Dr. Martin Ebner, Dipl.-Biol. Dipl.-Geol.

Lecturer / Scientist

Room S308c
Hölderlinstr. 12
72074 Tübingen

Tel.: +49 (0)7071 / 2977552
Email: martin.ebnerspam

Research gate
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Fields of Interest

  • Soil-plant-atmosphere interactions through time
  • Biomimetics: nature inspired technologies for economization and recovery of water
  • Dynamics of seagrass beds and reef ecosystems
  • Particle fluxes trough waterbodies and the airspace  
  • Reconstruction of land use history and its effect on biogeochemistry of catchments

Scientific Projects

Since 2021 Fog Plant Oasis

This project comprises three phases: 1 Studying the fog-plants of the Namib Desert; 2) Studying the fog-plants of the Atacama Desert; 3) The third phase of the project aimed a larger project comparing the two deserts, looking for convergences between the plants and the environment linked to them. (Biological coordinator).
Our project idea assumes that fog harvesting plants initiate the succession of mini ecosystems in deserts by modifying the abiotic environment to their favor, and thereby also build niches for other organisms. Such fog plant oases (FPOs) evolved independently from each other in the coastal deserts of the Namib and the Atacama under similar abiotic boundary conditions. The isolation of communities during landscape evolution or climatic change exerts selection pressure on populations. We assume that long lasting evolutionary pressure from at least 35 Ma towards hyper arid and foggy conditions not only led to convergent adaptions of individual species but also similar structures of entire ecosystems. FPOs run at spatially well-defined boundary conditions and are therefore very interesting objects for ecosystem research. The organisms forming FPOs emanated from phylogenetic stocks which have been separated from each other since the breakup of Gondwana about 120 Ma ago.
We hypothesize that fog plants not only act as traps for water but also for mineral dust and detritus, thereby modifying the substrate and atmosphere conditions in their vicinity. Consequently, the plant water budget improves. Plant growth on the other side set the stage for the formation of an entire relatively closed ecosystem which runs within a hostile desert environment. During this succession, the substrate gets consolidated and biogeochemical carbon and nitrogen cycles are established within the FPOs. New niches arise during the formation of the FPOs which promote increasing biodiversity and biotic interactions, especially in the belowground compartment. The knowledge about ecosystem structure and functioning can be applied for the establishment of sustainable man-made oases. 

2018-2021 - AiF 19808 N «Textiler Feuchtetransfer» – Biomimetisch-simulationsbasierte Textilstrukturen für neuartige Lösungen zur Feuchteverdunstung, -kondensation und -versorgung von Pflanzen im Gewächshausgartenbau (Biological coordinator)

Goal: Im Projekt entwickeln die DITF und die Projektgruppe „Funktionelle Morphologie und Biomimetik“ der Universität Tübingen biomimetisch-simulationsbasiert Textilstrukturen für neuartige Lösungen zur Feuchteverdunstung, -kondensation und -versorgung. Dabei werden von der Natur optimierte Funktionsprinzipien auf Textilstrukturen übertragen. Deren Funktion wird anhand von Szenarien im Wachstumsmarkt des Urbanen Gartenbaus validiert. Die Entwicklung erfolgt dabei komplett– im Sinne von Industrie 4.0 – digitalisiert, branchenübergreifend und anforderungsgetrieben mittels Systems Engineering

07/2014 – 07/2016 -  Naturacampus 1904 - Development of smart packaging based on analyzes of water sensitive surfaces of Brazilian bromeliads (Collaborator)

Goal: PostDoc Project accomplished between University of Tuebingen, Department of Geosciences in collaboration with Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Department of Arts and Design. The purpose of this of project was study the mechanisms of water collection of bromeliad scales, and transfer this ability to the production of eco-packaging

11/2008 – 11/2012 -Energieautarker Flüssigkeitsferntransport mit faserbasierten Systemen (Collaborator)

Goal: This project had the objective of transferring the morphological and physiological characteristics of the capillaries and vessel elements of lianas, for the production of artificial water transport systems

03/2008 – 11/2012- 3D Bio Filter (Post Doc Project) 

Goal: The aim of this project was the eco physiological study and analyzing of the leaf surface of Stipagrostris sabulicola, species of Poaceae endemic of the Namib desert. The results were used to produce an efficient filter able to generate potable water through mist filtration


  • Biology for Geoscientists- BSc course University Tübingen (winter term)
  • Paleontology / Micropaleontology- BSc course University Tübingen (winter term)
  • Geo-ecological Field Practical "Vorarlberg" in Austria- BSc course University Tübingen (summer term)
  • Supervision of Bachelor- and Master theses


08/2023 – 09/2023    - Expedition to the Atacama Desert to look for plants adapted to fog harvesting, met new scientific partners at the University of Concepcion and Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. We looked for places in the Atacama Desert similar to the Namib Desert, as well as getting to know and working at the Alto Patache station in the northern part of the Atacama Desert.  
08/2022 – 09/2022 Expedition to Namib Desert, for the development of the Fog Plant Oasis Project (Part 1)  
09/2009 - 12/2009 and 10/2010 - 12/2010 Namib Desert, development of the BMBF 3D Bio Filter Project. The material developed won the Techtextil 2011 award (  
06/2001 – 09/2001       Soil science, botanical and forestry excursion to the taiga and steppe zones on Lake Baikal.  
03/2001 – 05/2001       Geological diploma mapping in the Upper Maquiné Valley, Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil.  

Curriculum Vitae

Since 2015

Lecturer and Scientist at the Geoscience Department (University of Tübingen)

2013 – 2014

Representative for the professorship in the Department Micropaleontology -Geowissenschaft University of Tübingen

11/2011 – 4/2013

Free Scientist 

Lecturer in Geosciences, University of Tuebingen

Work contract with the Universal Museum Joanneum / Graz for the reconstruction of ecosystem dynamics in forests of western Amazonia during Miocene

Participation in a research initiative of the Institute for Water & Earth System Science (WESS)

Employee at the program of the Exploratories in the biosphere region "Swabian Alb"

BMBF-Referent an der Biomimetik-Konferenz ISNIT (International Symposium of Nature Inspired Technology) in Korea

5/2008 – 11/2011

Post-Doc at the Institute of Geosciences of the University of Tübingen in the context of the BMBF project "3-D Biofilter": Bionic design of textiles for the separation of aerosols after the model of fog-combing plants

9/2005 – 12/2008

Owner of the company „Bioscreen-Pollenanalytik“ 

11/2005 – 5/2008

Coordinator of the degree program Geoecology & Ecosystem Management and lecturer at the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Tuebingen

05/2002 – 11/2005 

Dissertation in Geosciences - Geoecology at the University of Tuebingen in cooperation with the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (URFGS), Porto Alegre, Brazil: Development of a pollen-analytical monitoring system for the characterization of ecological units in the area of the southern Brazilian Mata Atlântica

10/2001 – 05/2002

Certified Research Assistant at the University of Tuebingen, Biogeology: Research in the Pró-Mata Forest Reserve (Brazilian coastal rainforest Mata Atlantica)

11/2000 – 02/2001

Scientist (BAT 3/5) at the University of Tuebingen, Institute of Microbiology & Biotechnology: Laboratory work for the molecular genetic study of antibiotic-producing soil bacteria

10/1992 – 10/2000

Double degree Biologie (Diplom)and Geologie (Diplom) at Universitaet Tuebingen, Major fields of study:

Biology: botany, microbiology, ecology 

Geology: paleobotany, soil science, climatology

Geology Diploma Thesis: Testing a probe to study the biomass in the groundwater of a former gasworks site


Journal Publications

Huei Ying Gan, Karin Hohberg, Clément Schneider, Martin Ebner, Eugene Marais, Tatiana Miranda, Ricarda Lemitz, Gillian Maggs-Kölling, Hervé Bocherens (2023). The Hidden Oases: Unveiling Trophic Dynamics in Namib's Fog Plant Ecosystem, PREPRINT (Version 1) available at Research Square []

Martin Ebner, Elena Marinova, Annett Junginger, Tatiana Miranda, Shaddai Heidgen (2023) Naturraum-und Landschaftsgenese im Ammertal und im Oberen Gäu. In book: Gold im Ammertal – Das Ende der Steinzeit im Raum Tübingen pages 25-41 

Karin Hohberg, Huei Ying Gan, Tatiana Miranda, Clément Schneider, Gillian Maggs Kölling, Eugene Marais, Ricarda Lemitz, Hervé Bocherens & Martin Ebner (2023), natur • forschung • museum NEBEL FÄNGER IN DER NAMIB (2023), Das Senckenberg Wissenschaft Magazine, Band 153 Heft 7 -9 2023,

Anita Roth-Nebelsick, Wilfried Konrad, Martin Ebner, Tatiana Miranda, Sonja Thielen, James H Nebelsick (2022). When rain collides with plants — patterns and forces of drop impact and how leaves respond to them, Journal of Experimental Botany, erac004. 

Konrad Wilfried, Roth-Nebelsick Anita, Kessel Benjamin, Miranda Tatiana, Ebner Martin, Schott Rena and Nebelsick James H. (2021). The impact of raindrops on Salvinia molesta leaves: effects of trichomes and elasticity, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 182021067620210676. 

Ingmar  Werneburg, Anna  Krahl,  Andreas  T.  Matzke, Henrik  Stöhr, Tatiana  Miranda,  Annett  Junginger, Hartmut  Schulz,  Martin  Ebner, Sibylle  Wolf, Agnes  Fatz, Madelaine Böhme (2021). Denkschrift zur Bedeutung und zum Zustand der Senckenberg-verwalteten Paläontologischen Sammlung an der Eberhard-Karls-Universität in Tübingen, anno 2021, nebst einem Konvoluten-Inventar ihrer Petrefakte, ihres Literaturbestandes sowie einer möglichen Zukunftsperspektive zum Erhalt und zur Erschließung derselben. 

Miranda, T., Roth-Nebelsick, A., Junginger, A., Ebner, M. (2020). Habitat conditions, spatial distribution and trichome morphology of different species of Tillandsia growing on trees on the Ilha Grande Island, Brazil, Flora, Volume 272, 2020, 151692,

Heidgen, S., Marinova, E., Krauß, R., Nelle, O., Ebner, M., Märkle, T., Miranda, T., Bofinger, J., Klingler, S., Junginger, A. (2020). Palaeoenvironment and potential resources for early Holocene subsistence in the Ammer River Valley (Germany) based on palaeoecological and bioarchaeological evidence, Quaternary International, Volumes 560–561,2020,Pages 259-272,

Ebner, M., Poli, F., Keil, R., Radtke, R. & Miranda, T. (2020). Die Epiphyten in den Baumkronen des brasilianischen Küstenregenwaldes als Modelle zur Gewinnung und Einsparung von Wasser. In: Werneburg I., Betz O. Phylogenie, Funktionsmorphologie und Bionik. Schriften zum 60. Phylogenetischen Symposium in Tübingen. Scidinge Hall Verlag Tübingen, 332 Seiten. ISBN: 978-3-947020-10-2

Crazzolara, C., Ebner, M., Platis, A., Miranda, T., Bange, J., Junginger, A. 2019. A new multicopter based unmanned aerial system for pollen and spores collection in the atmospheric boundary layer. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 12, 1581-1598. doi: 10.5194/amt-2018-305

Böhme, M., Spassov, N., Ebner, M., Geraads, D., Hristova, L., Kirscher, U., Kötter, S., Linnemann, U., Prieto, J., Roussiakis, S., Theodorou, G., Uhlig, G., Winklhofer, M. 2017. Messinian age  and savannah environment of the possible hominin Graecopithecus from Europe. PLoS ONE 12(5):e0177347. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0177347

Konrad, W., Burkhardt, J., Ebner, M., RothNebelsick,A. 2014. Leaf pubescence as a possibility to increase water use efficiency by promoting condensation. Ecohydrology 8(3). doi:10.1002/eco.1518

Rasser, W.M., Bechly G., Böttcher R., Ebner M., Heizmann E.P.J., Höltke O., Joachim C., Kern A.K., Kovar-Eder J., J. H. Nebelsick, Roth-Nebelsick A., Schweigert G., R. R. Schoch, Ziegle. 2013. The Randeck Maar: Palaeoenvironment and habitat differentiation of a Miocene lacustrine system. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology  392: 426-453., doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2013.09.025

Miranda, T., Ebner, M., Traiser, C., Roth Nebelsick, A. 2013. Diurnal pattern of stomatal conductance in the large-leaved temperate liana Aristolochia macrophylla depends on spatial position within the leaf lamina. Annals of Botany 05/2013; 111(5):905-15., DOI:10.1093/aob/mct061

Nørgaard, T., Ebner, T., Dacke, M. 2012. Animal or Plant: Which Is the Better Fog Water Collector?. PLoS ONE 7(4): e34603., doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034603

Voigt, D., Roth-Nebelsick, A., Miranda, T., Ebner, M., Gorb. S. 2012. Visualization of small water droplets on surfaces with different degree of wettability by using cryo-scanning electron microscopy. Journal of Advanced Microscopy Research 7(1):1-4., doi:10.1166/jamr.2012.1091

Roth-Nebelsick A., Ebner M., Miranda T., Gottschalk V., Voigt D., Gorb S., Stegmaier T., Sarsour J., Linke M., Konrad W. 2012. Leaf surface structures enable the endemic Namib desert grass Stipagrostis sabulicola to irrigate itself with fog water. Journal of The Royal Society Interface 9(73):1965-74., doi:10.1098/rsif.2011.0847

W. Konrad, M. Ebner, C. Traiser, A. Roth-Nebelsick 2011 Leaf Surface Wettability and Implications for Drop Shedding and Evaporation from Forest Canopies. Pure and Applied Geophysics 05/2011; 169(5):835-845., doi:10.1007/s00024-011-0330-2

Ebner M., Miranda T., Roth-Nebelsick A. 2011. Efficient fog harvesting by Stipagrostis sabulicola (Namib dune bushman grass). Journal of Arid Environments 75(6):524-531., doi:10.1016/j.jaridenv.2011.01.004

W. Konrad, M. Ebner, C. Traiser, A. Roth-Nebelsick. 2010. Fog, plant leaves and deposition of droplets. 5th International Conference on Fog, Fog Collection and Dew, Münster, Germany, 25–30 July 2010, FOGDEW2010-143

Ebner, M., Miranda, T.,  Roth-Nebelsick, A. 2010. Fog harvest by Stipagrostis sabulicola as a survival strategy to overcome water stress on sand dunes of the hyperarid Namib Desert. Gobabeb Newsletter 1/2010.

Miranda, T., Ebner, M., Solé, M., Kwet, A.2006: Spatial, seasonal and intra polulational variation in the diet of Pseudis cardosoi (Anura-Hylidae) from the araucaria Plateau of Rio Grande do Sul. South American Journal of Herpetology 1(2):121-130., doi:10.2994/1808-9798(2006)1[121:SSAIVI]2.0.CO;2

Miranda, T., Ebner, M., Solé, M., Kwet, A. 2005. Estimativa populacional de Pseudis cardosoi (Anura: Hylidae), com emprego de método fotográfico para reconhecimento individual.  Biociencias 13(1): 49-54

Ebner, M. 2005. Entwicklung eines Monitoringverfahrens auf pollenanalytischer Basis zur Charakterisierung ökologischer Einheiten im Bereich der südbrasilianischen Mata Atlântica und Rekonstruktion der Vegetationsgeschichte des Pró-Mata Gebietes. 2005, Degree: Dr. rer nat, Supervisor: Prof. Dr.Volker Mosbrugger, PD Dr. Anita Roth-Nebelsick, DOI:10.13140/RG.2.2.16491.59687

Book Chapters

Ebner, M., Poli, F., Keil, R., Radtke, R. &  Miranda, T. In press. Die Epiphyten in den Baumkronen des brasilianischen Küstenregenwaldes als Modelle zur Gewinnung und Einsparung von Wasser. In: Werneburg I., Betz O. (2020). Phylogenie, Funktionsmorphologie und Bionik. Schriften zum 60. Phylogenetischen Symposium in Tübingen. Scidinge Hall Verlag Tübingen, 332
Seiten. ISBN: 978-3-947020-10-2

Ebner M., Roth-Nebelsick A., Miranda, T., Lopes J., Belmonte S., Coreixas Kuroki I., Kuroki I. 2013. Bromelias Bromeliads. 3D Technologies: Unveiling the past, shaping the future, 1. edited by Jorge Lopes, Antonio Brancaglion Jr, Serg io AlexAzevedo, Heran Werner Jr., chapter Bromelias Bromeliads: pages 132-139; Lexicon., ISBN: 978-85-8300-003-7

Conference Proceedings

Miranda, T. , Junginger A., Harter-Marques, B., Cardoso, N., Engels, W., Radtke, R., Ebner, M. Flowering pattern of epiphytic orchids in rainflorests of the Planalto das Araucárias in Southern Brazil. 9° Deutsch-Brasilianisches Symposium - 15-17/09/ 2019 - University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart -Book of Abstracts.

Thielen, S. M., Ebner, M., Miranda, T., Nebelsick, J. H., Roth-Nebelsick, A. (2019). Moss-water interactions: Effects of dehydration and hydration on moss surface structures. Poster presentation at the joint conference of the International Association of Bryologists, the International Molecular Moss Science Society and the Sociedad Española de Briología,9-12/07/2019 Madrid, Spain. 

Thielen, S. M., Ebner, M., Miranda, T., Nebelsick, J. H., Roth-Nebelsick, A. (2019). From dry to wet: How moss surface structures interact with water. Oral presentation at the Society for Experimental Biology's Annual Meeting, 2-5/07/2019 Sevilla, Spain.

Miranda, T., B, Harter-Marques, B., Junginger, A., Cardoso, N., Engels, W.,  Ebner, M. 2018. Diversity and flowering time of epiphytic orchids on the Araucaria Plateau border, Southern Brazil. I Simpósio Pró-Mata, Porto Alegre, Brazil; 11/2018

Crazzolara, C., Platis, A., Bange, J., Junginger, A., Ebner, E., Miranda, T. 2017 EMS2017-549 First results on the concentration of biogenic airborne particles in the. EMS Annual Meeting Abstracts, Dublin, Ireland; 01/2017

Ebner M., Miranda T., Konrad W., Roth-Nebelsick A. 2012. The Namib desert dune grass Stipagrostis sabulicola as a model for the development of effective fog collectors. International symposium of nature inspired technology. Proceedings of the isnit, Kangwon- South Corea 01/2012

Roth-Nebelsick A., Miranda T., Ebner M. 2011. Efficient fog harvesting by Stipagrostis sabulicola (Namib dune bushman grass). 5th International Conference on Fog, Fog Collection and Dew 07/2011

Roth-Nebelsick, A., Ebner, M., Voigt, D.,  Gottschalk, V., Konrad, W. 2011. Self-irrigation by fog collection: lessons from plant structures. International Botanical Congress 2011, Melbourne Congress and Exhibition Centre 07/2011

Rasser, M., Böttcher, Ebner, M.,  Göhringer, F., Höltke, O., Joachim, C., Kovar-Eder, J., Nebelsick J., Roth-Nebelsick, A., Schoch, R., Schweigert , G., Ziegler, R. 2011. Das Randecker Maar: neue Ergebnisse zur Rekonstruktion eines miozänen Lebensraums. J. Jahrestagung der paläontologischen Gesellschaft 01/2011

Ebner M., Traiser C., Miranda T., Roth-Nebelsick. 2010. Die Epiphytendiversität der brasilianischen Mata Atlantica als Ideenpool für die Bionik Patente aus der Natur. 4. Bionik-Kongress in Bremen,  07/2010

Rasser, M., Böttcher, Ebner, M., Göhringer F, Höltke O., Joachim C., Kovar-Eder J., Nebelsick J.H., Roth-Nebelsick A., Schoch R., Schweigert G., Ziegler R.: Neues vom Randecker Maar. Treffen Paläontologische Gesellschaft, München; 01/2010

Ebner, M., Konrad, W., Roth-Nebelsick, A. 2010 Fog, plant leaves and deposition of droplets. 5th International Conference on Fog, Fog Collection and Dew, Copernicus Meetings and University of Münster, Institute for Landscape Ecology Climatology 01/2010

Ebner, M., Ebner, S.,  Mosbruger, V. Die Vegetation im Araukarien-Schutzgebiet Pró-Mata einst und jetzt im Spiegel der Pollen-Analyse. Naturräume Brasiliens - im Spannungsfeld zwischen biologischer Vielfalt und industrieller Entwicklung, Tübingen 07/2008