Welcome! I am an ecologist interested in patterns and processes of phenotypic evolution, species interactions and eco-evolutionary dynamics. While my "scientific roots" are in marine ecology (MSc Uni Oldenburg, Germany), I am now using freshwater systems for my research. Funded by ETH Zürich's ACE-center, I am pursuing a PhD at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) in Kastanienbaum, where, supervised by Blake Matthews and Jukka Jokela, I am working on two distinct topics.
i) Phenotypic variation in isopods - I am investigating the causal agents of variation in pigmentation of the freshwater isopod Asellus aquaticus . I am using large scale mesocosm experiments to test how macrophytes and fish, putative agents of selection, affect survival, pigmentation and body size in Asellus. Furthermore, I am conducting laboratory experiments to test how nutritional composition in diets affects developmental processes, phenotypic plasticity in pigmentation, and the build-up of essential gut microbiota. ⇒ http://luerig.net/research#isopods
ii) Species interactions and ecosystem dynamics - I am using ecological time-series to test how interactions between keystone species (macrophytes, phytoplankton, grazers and fish) affect temporal dynamics of aquatic ecosystems. By analyzing data from experimental mesocosms and ponds that I measured with high throughput water parameter sondes I am investigating how the ecological context can define the response of aquatic ecosystems to (anthropogentic) perturbations, like eutrophication. ⇒ http://luerig.net/research#ecosystems
Phenotyping using computer vision - One of my core interests (and somewhat of a hobby) is the development of computational tools that assist me in my research. In the past I have made extensive use of adaptive segementation algorithms from the opencv library in Python for high throughput phenotyping of isopods . At the moment I am building a phenotyping pipeline using convolutional neural networks for isopods (Asellus aquaticus), using keras and tensorflow. ⇒ http://luerig.net/computer-vision/#iso-cv