Genomes contain the entire information needed for building complex organisms such as members of our own species. Genomes are also the substrate of evolution and influence how fast species can adapt to changing or novel environments.
Similarly to the vast diversity of living organism, genomes also show a remarkable diversity: some species have large genomes while others have small ones, some genomes are full of repetitive 'junk' DNA while others are nearly devoid of junk, some genomes have many duplicated regions while others have almost none, and so on.
Which evolutionary forces are responsible for these differences in genomes? What is the influence of ecology, demography, environment and historical contingency and are these differences in genome complexity reflecting complexity of the organism?
It is our aim to shed light on these open questions and to identify the factors driving the evolution of genomes. We think that this will contribute to a deeper understanding of evolution and thus also to the forces that shaped our own species.