CfR: Philosophical Perspectives on Ecological Niches (University of Münster, July 15-16, 2019)

Submitted by Rosa Trappes (University of Bielefeld).


Workshop: Philosophical perspectives on ecological niches

15-16 July 2019, University of Münster

The ecological niche is a key conceptual tool for capturing the intricate interactions between an organism and its environment. Within ecology, the niche is generally taken to comprise any environmental factors that determine the establishment or survival of a population. More recently, evolutionary biologists have argued that the way organisms construct their niches is an important evolutionary process. Finally, a number of ecologists, evolutionary biologists and behavioral biologists have argued that individuals may have niches that are subsets of the population niche.

The niche concept cries out for philosophical attention. Questions abound about the ontological status of niches, the way the niche concept is tied up with concepts of fitness and function, the implications of niche individualization, and much more. This workshop will open up a space for much needed philosophical attention to ecological niches and stimulate discussions of its implications for other areas in philosophy of biology and philosophy more generally.

This workshop is part of the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre “A Novel Synthesis of Individualisation across Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution: Niche Choice, Niche Conformance, Niche Construction (NC³)”.

External Speakers

Antoine C. Dussault (Collège Lionel-Groulx/Université du Québec à Montréal)

Alkistis Elliott-Graves (University of Helsinki)

Holger Schielzeth (University of Jena)

Alan C. Love (University of Minnesota)

James Justus (Florida State University)

Student bursaries

We offer a limited number of travel grants (up to 250 EUR for travel and accommodation) for students and PhD students. To apply, please include a brief letter of motivation and your CV with your registration.

Registration and further information

For more information, the full programme, and details on how to register, check the website.


Prof. Ulrich Krohs (University of Münster)
Behzad Nematipour (University of Münster)
Prof. Marie I. Kaiser (Bielefeld University)
Rose Trappes (Bielefeld University)