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PhD students

Alessandro Mainardi

Alessandro is working on the DFG funded project “Phenology of tropical tree species – environmental cues, molecular mechanisms, and consequences for plant-animal interactions”. Data collection will take place for three consecutive years from February to July in the Estación Científica San Francisco, located in Southern Ecuador at 30 km from Loja. Phenology and Genetics data will be analyzed in the Molecular Biology laboratory in Freiburg.

Bárbara Díez Rodríguez

Bárbara is working on the subproject “Natural DNA methylation variation in clonal and outcrossing European Populus nigra populations” in EpiDiverse since April 2018. In spring 2018, we planted a common garden with accessions of the clonal P. nigra italica from all over Europa, which we have epigenotyped using WGBS and phenotyped in the last two years.  Data analysis is now ongoing. Barbara is jointly supervised by Lars Opgenoorth and myself, and we closely collaborate with several groups in EpiDiverse – for example, Koen Verhoeven and Cristian Peña (NIOO Wageningen), and Oliver Bossdorf and Dario Galanti (EKUT).

Jill Sekely

Jill investigates local adaptation of Nothofagus pumilio along the latitudinal gradient in the Andes in Argentina. She started her PhD in January 2019 and is jointly supervised by Lars Opgenoorth and myself. The project is carried out in collaboration with colleagues from INTA Bariloche and is funded by the DFG. Fieldwork took place from January – April 2019 and 2020. Recently, we have received the SNP data which we generated by targeted sequencing of ~ 800 genes and data analysis is ongoing.

Melanie Zacharias

Melanie investigates local adaptation of Picea glauca at the University of Greifswald, and will carry out the analysis of genetic data under my co-supervision.


Dr. Sarina Thiel

Sarina completed her PhD in the DFG funded project on “Vertical stratification of plant-animal interactions and their impact on pollination and seed dispersal within a single Neotropical plant species” . She collected data at the Estacíon Bíologica Quebrada Blanco in the Peruvian Amazon from August – December 2018 and 2019.  The project is carried out in collaboration with Eckhard Heymann (DPZ Göttingen) and Marco Tschapka (Universität Ulm).

Current BSc and MSc students

Deborah Bertold (MSc thesis)

Effect of mowing and fertilization on phenology and nectar production of grassland species

Hanna Meier (MSc thesis)

Effect of fertilization on visitation rates, seed set and seed germination of grassland species

Past BSc and MSc students (since 2018)

Jan Lukas Vornhagen (MSc, 2021)

Vertical stratification of pollen dispersal distances in the neotropical liana species Marcgravia longifolia

Noah Boonman (L3, 2021)

Visitation rates of pollinators in a common garden experiment with grass sods from different land use types

Clara C. S. Souza (BSc, 2021)

Monitoring tree phenology with digital cameras in a tropical montane rainforest

Lea Leister (BSc, 2021)

The impact of reproductive state on the swarming activity of female Bechstein’s bats (Myotis bechsteinii) (in collaboration with Jannis Gottwald)

Jan Siebertz (MSc, 2021)

Camera-assisted observation of pollinators in in a common garden experiment with grass sods from different land use types

Jan Philipp Kappner (MSc, 2021)

Determinants of bark thickness in seven European tree species 

Narges Lieker (MSc, 2020)

Temporal variation of nectar quantity and quality in the Neotropical liana species Marcgravia longifolia

Lena Lerbs (BSc, 2020)

Differences in bud burst timing of Populus nigra ´Italica´ clones from different geographical origins in a common garden environment

Jaqueline Bienhaus (MSc, 2020)

The impact of shade on early fitness trait of beech seedlings (Fagus sylvatica) from contrasting habitats in the Kellerwald National Park (Germany)

Sven Wulle (BSc, 2020)

Bud set of Populus nigra cv. Italica Duroi clones collected along an environmental gradient in Europe

Jana Kroszewski (MSc, 2019)

Vertical stratification of seed dispersal by neotropcial frugivorous bats

Phillip Kaldewey (BSc, 2019)

Bud burst in clonal black poplars collected along a European gradient

Jan Lukas Vornhagen (BSc, 2018)

Bud burst of beech seedlings after differing drought stress experience from the previous year

Malika Gottstein (MSc, 2018)

Pollination and seed dispersal by bats in in the neotropical liana species Marcgravia longifolia

Cristina Garciagodoy (MSc, 2018)

Variation of fruit traits along a vertical gradient in a neotripical liana species

Helge Meischner (MSc, 2018)

Reaction of Fagus sylvatica seedlings from contrasting sites in a drought stress experiment

Johannes Lambertz (BSc, 2018)

Variation of specific leaf area across the distribution range of Norway spruce (Picea abies)

Collaboration partners

  • Veronica Arana (INTA Bariloche, Argentina)
  • Camilla Avanzi (University of Parma, Italy)
  • Nico Blüthgen (University of Darmstadt, Germany)
  • Oliver Bossdorf (University of Tübingen, Germany)
  • Augusta Cueva (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador)
  • David Donoso, Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Ecuador
  • María-José Endara (Universidad de las Américas, Ecuador)
  • Carlos Ivan Espinosa (UTPL, Ecuador)
  • Maximiliano Estravis Barcala (INTA Bariloche, Argentina)
  • Bruno Fady (INRA Avignon, France)
  • Tiziana Gelmi (German Primate Centre, Göttingen, Germany)
  • Nina Farwig (Philipps Universität Marburg)
  • Eckhard Heymann (German Primate Centre, Göttingen, Germany)
  • Frank Johannes (TUM, Germany)
  • Robert Junker (Philipps Universität Marburg, Germany)
  • Sascha Liepelt (Philipps University Marburg, Germany)
  • Paula Marchelli (INTA Bariloche, Argentina)
  • Thomas Nauss (Philipps Universität Marburg, Germany)
  • Lars Opgenoorth (Philipps Universität Marburg, Germany)
  • Andrea Piotti (National Research Council, Italy)
  • Stefan Rensing (Philipps University Marburg, Germany)
  • Ivan Scotti (INRA Avignon, France)
  • Marco Tschapka (University of Ulm, Germany)
  • Koen Verhoeven (NIOO, Netherlands)
  • Anna Vogeler (University of Ulm, Germany)
  • Melanie Zacharias (Universität Greifswald, Germany)
  • … and many more….

Dr. Katrin Heer
+49 6421 2823374