Research groups

Wetland Ecology Research Group conduct systematic ecological surveys on wetlands. We are basically interested in the process of community assembly in aquatic and semi-aquatic habitats. We do fundamental researches that aim to explore species distribution, autecological characteristics and species interactions. We give high importance to implement the results of fundamental studies into practice. Therefore, we address questions having relevance in restoration ecology and socio-economy (e.g. Water Framework Directive).

We study animal and human cooperation and altruism, both from theoretical and experimental aspects.
-We study how the differences in financial status and the age of the cooperators, social structure and cultural differences affect the level of cooperation.
-We study the key processes responsible for the organisation of human societies, and investment behaviours that catalyse the spread and dominance of different economical systems.

The Darwinian neurodynamics research group focuses on identifying and analyzing evolutionary dynamics as it unfolds over neural architectures. We investigate evolutionary training of artificial neural networks, analogies between evolutionary and learning dynamics (evolution in learning, learning in evolution), structural and dynamical similarities between associative neural networks and gene regulatory networks, and theoretical and experimental approaches to search for a potential Darwinian dynamics underlying higher cognitive functioning.

The research focus of the group is eco-epidemiology and evolution of parasites and pathogens. Our main aim is to gain a deeper understanding of the biology, natural cycle of human and animal parasites (including microbial pathogens and macroparasites) and their relation with their hosts. We pay special attention to the eco-epidemiology of pathogens emerging as a consequence of climate change and anthropogenic pressure. We plan to implement the obtained results in pandemic and epidemic prevention e.g. by applying the DAMA (Document, Assess, Monitor, Act) protocol.

We are interested in the evolutionary and dynamical stability of microbial communities. Within this area one of the main emphasis is on the evolutionary stability of host microbiome interactions. We study the evolutionary and ecological background of social life of some spider species with the help of mathematical and agent based models.

We at ETI continue to focus on the following issues: transition from chemistry to biology (molecular replicators and spatial structure, early metabolism and chromosome evolution), eukaryotic origins (especially of mitochondria), general replicator theory (from molecules to memes), evolutionary origin and dynamics of information-handling subsystems (immune and nervous systems), eco-evolutionary emergence of language (in hominins and robots), language as a biological system.

The main research interest of the Evolutionary Ecology Research Group focuses on the proximal determination and function of various behavioural traits, their role in mediating the interactions among individuals and species as well as in how they mediate adaptations to different environments, and finally, the evolutionary and ecological consequences of these interactions.

We investigate how changing climate and land use affect vegetation in the sand region of Kiskunsag, Central Hungary. Research topics include the ecological effect of warming, drying, wildfires, and plant invasion, as well as succession following land abandonment and following the removal of alien tree plantations. Approaches range from descriptive local case studies and long-term monitoring, through lanscape and regional-scale surveys, to complex field experiments.

The Forest Ecological Research Group focuses on the investigation of species and functional composition, structure and dynamics of forests. The studies are mainly related to the deciduous forests of the Carpathian basin including managed and unmanaged stands. The investigations include stand structure, many organism groups (plants, animals, fungi), forest site (microclimate, soil conditions) and biological processes (decomposition, predation, regeneration, effect of large herbivores).

The research group studies the vegetation patterns and processes at large (geographic) scales with special attention to effects of climate change, biological invasions and land-use changes.