My main area of research is adaptive dynamics, a mathematical framework for modelling evolution in possibly complex ecological systems, where frequency-dependent fitness arises naturally from ecological interactions between species and phenotypes. I am committed to building mechanistic models, which derive the ecological dynamics explicitly from the behaviour of individuals, and derive evolution from the underlying ecological dynamics.
A main thrust of adaptive dynamics is to identify ecological conditions under which selection leads to diversity via evolutionary branching. Evolutionary branching can underpin the origin of species if reproductive isolation evolves between the diverging phenotypes, which is studied combining adaptive dynamics and population genetics. Non-equilibrium attractors of the evolutionary dynamics ("Red Queen evolution") and evolution to self-extinction are also focal topics of interest.
Next to contributing to the general theory of adaptive dynamics, I am involved in diverse applications including the evolution of dispersal, local adaptation, evolutionary arms races, evolution in predator-prey systems, and the evolution of pathogens.