We are a team of evolutionary biologists and behavioral ecologists at the Plant Protection Institute of the Centre for Agricultural Research. We are being funded mainly by the Lendület (Momentum) Program of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), by a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant of the EU, and by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NKFIH).
One of our most prominent research interests is phenotypic plasticity – studying how various environmental conditions induce adaptive changes in the morphology, behavior, and life history of individuals. For example, how do toad (Bufo bufo) tadpoles change the amount and composition of their toxins in response to predators, pathogens, and competitors? How do female smooth newts (Lissotriton vulgaris) choose their egg-laying strategy to minimize predation risk to their offspring? How does plasticity evolve in spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) coexisting with different predators?
We are also interested in the effects of environmental change from a conservationist point of view. For example, what are the consequences of climate change and urbanization on the demography and behavior of amphibians and birds? How do amphibians cope with (and how can we help to protect them from) agricultural pollutants and diseases such as chytridiomycosis? How does the interplay between polluting chemicals and warming climate affect the sexual development and life history of amphibians and reptiles?
Students interested in these topics are welcome to join our team. For further details and contact info, see the personal pages of our senior researchers.