A main focus of my research and that of my group is the role of biotic interactions in a changing world. If we want to draw reliable predictions on the response of plants to increasingly stressful and unpredictable environments we cannot do so without considering the effect of plant-plant, plant-soil biota and plant-pollinators interactions on overall fitness. Similarly, in order to understand the impact of invasive species in their introduced range we need to consider for example the effect of allelopathic interactions on native species and how these may have changed since the first time of introduction. By applying field and greenhouse experimental approaches and combining long term ecological research with experimental manipulations in the field we try to disentangle such effects. Our projects span over a large range of systems, from semi arid shrublands in Israel and Namibia to temperate ecosystems in Europe. We combine studies at the community level with single species observations and resort to methods lying at the intersection between different fields of research (such as molecular and chemical methods) in order to gain a better understanding on how plants work.
I am since 2012 the Director of the Botanical Garden of the University Tübingen.
2004- Professor for Plant Ecology, University of Tübingen
2000-2004 Research Assistant with F. Jeltsch, Dept. of Plant Ecology & Nature Conservation, University of Potsdam
1997-2000 Post-Doctoral Fellow with R. Bornkamm, Dept. of Ecology, Technical University Berlin
1997 Ph.D. with R. Kadmon, E.S.E.- Dept., Hebrew University of Jerusalem
1993 Diploma (Biology) with D. Podlech, Dept. of Plant Taxonomy, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich