The topic of my PhD studies is molecular and organismic invasion ecology. Invasion by alien species is considered a major threat to global biodiversity. Control and management of nonindigenous species might therefore be the greatest challenge for ecologists and conservation biologists now and in the following years. A better understanding of invasion mechanisms is crucial to our ability to control current invasions and prevent future ones.
During my research, genetic and ecological approaches will be combined to investigate the history and mechanisms of the ongoing invasion of Arion vulgaris, which is regarded as one of the hundred most invasive alien species in Europe. The project aims to identify the invasion and colonization routes of this organism, and to assess the ecological and evolutionary consequences for the native relatives and related ecosystem processes.