Dr Martha Paola Barajas Barbosa

Postdoctoral Researcher
Biodiversity Synthesis

Research interest


I am interested in plant diversity patterns and the role of the environment on their distribution across space. In my research, I work with floras of insular systems, such as oceanic islands, which are great systems for testing macroecological and macroevolutionary hypotheses and to link biodiversity to geodiversity. In my work at the Biodiversity Synthesis lab, I focus on assessing two main facets of biodiversity, taxonomic and functional diversity. Also, I am quite interested in the abiotic conditions that shape biotas, for this, I use geographical information systems and other geospatial technologies, like remote sensing products, to assess how the complexity of climate and topography affect biodiversity. 

Short CV


In Spring 2021 Dr.rer.nat Dissertation at University of Goettingen, Germany. Thesis topic: Plant diversity patterns on oceanic islands, using a functional diversity approach. At the Biodiversity, Macroecology & Biogeography Group. 

2016 M.Sc. in Geoecology at University of Potsdam, Germany. Thesis topic: Land cover change analysis in the Central Andes of Colombia to detect forest loss and mining activities using multispectral satellite images: RapidEye. At the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam.

2010-2011 Research assistant at the Research and Investigation Centre of the Geographic Institute Agustín Codazzi, Colombia. Project: Geographical distribution of Colombian Páramo ecosystem under future climate change. 

2009 B.Sc. in Biology at Pontifical Xavierian University, Colombia. Thesis topic: Distribution models of Bolivian dry forest and fern species since the Last Glacial Maximum. At Pontifical Xavierian University and University of Goettingen. 

Selected Publications


Barajas-Barbosa M.P. Weigelt P., Borregaard M.K. Keppel G., Kreft, H. (2020). Environmental heterogeneity dynamics drive plant diversity on oceanic islands. Journal of Biogeography. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13925.

Soria-Auza R. W., Kessler M., Bach K., Barajas-Barbosa M.P., Lehnert M., Herzog S. K., & Böhner J. (2010). Impact of the quality of climate models for modelling species occurrences in countries with poor

climatic documentation: a case study from Bolivia. Ecological Modelling, 221(8), 1221-1229.

iDiv publications


Barajas Barbosa, Martha Paola, Craven, Dylan, Weigelt, Patrick, Denelle, Pierre, Otto, Rüdiger, Díaz, Sandra, Price, Jonathan, Fernández-Palacios, José María, Kreft, Holger

(2023): Assembly of functional diversity in an oceanic island flora. Nature

Hanz, Dagmar M., Cutts, Vanessa, Barajas-Barbosa, Martha Paola, Algar, Adam, Beierkuhnlein, Carl, Collart, Flavien, Fernández-Palacios, José María, Field, Richard, Karger, Dirk N., Kienle, David R., Kreft, Holger, Patiño, Jairo, Schrodt, Franziska, Steinbauer, Manuel J., Weigelt, Patrick, Irl, Severin D. H.

(2023): Effects of climate change on the distribution of plant species and plant functional strategies on the Canary Islands. Diversity and Distributions

Cutts, V., Hanz, D. M., Barajas-Barbosa, M. P., Schrodt, F., Steinbauer, M. J., Beierkuhnlein, C., Denelle, P., Fernández-Palacios, J. M., Gaüzère, P., Grenié, M., Irl, S. D. H., Kraft, N., Kreft, H., Maitner, B., Munoz, F., Thuiller, W., Violle, C., Weigelt, P., Field, R., Algar, A. C.

(2023): Links to rare climates do not translate into distinct traits for island endemics. Ecology Letters

Hanz, D. M., Cutts, V., Barajas-Barbosa, M. P., Algar, A. C., Beierkuhnlein, C., Fernández-Palacios, J.-M., Field, R., Kreft, H., Steinbauer, M. J., Weigelt, P. and Irl, S. D. H.

(2022): Climatic and biogeographical drivers of functional diversity in the flora of the Canary Islands. Global Ecology and Biogeography

Spake, R., Barajas-Barbosa, M. P., Blowes, S. A., Bowler, D. E., Callaghan, C. T., Garbowski, M., Jurburg, S. D., Klink, R. v., Korell, L., Ladouceur, E., Rozzi, R., Viana, D. S., Xu, W.-B., Chase, J. M.

(2022): Detecting Thresholds of Ecological Change in the Anthropocene. Annual Review of Environment and Resources
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Puschstrasse 4
04103 Leipzig

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+49 341 9733254
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Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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