Jan David Heuschele

Image of Jan David Heuschele
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47 22857969
Visiting address Blindernveien 31 0371 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 1066 Blindern 0316 Oslo

Hi there, if you waThe World of Hopfsnt to find which articles are already published you can find a complete and updated list on ResearchGate. If you are interested in my science outreach work please visit my private Homepage, where you can learn about "The world of Hopfs" a small children book about evolution.

Academic interests

I am interested in the individual and population-level consequences of human induced environmental changes. Most people would agree that humans are altering the environment in an accelerating pace and on a global scale. If you want to be able to predict the consequences of environmental change, you need knowledge about the ecological and evolutionary pathways. All organisms have to cope with these changes and it is far from known how and if they will be able to do so. Environmental changes can occur gradually or sudden and drastic. A growing number of studies showed that evolutionary and ecological processes can occur at similar time scales in many organisms. Therefore, my general research focus is on the eco-evolutionary potential of pelagic populations to cope with environmental challenges and on studying the pathways by which they affect the physiology and the interactions between individuals and populations.

Consistent behavioural differences between individuals

Behavioural responses are the first and important reactions to environmental change, and thus need to be studied in plankton ecology. Behaviour plays a key role in the interaction between an organism and its environment, since behavioural changes are generally the first response to an alteration of the environmental conditions. Behavioural plasticity and behavioural trait distribution in populations have long been ignored as important factors that allow traits to become established, and for species to adapt to novel conditions. The distribution of consistent differences in behaviour between individuals in a population contains vital information for a mechanistic understanding of ecosystem functioning and for the potential of a species to cope with novel environmental challenges. Knowledge about phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation is of major importance for stressors related to global change, such as temperature increases and ocean acidification, but also with respect to pharmaceuticals and other anthropogenic contaminants. Especially in the field of plankton ecology behavioural differences have largely been ignored. Therefore, I study responses both at individual and population level in organisms ranging from phytoplankton to fish.

Chemical ecology of plankton
I also am interested in the ecology and chemical composition of pheromones in copepods. Copepods live in the vast three-dimensional space of the open ocean. The habitat, the organisms’ size, and the fact that the number of potential mates is low and vary with season complicates mate finding for these organisms. They use chemical and hydro-chemical signals to find food and mating partners and to avoid predation. Several species use female pheromones to track and find mating partners. Chemical signals persist longer than hydro-mechanical signals that dissipate fast given the size of the animals and the physical properties of water for such small organisms. Of course there are more species than copepods in the copepods in the ocean. The cues of copepods get picked up by algae and can alter their behaviour and development. This again can reflect back on zooplankton population dynamics, and ultimately also affect higher trophic levels.

Open source science

I think that the best approach in science is an open and reproducible one. Therefore we are currently developing new experimental approaches  that make use of open source hardware (raspberry pi, 3D printing) and write our own software applications. The code will always be published with the respective articles.

linear filming setup



View all works in Cristin

  • Wolf, Raoul; Heuschele, Jan David; Wagner, Martin & Tollefsen, Knut-Erik (2019). Promoting data literacy to improve statistics in ecotoxicology.
  • Lindemann, Christian & Heuschele, Jan David (2018). From peers to public: Obstacles, benefits and impact of cross-methodological communication.
  • Vindenes, Yngvild; Broch, Catharina & Heuschele, Jan David (2018). Når oppveksten styres av temperatur - bidrag til Forskningstorget 2018.

View all works in Cristin

Published Aug. 27, 2017 4:36 PM - Last modified Jan. 20, 2022 5:17 PM


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