Institute of Evolution and Ecology (EvE)

Jan C. Ruppert: Assistant Professor

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Research Interest

I am a plant ecologist with a strong interest in vegetation dynamics in dryland ecosystems. My research focuses on how biotic and abiotic features of the environment shape primary production, vegetation composition, and biodiversity as well as their role for an ecosystems’ stability towards disturbances and extreme events (e.g. grazing, drought; (Ruppert et al. 2015). In the past years, I have taken various perspectives ranging from global scale assembly studies (Ruppert et al. 2012, 2015) down to field scale analyses of plant functional types (Linstädter et al. 2014), functional traits (Moreno García et al. 2014) and ecosystem service provision (Guuroh et al. 2018). In my research, I have employed a diverse set of methodological approaches such as data-integration and meta-analysis based upon existing data, monitoring and sampling along natural gradients and as well as mechanistic field experiments (Limpopo Living Landscapes, NamTip). Recently, I have embraced the quickly emerging field of smart monitoring of vegetation via near-surface remote sensing as it holds various options to economize classically labor-intense field sampling without sacrificing accuracy or quality of obtained data. Thus far, I have gathered substantial hands-on experience in middle-european grasslands as well as grasslands and savannas of Southern Africa (South Africa, Namibia), and have visited North American as well as Israeli grass- and shrublands.

Current Projects

Further Information