Research groups at the Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology and at the Ecological Field Station Fabrikschleichach address basic and applied ecological research questions at different spatial and temporal scales covering organizational levels from populations, communities and their biotic interactions up to ecosystems. We are interested in the ecological and evolutionary mechanism that contribute to species richness and ecosystem stability and in the consequences of multiple human impacts on ecosystems. We have expertise in the ecology and taxonomy of diverse species groups ranging from ants, bees, beetles and butterflies up to amphibians and reptiles both in temperate and tropical habitats. In our research we combine experimental, comparative, observational and analytical approaches and perform theoretical modeling. Our thematic foci are biodiversity research, biotic interactions and food webs, global change, agroecology, forest ecology, biosafety research, chemical ecology, evolutionary ecology and population genetics. These issues are addressed in several national and international research clusters such as the Research Unit FOR 1246 at Mt Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and the Biodiversity Exploratories funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the climate impact project FORKAST funded by the Bavarian ministry for Science and the EU-projects STEP, SCALES and AMIGA. Further individual projects receive funding from BMBF, DFG and several foundations.