About my research


Research in the drylands of South Africa

I am plant physiological ecologist and like very much to work outdoors in extreme environmental conditions.  Therefore I developed my interest for short-term acclimation and long-term adaptation of plants to changing environmental conditions in order to understand the impact of environmental conditions on basic physiological processes and their response to biotic and abiotic stresses. 

I studied biology at the Westfälische-Wilhelms Universität Münster with a focus on botany, zoology, microbiology and biochemistry. Already during my study time I got involved in plant ecophysiology. My diploma in biology I recievied from the Westfälische-Wilhelms Universität Münster and doctoral degree in plant ecology from the University of Hohenheim.

I spent many years in the Succulent Karoo (South Africa), the Namib desert (Nambia), the Negev (Israel) and other drylands to carry out long-term research projects on dryland ecology. Here, I studied photosynthesis, gas exchange, soil-plant interactions of desert plants as well the ecologcial functions of biological soil crusts.

Presently, the research focus is on ecophysiology and ecosystem processes in reclaimed ecosystems in the temperate zone of Europe and in drylands of South Africa. The research range from physiological processes inside the plants to studies on soil-plant and plant-atmosphere interactions within ecosystems. A key question is the integration of plant ecophysiology into ecosystem functioning. (Read more…)


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