Ulla Kaasalainen

In my research I focus on lichen symbiosis. Symbiosis and biotic interactions in general are remarkable especially since they have preceded many great evolutionary innovations and still today impact almost every living organism.

I am especially interested in beneficial interactions and how they impact species and communities and their ecology and evolution. My research topics include living fungi, cyanobacteria, and algae, as well as millions of years old fossils. Recently I have focused on the still very poorly known lichens of tropical Africa. Currently, I am working in the University of Göttingen with the project ’Symbiotic ecology: mycobiont-photobiont interactions in tropical lichens along environmental gradients’ funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).