Exobasidium sp. auf Cassiope tetragona in Svalbard.

Research topics

Fungi are everywhere and contribute to the biodiversity of all terrestrial ecosystems with various ecological functions. They form symbiotic interactions with most plants, may act as parasites of plants and animals or serve as key players in decomposition. Large parts of their biodiversity is still unknown and for some groups we may not know more but the tip of the iceberg. Many habitats are still heavily under sampled. Thus, field work and students training in fungal biodiversity are basic to our research. We are mainly concentrating on Europe, South Africa and Ecuador at the moment. Our organismic focus is in the smuts, rusts and soil yeasts. Beside the overall phylogeny we are mainly interested in the parasite-host interaction and their joint evolution.

Ongoing projetcs

  • DFG-Project: Ecology of endophytic fungi
  • Project: Evolution of mating genes in Ustilaginales
  • Project: Host specificity in the genus Microbotryum
  • DFG-Project: Seasonal changes in soil yeast communities
  • DFG-Project: Population genetics of Ravenelia spp.
  • Phylogeny of Caryophyllaceae
  • inSTUDIES: Teaching for competence
  • inSTUDIES: What´s Life? Learning by research