Terrestrial Ecology Unit (TEREC) - Ghent University

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Spatial Ecology and Evolution group (Bonte lab)


Prof. dr. Dries Bonte
Terrestrial Ecology Unit
Department of Biology
Ghent University
K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35
9000 Gent Belgium

Phone: +32 (0)9 264 52 13
E-mail: dries.bonte@ugent.be

Editor-in-chief of Oikos


We work on topic related to the integration of ecological and evolutionary concepts into a spatial perspective. We aim to answer questions on how the spatial configuration and diversity of habitats affect ecological dynamics, by scaling up from individual responses to macroscopic patterns like the emergence of food webs and range sizes. Similarly, changes in spatial structure affect evolutionary dynamics directly through its impact on demographic and community properties and spatial selection. We study the interplay of these processes by integrating theoretical, correlative and experimental approaches, using a wide array of methodological techniques by collaborating with partners from multiple national and international research institutes and universities. Competitive research is conducted by several postdocs, Phd- and master students.

Field-based research is performed in coastal dune and forest ecosystems, experimental evolution approaches are performed under controlled laboratory conditions using mite mesocosms (should we refer to them as mite-trons?). Individual based models are developed (i) to generate generic insights into spatial eco-evolutionary processes, (ii) to disentangle the relative contribution of several jointly operating ecological and evolutionary processes on macroscopic patterns and (iii) for ecological forecasting. We use Python as a programming platform.

Major topics

▼ Movement ecology and evolution of dispersal

▼ Spatial selection and life history evolution

▼ Community ecology

▼ Ecological restoration and forecasting

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