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Institut für Systematische und Evolutionäre Botanik

Michael Kessler

Michael Kessler, PD Dr.

  • Privatdozent
+41 (0)44 634 84 32

Research Interests

My research is centered on the biotic and abiotic factors determining patterns of species diversity and the distribution of species, both in the tropics and in Europe. Specific research fields include:

  • Diversity, evolution, and macroecology of ferns worldwide
  • Taxonomic studies of ferns
  • Ecophysiology and mycorrhization of ferns
  • Conservation of Swiss ferns, in collaboration with the Swiss Fern Society
  • Biogeography and ecology of Andean treelines
  • Temporal changes in the Central European flora
  • Diversity and evolution of epiphytic plants, bromeliads, and Andean palms


2007-2008:   Research Assistant, Systematic Botany, Georg-August-University, Göttingen.
2001-2006:   Heisenberg-Fellow of the German Research Association (DFG).
2001:   Habilitation, Botany, Georg-August-University, Göttingen.
1995:   Ph.D., Biology, Georg-August-University, Göttingen.
1993:   Diploma, Biology, Georg-August-University, Göttingen.
Born 07.03.1967 in Lima, Peru.

Selected Publications

MSc Topics

The following list provides a short insight into the breadth of possible topics for MSc projects. I am happy to consider individual interests and ideas.

  • Genomic studies on isolated and threatened populations of the genus Potentilla in the Alps
  • GIS- based studies on temporal changes of the flora of the Canton Zurich
  • Global studies on the diversity and traits of ferns (GIS-based)
  • Phylogeny-based studies on trait evolution in the fern family Thelypteridaceae
  • Experimental studies on the role of antheridiogens on the competition between fern gametophytes

We also offer MSc thesis projects in applied plant conservation in the seed bank.


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