ability of organisms to respond to the environment. Primary research topic within the research theme are:

  • Evolution of defense mechanisms
  • Urban ecology
  • Evo-Devo: genetic and developmental bases of evolutionary change
  • Genetic changes that allow changes in the response of organisms to environmental cues
  • The emergence of antibiotic resistance
  • The impact of microbial communities on plant phenotypic diversity

Keywords: signaling, communication, genetics, speciation, limitations


The IBL is organised in three multidisciplinary clusters: Animal Sciences, Plant Sciences and Microbial Sciences. Each cluster brings its qualities to the research theme Evolution & Biodiversity to improve research and to strengthen the collaborations within and outside the institute. See for more information on the clusters' contribution to Evolution & Biodiversity:


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