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The Research Group Functional Biogeography has been designed as an ‘Interdepartmental Research Group’. Apart from this we are involved in the coordination of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and the plant trait database initiative TRY. Therefore our work is characterised by collaborations within the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry and external. Below please find a list of long-term collaborations – incomplete by default.

Internal collaborations

  • Department Biogeochemical Integration (BGI): Joint group meetings and jointly supervised PhD students and post-doc scientists with the Research Groups ‘Global Empirical Inference’ (Miguel Mahecha) and ‘Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions and Experimentation’ (Mirco Miglivacca)
  • We contribute to the cross-departmental research to develop a Carbon Cycle Data Assimilation System, headed by Soenke Zaehle.
  • Department Biogeochemical Systems (BGS): We contribute to the development of a central database for the Institute
  • Department Biogeochemical Processes (BGP): Daniel Marra is a joint PhD student, working on tropical forest dynamics

External collaborations


  • German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv): The TRY database is a central platform of iDiv
  • University of Jena Department of Computer Science: Development of databases and data portals (FUSION Koenig-Ries)
  • University of Jena Department of Botany: Trait based research (Christine Roemermann)
  • Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (Hamburg): The role of the plant characteristics in the Earth system (Victor Brovkin / Christian Reick)
  • CCDAS - Carbon Cycle Data Assimilation System: We provide plant traits as a constraint for Earth system modelling
  • Helmholz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ): Plant trait databases and standardization (Stefan Klotz, Ingolf Kuehn)


  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/StPaul (USA): Machine learning techniques for gap-fillling of sparse trait matrices (Dept. Forestry Peter Reich, Dept. Computer Science Arindam Banerjee)
  • CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier (France): Plant trait semantics and linking plant traits to plant community data (Eric Garnier, Cyrille Violle)
  • University of Amsterdam, (The Netherlands): Imprint of plant traits on vegetation function and ecosystem modelling, development of TRY (Peter van Bodegom, Hans Cornelissen)
  • Macquarie University, Sydney (Australia): Development of the TRY initiative (Ian Wright, Marc Westoby)
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