Institute of Evolution and Ecology (EvE)

Oliver Bossdorf

Plant Evolutionary Ecology
Institute of Evolution & Ecology
University of Tübingen
Auf der Morgenstelle 5
D-72076 Tübingen, Germany

Phone: +49 7071 29-78809
oliver.bossdorf [at]

Research interests

I am a plant ecologist with a broad interest in ecological and evolutionary questions. I am intrigued by the variation that exists within species, the different underlying causes of it (phenotypic plasticity, maternal effects, genetic and epigenetic variation), and its relevance for basic and applied ecological questions. Currently, I mostly work on (1) rapid evolution in changing environments, (2) ecological epigenetics, (3) invasive plants, (4) plant microbe-interactions, or combinations thereof.

Recent main projects

  •  Evolutionary adaptation to global change in a key plant group (South African Proteaceae) (Hohenheim-Tübingen seed grant for joint Africa project, with Frank Schurr, since 2022)
  •  Ecology of the core microbiome in natural Lotus corniculatus populations (DFG SPP 2125, with Eric Kemen, 2019-2024)
  •  Effects of microbiome, host and pathogen genotype, and environment on the interaction between Pseudomonas isolates and plants (DFG SPP 2125, with Detlef Weigel, 2019-2024)
  •  ForGenDiv: The influence of forest management on genetic diversity of plant and animal species: a cross-species study (DFG SPP 1374, with Henri Thomassen, 2020-2024) 
  •  Evolution of plant defenses during a plant invasion (DFG, joint Sino-German research project, with Christina Richards and Bo Li, 2020-2023)
  •  Genomics and epigenomics of plant invasion (DAAD MOPGA-GRI, "Make Our Planet Great Again", MOPGA fellow Christina Richards, 2019-2023)


For a list of my publications, please check my Google Scholar profile.

Short CV

2024 - now
Dean of studies

BSc/MSc Geoecology

2019 - 2022
Department speaker

Department of Biology, University of Tübingen

2018 - 2019
Institute director

Institute of Evolution & Ecology, University of Tübingen

since 2013
Professor in Tübingen

Plant Evolutionary Ecology, University of Tübingen

2008 - 2013
Postdoc in Bern

Hans Sigrist Fellow and postdoc in the Plant Ecology group, Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Bern, Switzerland

2006 - 2007
Postdoc in Halle

Department of Community Ecology, UFZ Halle

2004 - 2006
Postdoc in the US

Pigliucci Lab, Stony Brook University

2001 - 2004
PhD in Environmental Sciences

Department of Community Ecology, UFZ Halle; Dr. sci. nat (with distinction) from University of Zurich

1993 - 2000
Diploma in Biology

Universities of Frankfurt and Jena, with longer stays in Lund and Silwood Park (UK)

born in Germany