is a collaborative research project with participating scientists from the University of Hamburg (UHH), the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNI) and the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS). The consortium studies patterns and characteristics of hybridization events in nature.
These studies are carried out at the level of genomes, the level of species and finally at the level of populations to understand the interplay between:
- hybrid genomics
- hybrid performance
- hybrid distribution
Hybrids, i.e. crosses between species, appear in nature much more frequently than until recently thought. Recent results suggest that hybridization events play a crucial, yet not very well understood, role in evolution. Hybridization effects are often used in breeding program and form one of the foundations of our agricultural system.
However, hybrids are often also invasive species and represent a great challenge for many ecosystems. A dramatic increase hybridization events can be expected due to the current climate change and the accompanying shift in the distribution of species. This calls for an interdisciplinary consortium working at different scales to study the patterns and characteristics of hybridization events.