Mission and Aims

Measuring and understanding photo-synthesis and dynamic shoot traits from single leaves to the ecosystem. We aim to improve our scientific (biological) understanding of plant shoot functioning and dynamic shoot traits from the leaf to the canopy, which will provide the basis to optimize plant production.

Our special focus is on:

  • understanding of the regulatory properties of photosynthesis and non-photochemical protection,
  • further developing the methodology and scientific understanding on the mechanistic link between vegetation fluorescence and environmental constraints
  • quantitatively explore the mechanisms that connect plant water relations, photosynthetic carbon gain, transpiration and the dynamics in shoot architecture developing and adapting advanced approaches of data analysis in plant sciences

For this we use and further develop non-invasive phenotyping and remote sensing methods that are suited to span the scale from single plant organs to the ecosystem. Special expertise is on fluorescence techniques, which include active and passive fluorescence approaches covering a wide spectral range. Fluorescence and hyperspectral methods are complemented by thermal as well as molecular and biochemical approaches. We apply our manual and automated methods from the level of single leaves and plants in the laboratory or greenhouse to the canopy and field scale and finally in the frame of the FLEX satellite mission to the globe. We use advanced statistical methods, modelling approaches and machine learning methods to retrieve novel plant traits and to predict plant behavior in times of global change.

The group is guided by four senior researchers (Prof. Uwe Rascher, Prof. Ribana Roscher, PD Shizue Matsubara and Dr. Onno Muller) along 4 subtopics outlined below. Currently five postdocs, ten PhD students and an interdisciplinary team of engineers, technicians, field assistants and students are working in this research group, which spans the spatial scales from the leaf to the field, where fluorescence techniques are the main approach and which is funded and inspired by various national and international research projects and cooperations.

Last Modified: 09.01.2023