Kristien Brans

PhD in Science (Biology). My main research topic deals with detecting adaptive evolution in response to urbanization in the water flea Daphnia magna (i.e. thermal tolerance, life history traits, physiological traits). I am associated with the SPEEDY research in which I try to disentangle evolutionary from ecological responses along urbanization gradients. I mainly focus on urban eco-evo dynamics in zooplankton communities and predator-prey interactions between damselflies and Daphnia. My current research topic include the impact of urban evolution on ecological dynamics such as species range expansions (regional) and ecosystem functions (local). I will additionally perform experiments to assess the relative importance of the gut microbiome in adaptive responses in an urban context.

"Cities are microcosms of the evolutionary changes that are occurring on a planetary scale and thus provide a natural laboratory to advance our understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics in a rapidly urbanizing world." 

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