Our team

Team members in 2023Nadine Rühr, KIT
Prof. Dr. Nadine Rühr Nadine Ruehr - Professor
Nadine received her PhD from ETH Zurich with a focus on soil-plant-atmosphere interactions. She was awarded an Emmy Noether research group and became Professor of Climatic Ecophysiology at the Institute of Geography and Geoecology in 2022. In her research she integrates physiological, biogeochemical and ecological methods and modelling approaches across scales. She strives to understand mechanisms of tree and forest responses to extreme events, in order to improve forest resilience to climate change.
Dr. Rüdiger Grote Ruediger Grote - Senior Scientist
Rüdiger holds a PhD in Forestry from Göttingen University and received his habilitation on ‘Ecosystem Modelling’ from TU Munich. He has developed several ecosystem models that describe forest development based on plant-atmosphere exchanges and is an internationally known expert in simulating the emission of biogenic volatile organic compounds. His particular interest is in describing tree physiological responses to drought and their impacts on resource uptake, allocation, and senescence.
Peter Petrík Postdoctoral researcher Peter Petrík - Postdoctoral researcher
Peter studied Forestry and received a PhD in Forest Phytology from Technical University in Zvolen. His research revolves around forest ecosystems under climate change with a focus on abiotic stresses on tree physiology. He applies sapflow and eddy-covariance methods to analyse carbon and water fluxes of forest ecosystems, and uses a process-based model to to estimate forest water demand under changing climate and management scenarios.
Franklin Alongi Franklin Alongi - PhD student
Franklin studied Plant Biology at Montana State University, and is interested in resource allocation in response to environmental stress. During his PhD, Franklin conducts greenhouse experiments to explore carbon use and physiological mechanisms of stress response in a variety of European tree species.
Timo Knüver PhD student Timo Knüver - PhD student
Timo studied Geoecology at the University of Tübingen and is pursuing his PhD at the University of Innsbruck. His research addresses the drought recovery potential of Norway spruce and European beech trees. He studies drought hydraulic responses in mature trees and applies experiments under controlled conditions.
Selina Schwarz PhD student Selina Schwarz - PhD student
Selina studied Geoecology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Her research addresses environmental challenges through the application of remote sensing techniques. In her PhD she studies the impacts of recent summer droughts on European forests. She applies remote sensing and machine learning approaches to detect the environmental drivers of diffuse tree mortality.
Yanick Ziegler PhD student Yanick Ziegler - PhD student
Yanick studied Physics and Environmental Physics. He is interested in climate change responses of forests and investigates plant-water relations in the context of droughts. In his PhD, he is applying field and lab measurements as well as modelling approaches to determine the relationship between tree water status and growth processes.
PhD student Jana Zeppan Jana Zeppan - PhD student
Jana has a background in Environmental Sciences and Global Change Ecology. She is interested in the response of different tree species to heat and drought stress. During her PhD she studies the impacts of heat and hot drought on carbon and water dynamics, leaf temperature and the leaf energy balance of seedlings in greenhouse experiments.
Technician Andreas Gast Andreas Gast - Engineer
Andreas studied Environmental Engineering in Augsburg. He is responsible for all technical issues around our scientific greenhouse facility including measurement automation. He has in-depth experience in designing and building environmentally controlled plant chambers for automatic gas exchange measurements.
Technician Anna Sontheim Anna Sontheim - Technician
Anna studied Chemistry at the University of Heidelberg. She is responsible for the laboratory and has profound expertise in chemical analytics. She further supports experimental work in the greenhouse and plant cultivation.
Assistance Angelika Schwan Angelika Schwan - Group Assistance
Angelika studied Geoecology at the University of Braunschweig. Since August 2023 she is at IMKIFU as an assistance for the Plant Ecophysiology group, for example to accompany the onboarding process.
Dr. Ines Bamberger Postdoc – now at BayCEER
Dr. Elizabeth Gaona Postdoc – now in Cordoba
Dr. Benjamin Birami now Climate Protection Manager
Marielle Gattmann PhD Student – now Climate Change Manager
Dr. Romy Rehschuh now at TU Dresden
Dr. Rocco Pace now at Eurac Research, Institute for Renewable Energy, Bolzano (Italy)
Dr. Daniel Nadal Sala now at CREAF - "Ecological and Forestry Applications Research Centre" in Barcelona (Spain)
Andrea Jakab Lab technician – now in Switzerland
Dr. Andre Duarte MSc Student – now at U of Guelph, Canada
Mohitul Hossain MSc Student
Benedict Spaan MSc Student
Angelika Pointner MSc Student – now at DB Netz AG
Johanna Schnurr BSc Student
Tamara Wittmann BSc Student
Leon Dürbeck BSc Student


Mathis Giese, KIT Mathis Giese - Student Assistent
Mathis completed a voluntary ecological year (FÖJ) at IMKIFU and now works as a student assistant, supporting experiments in the greenhouse and contributing to data analysis.
Charlie Periane Charlie Periane y Rodriguez - Student Assistent
Charlie studies physics and is also in charge of the school forest project 'Schulwaldprojekt' at IMKIFU.