Institut für Evolution und Ökologie

Plant Ecology Group

A warm welcome to the Plant Ecology working group website, led by Prof. Dr. Katja Tielbörger! Here you can find information to our main research topics, our teaching, our staff, job announcements and news. Ms Tielbörger is also head of the Botanical Garden.

If you want to get us to know us better, join one of our regular group seminars which we have together with the Plant Evolutionary Ecology group! Here we're presenting our work and theses which give a great insight into the highly active and diverse range of research topics.

Enjoy exploring our working group website and feel free to contact anyone if you are interested in finding out anymore about any particular topics, or if you want to pay us a visit. We are highly encouraging in accepting new student thesis projects, as well as new ideas for PhD and post-doc possibilities.


13.07.2018 Our congratulations go to Clara Nesongano, who today successfully defended her PhD on effects of climate change, land-use and elevated CO2 on tree-grass interactions in southern African savannas.
07.05.2018 Congratulations to Anu, who scored the 3rd place for best student talk at PopBio 2018 in Innsbruck. Title of Anu's talk: "The role of biotic interactions in determining metal hyperaccumulation". Well done!
03.05.2018 A large delegation of our group currently visits the PopBio in Innsbruck. Have lots of fun and tons of good discussions!
17.04.2018 EvE Seminar - Updated program and time for SoSe 2018:
Presentations now take place Tuesdays at 12:00 (st!) in lecture hall N12. For exceptions and program details check the EvE seminar pages or follow @EvE_seminars on Twitter.
16.04.2018 This semester's EvE seminar starts with a guest of our group: Dr. Xavier Thibert-Plante from Umea University, Sweden, will give a talk about "Theoretical studies of ecology, evolution and speciation".
Please also note the new time slot of the EvE-Seminar: Tuesdays, 12h s.t. -13h, N12.


A very warm welcome to Maxi, who is (re-) joining the group as PostDoc in the DRIeR project.


After almost 9 years Mark is leaving the group and heads towards Namibia. We wish you all the best and thank you for all your great work as lecturer, supervisor and scientist and even more so for being great company!


Mark co-authored an article on responses of burrowing mammals to contrasting rangeland management. You can find it at the newly established Namibian Journal of Environment. The paper is a result of Mark's time in Namibia last year. Well done!


The Plant Ecology group wishes all students and colleagues a good start and a successful 2018!


Michal, Dorothee, Maja and Katja have a new article in Nature Communications on 'Decision-making in plants under competion', you can read the article here


The recently published article of Mark Bilton is receiving media interest. Congratulations Mark!
Here are some of the outlets that picked up the article: 1, 2, 3


A large delegation of the group is visiting this year's joint confrence of the GFÖ and BES in Ghent, Belgium. Have fun and we wish you many fruitful discussions!


Congratulations to Mark Bilton on his new article on long-term responses of climatic niche groups to experimental warming and drought. The article was published today in New Phytologist.


A very warm welcome to our guest Dr. Anje-Margriet Neutel from the British Antarctic Survey. Anje is a collaborator of Korinna and will be giving a talk on "Making sense of a multitude of feedbacks in ecological communities" within this week's EvE Seminar (Wednesday, 22nd of November). Welcome!


The new experiment within the HEDGE2 project on plant traits responses to common grassland management practices at Heuberger Tor is finally set up. In the last weeks 2880 pots were dug into the heavy soil and sown with 30 common grassland species. Ronja is very thankful for the help of everyone involved and is eagerly awaiting germination of seeds...


A warm welcome to Allan Kandjai from the Namibian University of Science and Technology. Allan is working in the OPTIMASS project and is visiting us for two weeks to work on his masters thesis. Welcome Allan!


We wish all students a good and fresh start for the winter term!


Jan Ruppert co-authored an article in Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment on drivers of important ecosystem services in West African savannas.


Jan returned after a very succesful site selection and workshop trip in Namibia held within the NamTip project.


We are currently offering a position for a Post-Doctoral Researcher in Ecology/Ecohydrology. For information about the position and application details, please refer here.


Katja and Cornelia returned from a highly successful series of stakeholder workshops in Jordan, Palestine, and Israel held within the CASCADE project.


We would like to welcome Korinna Allhoff, our new Assistant Professor. Korinna is an expert on modelling ecological networks. She has a particular interest on (long-term) responses of ecological networks to changing environmental conditions, such as global change or increasing rates of invasive species. Welcome!!


The CASCADE and NamTip consortia have picked up their work on these new projects during their respective Kick-Off meetings in Tübingen and Frankfurt, respectively. We are looking forward to a hopefully succesful pre-phase in both projects!


Welcome to Edwin Mudongo, a PhD student from Botswana. Edwin works on drought and grazing impacts on Savanna rangelands in South Africa and is co-supervised in our group.


More guests arrived: Again a very warm welcome to Dr. Madhur Anand from the University of Guelph, Canada. Dr. Anand is a renowed Global Change ecologist and will be spending her sabbatical with us and be around for 3 months.

Also a warm welcome to Thabang Maphanga, a Msc student from the Univeristy of Limpopo, South Africa, who is working on Smart Monitoring of Vegetation and will be staying for 2 months.


A very warm welcome to Dr. Cornelia Claus who has just joined our group! Cornelia will managing the CASCADE project. Welcome!


Michal's and Katja's project on 'Pavlovian conditioning in plants' is featured in the current issue of the Spiegel (20/2017) as well as on Spiegel Plus. Well done!


A large delegation of the group is attending the PopBio 2017, themed "Population Biology in a Changing World", in Halle/Saale this week. Enjoy!


Deeokjoo Son, a plant ecologist from Korea, will be visiting the our group in mid May for several weeks. If you are interested in meeting her, just let us know, or approach her in person.
Welcome Deeokjoo!


Three new students arrived: Maike Domogalla, Julia Fischer and Luzia Tiggemann are joinging the group for their respective theses - A warm welcome!


Jan Ruppert and Katja Tielbörger are part of a recently funded NamTip project within the BioTip call of the BMBF. NamTip investigates ecological tipping points in rangelands of Namibia and can, if successfully evaluated after the 1st year, lead into a longer project. The project is a cooperation of several German and Namibian research institutes.


Katja Tielbörger and a team of around 15 researchers from Germany, Belgium Palestine, Jordan, and Israel receive funding for transdiciplinary research. CASCADE addresses the multilateral relationship between biodiversity, climate change, and society, focusing on unwanted feedbacks in social-ecological systems (SES). If we are successfully evaluated after a one pre-year, we may be granted a larger project running for longer - Cross fingers!


Liesbeth vd Brink is off to Chile again. Safe journey!
Liesbeth is performing her PhD within the EarthShape project, studying biotic and abiotic controls of vegetation along Chile's climate gradient.


Ruichang Zhang successfully defended his PhD on intraspecific facilitation - Congratulations!


Maxi Herberich just got the first article from her PhD accepted in Ecological Modelling. Congratulations! Maxi works on an individual-based plant traits model.


New course: Botanik 2 (Flora und Vegetation Südwestdeutschlands)