Research in the Department of Biology
The Department of Biology at the University of Hamburg pursues the following research theme: “Biological interactions – molecules, organisms and ecosystems”. This central theme is examined from the various perspectives of our four research concentrations, “Evolutionary Biology,” “Molecular and Cell Biology”, “Ecology and Biological Resources”, and “Microbiology and Infection Biology”. The research units and junior research groups in the Department of Biology contribute to at least one, but often two or three of the mentioned research concentrations.
Ecology and Biological Resources
The research concentration Ecology and Biological Resources investigates ecological systems and studies the use of biological resources. We analyze biodiversity and food webs, ecological adaptations in plants and animals, as well as ecosystem functioning in coastal seas, along land-ocean transitions, in arid regions, forests, and urban areas. Furthermore, we work to develop solutions and form a strong basis for the sustainable use of biological resources in marine and forest ecosystems.
The research concentration Evolutionary Biology investigates genomic, physiological, ecological, and ethological adaptations essential to the long-term survival and distinction of diverse species. Branching of evolutionary lineages and transition between species are studied on all levels from the individual to the population to phylogenetic reconstructions of larger clades.
Molecular and Cell Biology
The research concentration Molecular and Cell Biology investigates the biological processes of genes, biomolecules, and cells. Research topics include the analysis of molecular interfaces involved in the reception, transmission, and processing of developmental and environmentally dependent signals, the translation of genetic information during development, the adaptation of organisms to their environment, and the transport and dispersion of molecules.
Microbiology and Infection Biology
The research concentration Microbiology and Infection Biology investigates how microorganisms interact with each other and their environment. Moreover, research in this topic focuses on the elucidation of molecular mechanisms that play a significant role in the establishment of infections and microbiomes as well as the use of microorganisms in sustainable biotechnology.