The focus of my research is on plant-herbivore and plant-microbe interactions, chemical ecology and plant genetic diversity. During my PhD I will investigate the effects of intraspecific variation in functional traits on plant productivity and interactions between plants and associated organisms. My aim is to improve the knowledge on the mechanisms by which above- and belowground subsystems can be linked by intraspecific variation in plant populations. For this, I will use the widespread forage crop White clover (Trifolium repens L.) as model organism in greenhouse and field experiments. The experimental setup is based on the modification of populations composed of genotypes varying in their production of two chemical defence compounds (hydrogen cyanide, flavonoids). By linking the results of a tripartite experimental design I hope to assess detailed knowledge on the role of intraspecific functional diversity on ecosystem processes. This can provide an indication of the importance of preserving plant genetic diversity in agricultural and natural systems. I am also involved in projects of the EcoMetEoR platform of iDiv.
This project is funded by a personal Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) PhD fellowship.
Plant genetic diversity, plant interactions, intraspecific variation, chemical defence traits, herbivory, symbiosis, mycorrhiza, Trifolium repens, Rhizobia, hydrogen cyanide, flavonoids.
01/2019 – present
PhD Student in Molecular Interaction Ecology at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research Halle-Jena-Leipzig (iDiv), supervised by Prof. Dr. Nicole van Dam.
04/2018 – 12/2018
Research assistant at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research Halle-Jena-Leipzig (iDiv), Research group: Molecular Interaction Ecology (Project: EcoMetEoR).
10/2016 – 9/2018
Master in Biology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Halle, Germany.
Thesis: "Ecological consequences of intraspecific variation in a Trifolum repens L. defense trait on plant productivity under above- and belowground herbivory" at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research Halle-Jena-Leipzig (iDiv). Supervised by Prof. Dr. N. M. van Dam, Prof. Dr. H. Bruelheide and Dr. N. Adam.
12/2016 – 09/2017
Research assistant at the Department of Geobotany, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Halle, Germany, Research group: Systematics
10/2013 – 10/2016
Bachelor in Biology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Halle, Germany.
Thesis: "Morphological study of North African endemic and widespread oat grasses" (originally in German) at the Department of Geobotany, Systematics, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). Supervised by Prof. Dr. M. Röser and Dr. N. Tkach.
Friedrich Schiller University Jena