Matthew Nielsen, Junior professor

Originally from the USA, Matthew received his bachelor’s at Grinnell College and his PhD from the University of Arizona. He then worked in three countries as a postdoc—the USA (University of North Carolina), Sweden (Stockholm University), and Finland (University of Oulu)—before settling in Bremen. He is excited about basically anything to do with phenotypic plasticity or contemporary evolution, and insects and ecology in general. He wrote the research tab, so it summarizes his specific research interests pretty well. Beyond academics, he enjoys exploring nature, playing games (especially tabletop roleplaying), and science fiction (books, films, etc.). Er lernt Deutsch… langsam.

Matthew Nielsen

Head of the group

NW2, room B 4050
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phone +49 (0)421 218-5290 


Petra Berger

Petra Berger

Technical Assistant

NW2, room B 4010
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phone +49 (0)421 218-5291 


Verena Fischer

After finishing her vocational training in office management she started to work at the University of Bremen in 2019. She was responsible for the administration of Cellbiology and Microbial Ecophysiology until 2023. Verena took a sabbatical in Japan in the same year. After returning, she oversees various administrative aspects of the Insect Ecology in Changing Environments group. Outside of work Verena likes to travel and get to know different cultures. She also enjoys everything science fiction and fantasy, from movies and books to tabletop games.

Verena Fischer

Administrative Assistant

NW2, room B 4080
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phone +49 (0)421 218-62940 


Nadja Verspagen

Nadja completed her BSc (Maastricht University) and MSc (Radboud University) in the Netherlands and then moved to Finland to do her PhD at the University of Helsinki. Here, she studied the interplay between plasticity and evolution in response to temperature in Glanville fritillary butterflies originating from latitudinal and altitudinal gradients. She now works as a postdoc in the Insect Ecology in Changing Environments group. Her current project aims to investigate the effects of mismatches between cue and environment on the evolution of seasonal plasticity using computer models, and she is excited to plan more research into this topic. When not in the lab or behind a computer, she can be found at the horse stables, riding her bike or hiking through the Finnish forests, or playing boardgames with friends. Nadja is based in Helsinki.

Nadja Verspagen

PhD Student

University of Helsinki
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