|PostDoc||+34(0)976 369393||gil.romera[at]gmail.com||external||Avda Montañana-1005||E50080||Zaragoza|
|Technical assistant||+49(0)6421 2826665||froehlis[at]gmail.com||C2065||Karl-von-Frisch-Str.8||D35043||Marburg|
Prof. Dr. Lars Opgenoorth
I am a plant and evolutionary ecologist working on the adaptability of forests and high mountain environments. In my work I utilize a broad array of tools ranging from experimental ecology, genomics, (remote) sensing to biogography and paleoecology. I enjoy long days of field work as much as spending hours with data trying to understand how ecosystems deal with environmental changes. One focus of my work is how we humans have shaped the environment and what we can do to minimize detrimental effects and protect the planet’s biodiversity.
Dr. Martin Leberecht
I am a tree biologist working on trees in forests and urban environments. My interests are how trees react to environmental stresses and interactions with other organisms and how they maintain their mechanical and physiological stability. To study trees, I use a broad spectrum of methods, like arborist’s tree climbing techniques to access the canopy, arboricultural consultant’s methods to investigate tree structures and physiological methods to link structure and function. Currently I am working in the LOEWE project Natur 4.0. My goal is to investigate individual stress of beech and oak trees and their biomass production. Further I study food and microhabitat supply by trees to insects and birds, depending on the trees long- and short-term stress level.
Dr. Graciela Romero
My research is framed under Global Change science. In particular I address the study of long-term environmental change, as longer time scales enable us to observe how the Earth System has dynamically change, leading us to establish baselines for current disturbances. I pose myself questions linked to the relative roles of environmental change – abrupt climate change, human activities or other natural disturbances as fire – on Earth Systems processes and functionality. The main three aspects driving my research are: i) palaeoclimate reconstructions in sensitive areas to Global Change ii) quantitative analyses of the Earth Systems-human interaction in long temporal scales, with a particular stress on the system resilience and, iii) high resolution reconstruction of fire regimes.
Barbara Rodriguez, MSc
I am interested in plant adaptation and phenotypic plasticity, specifically tree adaptation to different environmental conditions. My current project is part of the EpiDiverse ITN and focuses on plant epigenetics. Epigenetic mutations can be induced by environmental conditions, suggesting that epigenetic mechanisms (i.e. DNA methylation) may play an important role in plant phenotypic plasticity and, potentially, adaptation. I use Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) techniques and bioinformatic tools to study the link between DNA methylation patterns of specific Populus nigra clones and phenotypic traits along European-scale geographic and climatological gradients.
Jill Sekely, MSc
I am a conservation biologist with a background in animal ecology, endangered species conservation, and most recently forest ecology and genetics. I am currently working on my PhD candidacy as part of the international DFG-funded project LocalAdapt. This project combines dendrophenotyping and genetic association studies to disentangle the interplay of genetics, phenotypes, and environmental variables. Specifically, I study a common tree species Nothofagus pumilio along the stunning Andes mountain range. It is possible I have spent a little too much time out in the woods. However, there is no better way to tackle my curiosity about climate change, the future of forest ecology, and human sustainability than to be a part of a working group like this one.
Mekbib Fekadu, MSc
I am a PhD student in the DFG research unit 2358 and work on the ecology and paleoecology of the vegetation of the Bale Mountains.
Yeshitla Merene Abebe, MSc
My Ph.D. dissertation is on the comparative biogeography of ground beetles of the Ethiopian Highlands. Based on a literature review I try to develop the database on the general biogeography of the Ethiopian ground beetles. My study in the lab focuses on morphology, taxonomy, phylogeography and comparative phylogenetics of the Ethiopian ground beetles with special emphasis on the afroalpine areas of the Bale Mts. and other volcanic mountains of Ethiopia.
Former group members
Dr. Isabelle Lesure
Isabelle is a bioinformatician working on genomics and transcriptomics of forest tree species. She was part of my working group in the framework of the GenTree and BEECHgenome projects working on beech genomics.
Dr. Katrin Heer
Katrin is an evolutionary ecologist and was a PostDoc as part of the TipTree project in my group. We have since been collaborating on a number of tree-adaptation related projects.
Dr. Joachim Schmidt
Joachim is as an entomologist and ecologist specialising in ground beetle taxonomy, phylogeny, ecology, and biogeography. Joachim has been working as a PostDoc in my team in the framework of the DFG research unit 2358 the past three years. Joachim has uncovered an enormous ground beetle diversity and utlizes this diversity in the Bale Mts of Ethiopia as a proxy to derive the paleoenvironment of these mountains. We have been working and will continue to do so on beetle phylogeography as a paleoecological tool for reconstructing landscape histories.
Dr. Sylvia Hofmann
works with the phylogeography, evolution and systematics of the herpetofauna and beetle fauna of High Asia, population genetics, effects of land-use change on biodiversity and genetic epidemiology. She has worked in my group in the framework of the DFG Research Unit Bale Mountains using ground beetles as a paleoecological landscape proxy.