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PETER FUNCH - Integrative biology

In our group we study animal diversity, phylogeny and ecology. Our goals are to elucidate the form and function of the the first animals on earth og how animals later adapted to live on land.

Presently, the Villum foundation had funded a research project where we investigate and compare choanoflagellates and sponges to get insight into the evolutionary transition from a single-celled ancestor to the early multicellular animal. I this project we especially focus on the structures involved in catching food by filtration, to elucidate if the retension of food particles increases when several cells work together compared to the single cell.

In another research project funded by the Danish National Research Foundation we focus on human disturbed ecosystems with a network analysis approach. This project is part of a trans-disciplinary collaboration: “Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene” (AURA). Here we investigate horseshoe crabs, migratory birds and parasites and their interactions with other species in local networks and the impact of those species (“global connectors”) that connect different local ecosystems into a global network.

Our field work is mainly done in Scandinavia, Greenland, North- and Central America and Southeast Asia.

Head of group

Group members