I am a scientist in the Department of Theoretical Biology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön. My research combines mathematics with empirical data to understand some of the myriad ways in which ecology and evolution interact across multiple levels of biological organization.

My primary interest is in microorganisms: spatially localized autocatalytic sets of molecules and chemical reactions, also known as cells, interacting with their environment, including other cells. These processes take place in a diverse range of environmental arenas and they are shaped by, and are shaping, those environments.

  Microbiota and Symbiosis
Sometimes the environmental arena of evolution happens to be another organism. I study the resulting multilayered dynamics of populations that reside in other organisms, which are themselves part of a dynamic host population.

  Host-Virus Coevolution
Viruses are responsible for the turnover of vast amounts of biomass, but they also help maintain diversity and facilitate horizontal gene transfer. I am interested in antagonistic coevolution, but also in the more subtle, sometimes even beneficial, effects viruses can have on their host populations.

  Evolutionary Theory
While I usually aim to connect my theoretical work as directly as possible to empirical data, I also enjoy exploring mathematical models from a dynamical systems point of view and by computational methods.

Michael Sieber, Photo


Max Planck Institute
for Evolutionary Biology
August-Thienemann-Str. 2
24306 Plön, Germany