Contemporary biology covers an enormous spectrum, from research on basic cellular processes to predictions about the consequences of global change. But this spectrum is not always continuous: while there is abundant evidence that organisms can adapt to their natural environment, it is often not obvious what the underlying genetic, molecular and developmental processes are. Similarly, while we have an increasing appreciation for the complexities of population genetic events, the underlying ecological factors are often unclear. A major difficulty in answering these questions stems from the fact that many of these processes operate on different spatial and temporal scales. At the MPI for Biology Tübingen, we aim to bridge these different scales, by studying fundamental aspects of prokaryotic and eukaryotic biology both in the laboratory and in natural settings. To this end, we make use of approaches that range from biochemistry, cell and developmental biology to evolutionary and ecological genetics, functional genomics and computational biology.