Department of Organismal Biology

Subjects

Evolutionary organismal biology

Evolutionary Organismal Biology is a discipline that analyses large-scale morphological evolution from a phylogenetic perspective. Particular emphasis is placed on linking morphological and developmental data within a common phylogenetic framework, in order to illuminate the correlation between the evolution of molecular patterning and the resulting morphological evolution. The subject area also covers palaeontological research with focus on morphological evolution and phylogeny.

Physiological botany

Research in Physiological Botany is directed towards the processes; molecular, cellular and metabolic, which determine the properties of the organism. The subject is centred on research on plants, but traditionally also includes photosynthetic cyanobacteria. Current research is mainly experimental, and includes a broad spectrum of experimental approaches; ranging from genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry, to microscopy. Functional studies, and comparative analyses, based on the genome sequence of Arabidopsis thaliana, are important elements of the research.

comparative physiologY

Comparative physiology encompasses physiological, biochemical and molecular studies on adaptations in different environments by a range of organisms. Studies are performed on whole organisms as well as on tissues or cells and molecules, often by employing molecular, cell biological and proteomic techniques. An important issue is how physiological processes such as for example immune reactions have developed and changed during the course of evolution.

environmental toxicology

Research in Environmental Toxicology aims to determine how man-made and naturally occurring toxic compounds can disturb cellular functions and give rise to adverse health effects in exposed organisms including humans. The research area includes enzyme-catalysed formation of metabolites which alter structure and function of specific target cells/tissues. Developmental toxicity originating from exposure during sensitive early life-stages is another important field of investigation.

Systematics

The subject concerns systematics with an emphasis on phylogeny and evolutionary processes at different taxonomic levels. This also includes the description and analysis of biodiversity, molecular studies using single and multiple genes, dating and statistical analysis of evolutionary trees.

animal developmental biology

Animal developmental biology deals with the physiological, morphological, and molecular processes and their
underlying mechanisms that govern the development of the fertilised egg. The field covers also genetic, evolutionary and teratological aspects of embryonic development and reproduction.