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Biodiversity & Evolution - AG Quandt

The colonization of terrestrial habitats by land plants was accompanied by several radiation waves that resulted in a plethora of adaptations in order to exploit earth different habitats through time.

Research projects are situated in every major land plant lineage (i.e. angiosperms, monilophytes, lycophytes, hornworts, mosses & liverworts) and are performed on every taxonomic level and spatial scale. In any case we observe adaptive radiations with enormous morphological changes that are, as we know now, often misinterpreted and only poorly understood in terms of their evolutionary history.

A major focus of previous research concerned the branching order of early diverging land plants and backbone phylogenies of deep splits using fast evolving DNA markers.

Current research interests, however, aim e.g. at the evolution of morphological traits in a paleo-ecological context or at species richness patterns and biodiversity assessments, including the application of DNA-barcoding (e.g. BIO-GEEC, GBoL).

At the moment projects drift into exploring more recent adaptations, such as the biogeographic history of desert dwellers, population genetics and transcriptomics (e.g. CRC1211).


For further information on current projects please visit:



  • Bechteler, Dr. Julia (transciptomics, liverwort diversity and evolution)
  • de Souza Pereira, Dr. Jovani B. (lycophyte evolution, DAAD)

Associated Researchers


PhD students 

  • Ferchichi, Khaoula (Population genetics of selected desert species (CRC1211))
  • Ivantsiv, Olha (Bioindication, DBU)
  • Maul, Karola (Community phylogenetics of bryophyte assemblages along three tropical elevational gradients (3transects)
  • Mbulu, Rosa Stella (Population genetics B6 (CRC1211)
  • Morales, Paloma (Desert transcriptomics: assessing the genetic basis of adaptation to aridity in desert dwellers (CRC1211))
  • Testroet, Philip (DNA barcoding & ex-situ cultures of soil seed banks (TerraCode))



  • Friesecke, Elke (Office at the Nees institute)


Technical Staff

  • Schütte, Claudia (GMO lab manager)
  • Maul, Karola (TA)

Former Lab Members



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