Rolff Lab – Evolutionary Biology
at Freie Universität Berlin

Dirk J. Mikolajewski

Group Leader Institute for Biology Freie Universität Berlin
Address Königin-Luise-Str. 1-3 14195 Berlin
Telephone +49 (0)30 838-54885
Email d.mikolajewski(at)
The enormous diversity of organisms in the natural world provides ample motivation for biologists to study the mechanisms producing and shaping such variety. My research revolves around embodied variation in selection by environmental heterogeneity shaping phenotypes in a macro- and microevolutionary context. I focus on the evolution and ecology of phenotypic diversification studying the interaction of individuals with their environment. My work examines multiple trait divergence and phenotypic plasticity in behaviour, morphology, physiology and life-history using larval dragonflies and daphnids as model organisms. I specifically ask how phenotypes alter and become adapted to modifications in predator composition, food availability and time constraints as well as how multivariate trait responses effectively function as an integrated response to environmental challenges and to increase fitness.
Coming soon!

Published, peer reviewed

Mikolajewski, D.J.*, L. Ruesen, R. Mauersberger, F. Johansson & J. Rolff (2015). Relaxed selection results in reduced phenotypic integration in a suite of dragonflies. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 28, 1354-1363. Mikolajewski, D.J.*, M. DeBlock & R. Stoks (2015). The interplay of adult and larval time constraints shape species differences in larval life history. Ecology, 96,1128-1138. Mikolajewski, D.J.*, B. Wohlfahrt, G. Joop & A.P. Beckerman (2013). Sexual size dimorphism and the integration of phenotypically plastic traits. Ecological Entomology, 38, 418-428. Mikolajewski, D.J.*, M. De Block, J. Rolff, F. Johansson, A.P. Beckerman & R. Stoks (2010). Predator-driven trait diversification in an odonate genus: covariation in behavioral, morphological and physiological antipredator defense. Evolution, 64, 3327-3335. Mikolajewski, D.J.*, R. Stoks, J. Rolff & G. Joop (2008). Predators and cannibals modulate sex-specific plasticity in life history and immune traits. Functional Ecology, 22, 114-120. Wohlfahrt, B.*, D.J. Mikolajewski, G. Joop & S.M. Vamosi (2007). Ontogenetic changes in the association between antipredator responses and growth variables. Ecological Entomology, 32, 567-574. Mikolajewski, D.J.*, G. Joop & B. Wohlfahrt (2007). Coping with predators and food limitation: testing life history theory for sex-specific larval development. Oikos, 116, 642-649. Joop, G.*, A. Gillen & D.J. Mikolajewski (2007). Colour polymorphism in female Coenagrion puella: differences in egg shape (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). International Journal of Odonatology, 10, 71-80. pdf Mikolajewski, D.J.*, F. Johansson, B. Wohlfahrt & R. Stoks (2006). Invertebrate predation selects for the loss of a morphological antipredator trait. Evolution, 60, 1305-1310. Wohlfahrt, B., D.J. Mikolajewski*, G. Joop & F. Suhling (2006). Are behavioural traits in prey sensitive to the risk imposed by predatory fish? Freshwater Biology, 51, 76-84. Brodin, T.*, D.J. Mikolajewski & F. Johansson (2006). Behavioural and life history effects of predator diet cues during ontogeny in damselfly larvae. Oecologia, 148, 162-169. Mikolajewski, D.J.*, T. Brodin, F. Johansson & G. Joop (2005). Phenotypic plasticity in gender specific life-history: effects of food availability and predation. Oikos, 110, 91-100. Mikolajewski, D.J.* & J. Rolff (2004). Benefits of morphological defence demonstrated by direct manipulation in larval dragonflies. Evolutionary Ecology Research, 6, 619-626. pdf Mikolajewski, D.J.* & F. Johansson (2004). Morphological and behavioral defenses in dragonfly larvae: trait compensation and cospezialization. Behavioral Ecology, 15, 614-620. Mikolajewski, D.J.*, F. Johansson & T. Brodin (2004). Condition-dependent behaviour among damselfly populations. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 82, 653-659. pdf  

Book Chapters

Johansson, F. & D.J. Mikolajewski (2008). Evolution of morphological defences. In Dragonflies & Damselflies: Model Organisms for Ecological and Evolutionary Research (ed.) A. Córdoba- Aguilar. Pp. 127-137, Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K. pdf  

Other Publications

Schütte, C.*, G. Joop, D.J. Mikolajewski, E.C. Mosch, K. Schenk & B. Wohlfahrt (2005). Die FFH-Art Coenagrion mercuriale (Charpentier, 1840) (Odonata: Coenagrionidae) im Niedermoorgebiet “Großes Bruch” in Niedersachsen. Braunschweiger Naturkundliche Schriften, 7,345-354. pdf Mikolajewski D.J.*, K.G. Leipelt, A. Conrad, S. Giere & J. Weyer (2004). Schneller als gedacht: einjährige Larvalentwicklung und slow life style bei Leucorrhinia caudalis (Odonata: Libellulidae). Libellula, 23, 161-171. pdf Mikolajewski D.J.* (2001). Dornenausbildung bei Larven der Gattung Sympetrum (Odonata: Anisoptera): Induzierbarer Schutz gegen Fischprädation. Abhandlungen und Berichte des Naturkundemuseums Görlitz, 73, 57-58. Mikolajewski D.J.*, D. Miksche, K.G. Leipelt & F. Suhling (2000). Weibchenpolymorphismus, Geschlechterverhältnis und Größenunterschied in französischen Populationen von Boyeria irene (Odonata: Anisoptera). Libellula, 19, 1-15. (*corresponding author)