Daniela Aros

Daniela Francisca Aros Mualin

PhD student (Kessler group)



I started my studies of civil engineering in 2008, but then I began to long for a better understanding of the natural world and therefore I switched to Biology in 2011. However, my mathematical background help me have a different perspective in the ecological and physiological processes that have interested me throughout my studies. My main research interest is in plant ecology and ecophysiology. In particular how functional traits adapt and evolve with different environments. During my master thesis I studied the influence of the environment and species richness in the functional traits of tropical ferns. Now in my current project I will continue studying ferns, but this time my focus will be in their ecophysiology, specifically how the environment influences their water-carbon relations.

Advisor: Dr. Michael Kessler

Research interest

  • Ecophysiology
  • Ecology
  • Functional traits
  • Plant carbon-water relations

Academic Education and Degrees

2020 – current
PhD student at the Institute for Systematic and Evolutionary Botany of University of Zürich

Field trip assistant
Characterization of ferns in the south of Chile for the project: “Understanding global patterns of fern diversity and diversification”. Dr. Michael Kessler Research assistant Project: “Ecological and evolutionary consequences of nototribic pollination mechanism in the oil-rewarding Calceolaria species” Dr. Maureen Murúa

2015 – 2017
MSc. Plant Science, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
Thesis: “Functional diversity in ferns is driven by species richness rather than environment constrains” Dr. Michael Kessler

2014- 2015
Research assistant
Project: “Comparative phylogeography of woody plant species from Mediterranean and temperate forest of Southern South America: testing the influence of plant functional strategies on the response of species to past climatic changes” Dr. Fernanda Perez

2011 – 2014 BSc.
Biology Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Chile
Thesis: “Ecophysiology of Echinopsis chiloensis and its relationship with the holoparasite Tristerix aphyllus” Dr. Carmen Gloria Ossa Reasearch project: “Evolutionary ecophysiology of the genus Myrceugenia” Dr. Fernanda Perez

2008 – 2010
Civil Engineering studies, University of Chile, Chile