DFG Research Training Group for Translational Evolutionary Research
The RTG TransEvo is a Research Training Group funded by the German Science Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; Graduiertenkolleg GRK 2501). The RTG TransEvo aims at studying and promoting the relevance of evolutionary principles to applied problems. Unintended outcomes of human intervention often result from actions that influence natural selection, e.g. the usage of antibiotics or anti-cancer drugs in medicine, of pesticides in agriculture, or human perturbation of the earth’s ecosystems. Surprisingly, evolutionary concepts are only rarely used to improve our understanding of these applied challenges and to develop new sustainable solutions.
The overarching aim of the RTG TransEvo is to train two main competences in doctoral candidates:
- the use of knowledge and concepts from fundamental research in evolutionary biology in order to enhance our understanding of current challenges in applied fields, and
- the use of the novel insights obtained in order to enrich our understanding of evolution.
Although evolutionary theory is occasionally considered for applied problems, this is usually done independently in the distinct applied fields, often using different approaches.
The TransEvo doctoral training is explicitly interdisciplinary and organized in tandem projects - two sub-projects that address a related problem, yet use distinct albeit complementary research approaches - directly generating potential for synergistic interactions. The doctoral training further includes a structured program with several complementary elements, such as initial rotations, a monthly TransEvo Core Seminars, various science and soft skill courses, yearly retreats, and workshops.
Moreover, the RTG TransEvo provides training for young postdocs, directly after their doctorate, to help them acquire the necessary leadership and management skills for career development.
Yu L, Boström C, Franzenburg S et al. (2020): Somatic genetic drift and multilevel selection in a clonal seagrass. Nature Ecology and Evolution.