iDiv Sabbaticals

Interactions and scientific involvement of iDiv visiting scientists are central mechanisms which contribute to iDiv’s mission to be a leading biodiversity research centre. iDiv sabbatical researchers play an important role in contributing to the iDiv mission through their intellectual and social interactions, in which they share their vision, experience and passion for biodiversity research.

9th Call for Proposals

The pre-proposal deadline has passed.

This was an unusually competitive call, with 13 proposals, of which 7 have been invited to sumbit a full-proposal.

Important information and documents for those who have been invited are provided below.

Current iDiv Sabbatical Fellows

Prof Erik Hom

Hosted by Nicole van Dam (iDiv, FSU) / Molecular Interaction Ecology

Of Sloths and Franken-Lichens: Elucidating the Biodiversity, Chemical Ecology, and Physiology of Algal Polycultures

The sabbatical research will consist of 2 parts aimed at elucidating:

  1. the biodiversity and chemical ecology of the algae-containing sloth fur microbiome, and
  2. the chemical ecology and physiological responses of symbiotic partners in synthetic fungal-algal symbioses or “franken-lichens.”

With iDiv collaborators will be determined the chemical cues produced by algal polycultures derived from sloth fur that may shape sloth-arthropod interactions, and explored the theories to explain the unusually rich biodiversity associated with the sloth fur ecosystem. Also the capacity for franken-lichens to cryptically or cooperatively synthesize compounds as a holobiont will be investigated. The goal is to develop a more complete understanding of the mechanisms driving sloth ecology and microbiome diversity, as well as the early evolution, ecology, and phylogenetic breadth of plant-microbe symbioses.

Future iDiv Sabbatical Fellows

Prof Cynthia Chang

Hosted by Stan Harpole (UFZ, iDiv, MLU) / Physiological Diversity

Placing ecological succession in applied global change and restoration context
The goal of this project is to place succession theory in context with applied ecology research, critical in this time of rapid global change. A synthesis study will be explicitly comparing community change patterns between long-term natural succession studies to restoration and global change experiments. First, a database of long-term natural succession studies will be built and this research will be synthesized to understand community change patterns across disturbance types and severity. Explicitly these community responses will be compared to those found in restoration and global change studies.

Past iDiv Sabbatical Fellows

Name (Affiliation)

Research project



Priyanga Amarasekare (University of California Los Angeles)

A framework for biodiversity maintenance: scaling up from modules to communities



Prof Stephanie Bohlman (University of Florida)

Linking biodiversity and demography through remote sensing of trait tradeoffs



Prof Douglas Chesters (Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Phylogenetic integration of insect community data


download (PDF)

Prof David Currie (University of Ottawa)

A continental theory of biogeography: predicting geographic variation in species richness and range size


download (PDF)

Prof Rodolfo Dirzo (Stanford University)

Research on plant-herbivore interactions under climate change and collaborations on biodiversity science



Prof Robert Dunn (NC State University)

The Global Biogeography of Microbes and Mutualists Associated with Humans



Prof Benjamin Gilbert (University of Toronto)

Project 1 – Neutrality, Demographic stochasticity and ecological drift

Project 2 – Local interactions, Regional constraints, and multiple stable states


download (PDF)

Prof Lenore Fahrig (Carleton University)

Dissecting SLOSS: Why are there more species in several small than few large patches?


download (PDF)

Prof Angélica González (Rutgers University)

Understanding the interactive effects of temperature and nutrients on ecological processes: a meta-analysis


download (PDF)

Prof Christopher Klausmeier (Michigan State University)

Synthesizing Trait-Based Ecological Theory



Prof Jeremy Lichstein (University of Florida)

Plant functional diversity and forest ecosystem stability: insights from dynamic vegetation models



Prof Elena Litchman (Michigan State University)

Trait-based community patterns in microbes


download (PDF)

Fernando T. Maestre (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos)

Climate change impacts on dryland soil biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions from local to global scales



Prof George Perry (University of Auckland)

Reconstructing movement and emergent ecological functions for extinct animals



Prof Malin Pinski (Rutgers University)

Community response to changing temperatures  across marine, freshwater, and terrestrial realms


download (PDF)

Prof Patti Vitt (Chicago Botanic Garden)

Phylogenetic Endemism, Functional Trait Diversity and Conservation Status in the Orchidaceae: a Global Synthesis



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