You are here: AU » About Aarhus University » Department of Bioscience » Research

Research

The research at Bioscience spans over all biological levels from genes, physiological processes, individuals, populations and species to entire ecosystems. We work with evolutionary processes, which are the foundation of all life and explore the mechanisms, which explain the correlation between living organisms and the environment. The research activities seek the interface between disciplines such as Zoophysiology, Bioinformatics and Geomicrobiology. Research at the Department of Bioscience includes basic research, applied research and strategic research.

        

Evolution

Læs mere her Exploring the evolutionary process is a vital part of biology and a prerequisite for our understanding of life and the interaction with the environment that surrounds us. Evolution is also a key to understanding how biodiversity may evolve in the future where human-induced environmental changes will produce alterations in the selection pressure for many organisms.

Life is changing from one generation to another. Evolution concerns the changes that have created and still create the diversity of life that we find on Earth.

Life has evolved in evolutionary terms since it first occurred on Earth at least 3.5 billion years ago. Evolution is a process based primarily on the mechanisms of heredity and natural selection but also on random changes, which are not always advantageous. Exploring the evolutionary process is a vital part of biology and a prerequisite for our understanding of life and the interaction with the environment that surrounds us. Evolution is also a key to understanding how biodiversity may evolve in the future where human-induced environmental changes will produce alterations in the selection pressure for many organisms.

The following sections do research in evolution:

 

 

Genetik

Genetics is about identifying adaptation and evolution of the genetic material, investigating which genes and gene products that are activated by certain conditions and exploring the role these genes play in, for example, development or evolutionary adaptation.

Genetics is the study of heredity and variation. Modern genetic research is concerned with, among other things, the structure of the genetic material, its function and the evolutionary changes that occur as a result of chance or natural selection. Genetics is about identifying adaptation and evolution of the genetic material, investigating which genes and gene products that are activated by certain conditions and exploring the role these genes play in, for example, development or evolutionary adaptation. When we study the genetic material from different organisms, we can find information about kinship both within and between species, and we can learn to understand the relationship between genetic material and the properties that an organism possesses. It is also genetics that teaches us to understand the problems that can occur in small populations of plants and animals associated with inbreeding and loss of genetic variation, which makes it harder to adapt to future environmental changes.

The following sections do research in genetics:

Biodiversity and Conservation

In the Department of Bioscience we conduct research into the conditions in the environment that may explain biodiversity. This applies both to natural conditions in soil, water and air as well as to human impacts on those conditions such as is the case with nutrients, use of water and raw materials and release of hazardous substances.

Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on Earth. We place special emphasis on understanding the interactions between animals, plants and fungi in the environment, including the role of key species in ecosystems. We also investigate the importance of physical disturbance for biodiversity, whether these are caused by wind, weather, water and fire or by living organisms such as large herbivores or carnivores. The research forms the basis for the teaching of nature and biodiversity and, based on a solid understanding of the natural contexts, we advise on how biodiversity can be protected and managed within the community.

The following sections do research in Biodiversity:

Freshwater Ecology

In a constantly changing world, there is enormous pressure on fresh water. In the future, it is vital that we continue to develop an understanding of the biological, chemical and physical processes in and around fresh water.

Freshwater represents only a tiny part of the global water volume but is essential to all life on land. It is thus essential to understand the movement of water and the associated physical and chemical transport in the catchments, through wetlands, streams and lakes, on its way to the coastal and marine areas. Furthermore, it is crucial to understand the freshwater-related biological interactions that are highly dependent on the physical, chemical and climatic influences.

The following sections do research in freshwater:

Marine Ecology

We are studying the human impacts on the planet and the global biogeochemical cycle as well as the role that the global climate change plays. Based on solid research efforts, the researchers advise decision makers on necessary initiatives towards sustainable management of the marine environment..

Approximately 71 per cent of Earth's surface is covered by water, and marine waters account for the most. The sea and all the organisms and processes associated with it are therefore crucial to the planet's life. The Department of Bioscience explores marine life on all biological levels from genes of single cells to the largest whales. We are studying the human impacts on the planet and the global biogeochemical cycle as well as the role that the global climate change plays. Based on solid research efforts, the researchers advise decision makers on necessary initiatives towards sustainable management of the marine environment. Researchers engaged in marine ecology work in all climate zones - from the Arctic to the tropics - and are at the forefront of the global discussion concerning the state and development of the planet.

The following sections do research in marine ecology:

 

 

Microbiology

We often associate microorganisms with disease and misery, but this is only a very small part of the truth about microorganisms. The microbiological courses provide insight into the fascinating life of microorganisms and into their fundamental importance in nature, in our everyday life and in our own body.

We often associate microorganisms with disease and misery, but this is only a very small part of the truth about microorganisms. Microorganisms have played a key role in the development of life and are essential for the Earth's ecosystems and the nutrient cycle. Thanks to their phenomenal adaptability they can live in even the most extreme environments such as boiling springs on the bottom of the sea, high-radioactive areas of nuclear power plants as well as several kilometres below the Earth's surface where food is extremely limited. Microorganisms are used in diverse technological applications from wastewater treatment to the production of food and medicines.
The microbiological courses provide insight into the fascinating life of microorganisms and into their fundamental importance in nature, in our everyday life and in our own body.

The following sections do research in microbiology:

Environmental Effects on Agriculture

Various management measures in agriculture will, to a greater or lesser extent, affect the natural diversity and biodiversity in the fields and surrounding biotopes. The Department of Bioscience, through research and consultancy, uncovers the environmental effects of, for example pesticides, adjuvants, GMO, nitrogen and phosphorus, reduced tillage, fallowing and much more.

Agriculture is the largest land manager in Denmark and occupies just over 2.5 million hectares of land, or roughly 2/3 of the area of Denmark. In the field, aids such as fertilizers, lime and pesticides are used in large quantities, and in the stable drugs and growth promotors help to optimize livestock operations. Various management measures in agriculture will, to a greater or lesser extent, affect the natural diversity and biodiversity in the fields and surrounding biotopes such as hedgerows, heathland and other nature types and streams. The consequences - both negative and positive – are measured in mammals, flora, soil organisms, pollinators and other insects, and not least in the interactions between them. The Department of Bioscience, through research and consultancy, uncovers the environmental effects of, for example pesticides, adjuvants, GMO, nitrogen and phosphorus, reduced tillage, fallowing and much more.

 The following sections do research in environmental effects on agriculture:

Terrestrial Ecology

The interaction between species of plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms in the surrounding environment and the influencing factors is the subject of terrestrial ecology research.

Dry land consists of natural habitats such as forests, grasslands, heaths, marshes and dunes, etc. The countryside is under pressure from the production of feed, food and biofuels, as well as plants and buildings. This directly affects natural areas as there is very little space for nature on cultivated, settled and asphalted land. In addition the nature areas left are affected by nitrogen and pesticides spread by the wind. The interaction between species of plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms in the surrounding environment and the influencing factors is the subject of terrestrial ecology research

The following sections do research in terrestrial ecology:

Zoophysiology

Zoophysiologists often study the adaptation of selected animals to extreme environments to expose the limits of the body's plasticity and function. Such studies provide important new information about how animals function and evolve in a changing world and often create a new and exciting foundation for medical discoveries in the treatment of a variety of diseases in humans.

Zoophysiology is about how animals function and how they handle changes in the environment around them/in the surrounding environment by regulating their bodily functions. Physiological studies are crucial in order to understand how animals have adapted to their particular environments; why they look and behave the way they do and how they cope with climate change.

Zoophysiologists often study the adaptation of selected animals to extreme environments to expose the limits of the body's plasticity and function. Among other things, we examine how insects handle large seasonal variations in temperature, how turtles can hold their breath for five months, how snakes after having fasted for half a year can eat a meal that is equivalent to half of their body weight, how bears can stand up after being in hibernation for four months and how whales find food 2 kilometres down in a deep dark ocean. Such studies provide important new information about how animals function and evolve in a changing world and often create a new and exciting foundation for medical discoveries in the treatment of a variety of diseases in humans.

The following sections do research in zoo physiology:

Research results

The research results are primarily peer-reviewed scientific publications and scientific rapports. Find more details by the headlines below.

AU’s database

You can search for publications in AU’s database via this link.

Articles

Sort by: Date | Author | Title

Reports and books

Sort by: Date | Author | Title

Comments on content: 
Revised 2016.03.02