Marine Ecology

Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes

The research unit Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes integrates ecological and evolutionary approaches in the oceans, using marine fish and cephalopods as primary research objects. Recent research, also from our group, has highlighted that evolution and ecology operate at similar time scales. For example, human exploitation of fish populations has resulted in rapid genetic shifts of life history traits, for example growth rates and time to maturation. In host-parasite co-evolution, reciprocal genetic change occurs virtually every generation. The ongoing genetic/genomic revolution allows us to characterize critical genetic polymorphisms underlying phenotypic change even in non-model organisms. Because larval stages are subject to particularly high mortality selection, the ecological and genetic determinants of larval survival are another important focus. Our group is part of the Excellence Cluster “The Future Ocean”. Applied projects deal with cataloguing the diversity of life (fishbase), sustainable approaches to aquaculture and new tools for preventing fish disease.

The team of the Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes section


We are dealing with a number of research topics which can be grouped into the following broader subjects:


Head of the Research Unit:

Prof. Dr. Thorsten Reusch
GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
West shore Campus
Düsternbrooker Weg 20 
D-24105 Kiel 
Phone: +49-431 600-4550
Fax: +49-431 600-4553
e-mail: treusch(at)

Personal Assistant / Office Management:

Cornelia Rüther
Phone: +49-431 600-4551
e-mail: cruether(at)


Academic Theses