Using the city as open air lab to study evolution in real time

How do plants adapt to changing climatic conditions? The doctoral student Justine Floret investigates the evolutionary processes of plants and explains how to use the city as an open air lab for her research.


Planter’s Punch

Under the heading Planter’s Punch we present each month one special aspect of the CEPLAS research programme. All contributions are prepared by our early career researchers.

About the author

Justine Floret is a French PhD student in Juliette de Meaux`s lab. She is working on the association between genes variants and the environments and is trying to understand the ecological conditions associated with the establishment and the persistance of Arabidopsis thaliana. The city of Cologne is her play field to study in real time the evolution processes. Outside of the lab she likes knitting and play table top games with her friends. 

Further Reading

Schmitz, G.,  Linstädter, A.,  Frank, A. S. K.,  Dittberner, H.,  Thome, J.,  Schrader, A.,  Linne von Berg, K.-H.,  Fulgione, A.,  Coupland, G., &  de Meaux, J. (2024).  Environmental filtering of life-history trait diversity in urban populations of Arabidopsis thalianaJournal of Ecology,  112,  14–27.  doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.14211 

Santangelo JS, Johnson MTJ et al. Global urban environmental change drives adaptation in white clover. Science. 2022 Mar 18;375(6586):1275-1281. Epub 2022 Mar 17. doi: 10.1126/science.abk0989

Dubois J, Cheptou PO. Effects of fragmentation on plant adaptation to urban environments. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2017 Jan 19;372(1712):20160038. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2016.0038