Our research

A fundamental understanding of tree responses to environmental cues is necessary to address climate change impacts. Forests critically influence the Earth's climate and cycle large quantities of carbon and water, yet trees are increasingly at risk through an amplification of extreme climatic events.

We address tree and forest resilience to climate change and extreme climatic events, in particular heat and drought stress. Our research provides process knowledge to predict and guide the potential of forests in mitigating climate change. We combine controlled experiments, observational studies and ecosystem modelling approaches. We teach undergraduate and graduate students in process-based ecological research, as well as provide knowledge transfer into schools and society.

Group members in front of the greenhouse after tidying up

 Prof. Dr. Nadine Rühr doing experiments in the greenhouse at IMK-IFU

The greenhouse at KIT-Campus Alpin in front of the Alpspitze

Biomass samples in front of the IMK-IFU greenhouse

PhD student measuring chlorophyll content during a hot drought stress experiment in the greenhouse at IMK-IFU

Two people working in the lab at IMK-IFU

Winter trees in front of the greenhouse at IMK-IFU

PhD student examines the experimental trees in the greenhouse at IMK-IFU


Two scientists in the background of glass chambers with young trees in the greenhouse at IMK-IFUAmadeus Bramsiepe, KIT
Open position: Research scientist in forest resilience to climate change

We are recruiting a new colleague to contribute to our research in the field of forest functioning in climate change.

Get more information
Group of team members in front of a treeNadine Rühr, KIT
Group retreat 2023

During our group retreat, we planned research ideas for the coming year and defined our team values.

Dry spruce trees due to bark beetle infestation and drought in a forest in LuxembourgSelina Schwarz, KIT
Drought vulnerability and extreme bark beetle outbreaks threaten spruce trees in Central Europe

New publication out in Forestry showing canopy mortality increased tenfold during summer droughts 2018-2020 in Luxembourg

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Cheering soccer teamRicky Mwanake, KIT
IFU Soccer Championship 2023

In addition to our research work, we also play excellent soccer and won this year's championship at the IMKIFU!


Trees in the foothills of the Alps Gabi Zachmann, KIT
Forests in a warmer world

Forests ecosystems are critical for climate regulation, land biodiversity, for providing fresh water, timber and non-timber products, and also for human well-being and security.

What we do - simply explained
Measuring instruments on a meadow in the foothills of the Alps Markus Breig, KIT
Institute of Geography and Geoecology (IFGG)
Aerial view of healthy and damaged conifers
International Tree Mortality Network

Our mission is to facilitate collaboration between scientists to combine expertise, knowledge and data...

Network for scientists