Personal profile



Ellers, J., Crowther, T.W. & Harvey, J.A. 2017. Gold Open Access Publishing in Mega Journals: Developing Countries Pay the Price of Western Premium Academic Output. Journal of Scholarly Publishing 49: 89-102.  PDF


Research interest

I am interested to understand how an individual’s phenotype is shaped by the joint interplay of its genes, genome, and environment. I combine molecular, physiological and experimental tools with evolutionary approaches to link the underlying mechanisms to adaptive explanations.


My research focuses in three major areas:

(1) Causes and consequences of phenotypic plasticity.

I study the evolution of temperature-induced plasticity in ectotherms, including reaction norms for life history traits and tolerance to extreme temperatures. I also investigate insect learning as a form of behavioural plasticity, using experimental evolution to identify molecular mechanisms underlying natural variation in learning. 

(2) Evolution of trait loss and dependency in ecological interactions.

Ecological interactions provide resources to partners which may cause redundancy and dependency in the receiving partner. I study the evolutionary trajectories towards obligate species interactions, using different model systems: obligate endosymbiosis in insects,  loss of lipogenesis in parasitoid insects, and diet-induced loss of essential metabolic functions.

(3) The role of trait evolution in community ecology.

This research lines integrates evolutionary concepts into ecology by using intraspecific variation in species traits and trait plasticity to understand the impact of global change on the outcome of species interaction and community composition. I use a trait-based approach based and co-authored the handbook of protocols promoting standardized measurements of invertebrate functional traits across taxa and trophic levels.



I am a board member of the Origins Center, for the study of origins and evolution of life, planets and the universe


Public outreach

TV-interview NPO Kennis van Nu: Invasie van exotische soorten (20 april 2017)


Radio-interview VPRO Labyrint: Functieverlies bij co-evolutie (17 feb 2013)





Ancillary activities

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Ancillary activities are updated daily

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Research Output 1996 2018

An Evolutionary Perspective on Linoleic Acid Synthesis in Animals

Malcicka, M., Visser, B. & Ellers, J. Mar 2018 In : Evolutionary Biology. 45, 1, p. 15-26

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

Symbiont interactions with non-native hosts limit the formation of new symbioses

Niepoth, N., Ellers, J. & Henry, L. M. 12 Mar 2018 In : BMC Evolutionary Biology. 18, 1, 27

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle


Coping with living in the soil: the genome of the parthenogenetic springtail Folsomia candida

Faddeeva-Vakhrusheva, A., Kraaijeveld, K., Derks, M. F. L., Anvar, S. Y., Agamennone, V., Suring, W., Kampfraath, A. A., Ellers, J., Le Ngoc, G., van Gestel, C. A. M., Mariën, J., Smit, S., van Straalen, N. M. & Roelofs, D. 28 Jun 2017 In : BMC Genomics. 18, 493

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

De novo Synthesis of Linoleic Acid in Multiple Collembola Species

Malcicka, M., Ruther, J. & Ellers, J. Sep 2017 In : Journal of Chemical Ecology. 43, 9, p. 911-919

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle