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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. While previous research interests focused on the branching order of early diverging land plants and backbone phylogenies of deep splits using fast evolving DNA markers, current research proposals aim at the one hand at the evolution of morphological traits in a paleo-ecological context and at the other hand at species richness patterns and biodiversity assessments, including the application of DNA-barcoding (e.g. GBoL). Although the projects are situated in every major land plant lineage (angiosperms, monilophytes, mosses & liverworts) and are performed on every taxonomic level and spatial scale, two major radiations of land plants, eudicots and pleurocarpous mosses are of central interest. In both groups we observe an adaptive radiation that supposedly occurred simultaneously with enormous morphological changes that are, as we know now, often misinterpreted and only poorly understood in terms of their evolutionary history.



  • Bechteler, Dr. Julia (transciptomics, liverwort diversity and evolution)
  • Lehnert, Dr. Marcus (Fern diversity and evolution)
    currently at LMU Munich


Associated PostDocs

  • Harpke, Dr. Dörte (Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK))
  • Stoll, Dr. Alexandra (Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Zonas Áridas (CEAZA))


PhD students 

  • Merklinger, Felix (Population genetics of selected angiospem species in the Atacama desert)
  • Maul, Karola (Community phylogenetics of bryophyte assemblages along three tropical elevational gradients)
  • Testroet, Philip (TerraCode: DNA barcoding & ex-situ cultures of soil seed banks)



  • Hedke, Elke (Office at the Nees institute)


Technical Staff

  • Schütte, Claudia (GMO lab manager)


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