Main Focus

  • Phylogenomics
  • Genome Biology
  • Speciation and Biodiversity
  • Machine Learning
  • R-Programming and -Statistics
  • Geometric Morphometrics
  • Trait Variation, Environmental Heterogeneity and Genetic Diversity
  • Adaptation to different (extreme) Climatic Conditions
  • Red List Mapping of Endangered Plant Species

Curriculum Vitae

  • 10/2022 – present: Research assistant (PostDoc) at Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry,  Department of Biogeochemical Integration (J. Wäldchen), Jena, Germany – in collab. with TU Ilmenau, Ilmenau, Germany
  • 10/2021 – 09/2022: Research assistant (PostDoc) at the Albrecht-von-Haller-Institute for Plant Science,Department of Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants (with Herbarium) (E. Hörandl), Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany.
  • 12/2017 – 10/2021: PhD student at the Albrecht-von-Haller-Institute for Plant Science, Department of Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants (with Herbarium) (E. Hörandl), Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany. PhD-thesis (DFG, SPP 1991 TaxonOmics): “The biodiversity of apomictic polyploid plants: the Ranunculus auricomus complex.“ (final grade: "summa cum laude")
  • 10/2014 – 09/2017: Master of Science in Evolution, Ecology and Systematics, Institute of Systematic Botany with Herbarium Haussknecht and Botanical Garden (C. Römermann & F. Hellwig), Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany. Master thesis: “Moving beyond assumptions: Relationships between population size, genetic and functional diversity, and habitat heterogeneity in Trifolium montanum.
  • 08/2016 – 09/2017: Research assistant at the Max-Planck-Institute of Human History, Jena, Germany.
  • 10/2015 – 03/2016: Internship and following working contracts at Forstliches Forschungs- and Kompetenzzentrum (FFK), Gotha, Germany. Project: “Forest adaptation in the middle, high und ridge altitudes of Thuringian Forest.“
  • 10/2011 – 09/2014: Bachelor of Science Biology, Institute of Systematic Botany with Herbarium Haussknecht and Botanical Garden (F. Hellwig), Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany. Bachelor thesis: “Biologisch-ökologische Untersuchungen an Thymus praecox Opiz in den Badlands und in den umliegenden Halbtrocken- und Trockenrasen Thüringens mit Etablierung von Mikrosatellitenmarkern.“
  • 06/2011: Abitur Gustav-Freytag-Gymnasium Gotha, Thuringia, Germany


Publications (* = shared authorships)

  1. Hodač L, Karbstein K, Kösters L, Rzanny M, Wittich HC, Mäder P, Wäldchen J. Explainable AI for morphological trait variation in conspecific plant populations. in prep.
  2. Kösters L, Karbstein K, Hofmann M, Hodač L, Mäder P, Wäldchen J. Data fusion for integrative species classification using deep learning. in prep.
  3. Karbstein K, Kösters L, Hodač L, Hofmann M, Hörandl E, Tomasello S, Wagner ND, Emerson BC, Albach DC, Scheu S, Bradler S, de Vries J, Irisarri I, Li H, Soltis P, Mäder P, Wäldchen J. Species Delimitation 4.0: Integrative Taxon-omics and Artificial Intelligence. Trends in Ecology and Evolution; 2023; 00; 00. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2023.11.002
  4. Bradican JP, Tomasello S, Boscutti F, Karbstein K, Hörandl E. Phylogenomics of southern European taxa in the Ranunculus auricomus species complex: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Plants; 2023; 12; 3664https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213664 
  5. Karbstein K, Tomasello S, Wagner N, Barke BH, Paetzold C, Bradican JP, Preick M, Iker I, Vries J, Hörandl E. Efficient hybrid strategies for assembling the plastome, mitochondriome, and large nuclear plant genome of diploid Ranunculus cassubicifolius (Ranunculaceae). BioRxiv, 1-35https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.08.08.552429
  6. Karbstein K, Gockel S, Profft I. Autochthonous high-altitude spruces in German mountain systems - how can we recognize these conspicuous tree types? under review in Mitteilungshefte ThüringenForst
  7. Karbstein, K, Römermann, C, Hellwig, F, Prinz, K. Population size affected by environmental variability impacts genetics, traits, and plant performance in Trifolium montanumEcology and Evolution, 2023; 13; e10376. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.10376
  8. Hodač L*Karbstein K*Tomasello S, Wäldchen, J, Bradican, JP, Hörandl E. Geometric morphometric versus genomic patterns in a large polyploid plant species complex. Biology, 2023; 12; 418. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12030418
  9. Karbstein K, Tomasello S, Hodač L, Wagner N, Marincek P, Barke BH, Pätzold C, Hörandl E. Untying Gordian knots: Unraveling reticulate polyploid evolution by RRS genomic data using the large Ranunculus auricomus species complex. New Phytologist, 2022; 235; 2081-2098. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.18284; BioRxivhttps://doi.org/10.1101/2021.08.30.458250
  10. Karbstein K. Untying Gordian knots - The evolution and biogeography of the large European apomictic polyploid Ranunculus auricomus plant complex. Dissertation, University of Göttingen, 2021; 1-475. http://hdl.handle.net/21.11130/00-1735-0000-0008-5946-6
  11. Karbstein K, Tomasello S, Hodač L, Lorberg E, Daubert M, Hörandl E. Moving beyond assumptions: polyploidy and environmental effects explain a geographic parthenogenesis scenario in European plants. Molecular Ecology, 2021; 30; 2659-2675.
    https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.15919
  12. Karbstein K, Gockel S, Frischbier N, Kahlert K, Konnert, M, Profft I. 'High-altitude spruces' in Central Europe - a summarizing contribution to phenotypic and (epi)genetic differentiation within Picea abies (L.) H.KARST. Allgemeine Forst- und Jagdzeitschrift (AFJZ), 2021; 9/10; 197-211. https://doi.org/10.23765/afjz0002068
  13. Strecker T, Jesch A, Bachmann D, Jüds M, Karbstein K, Ravenek J, Roscher, C, Weigelt A, Eisenhauer N, Scheu S. Incorporation of mineral nitrogen into the soil food web as affected by plant community composition. Ecology and Evolution, 2021; 11; 4295-4309.
    https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.7325 
  14. Karbstein K, Rahmsdorf E, Tomasello S, Hodač L, Hörandl E. Breeding system of diploid sexuals within the Ranunculus auricomus complex and its role in a geographical parthenogenesis scenario. Ecology and Evolution, 2020; 10; 14435-14450.
    https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.7073
  15. Barke BH, Karbstein K, Daubert M, Hörandl E. The relation of meiotic behaviour to hybridity, polyploidy and apomixis in the Ranunculus auricomus complex (Ranunculaceae). BMC Plant Biology, 2020; 20; 523. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-020-02654-3
  16. Karbstein K, Tomasello S, Hodač L, Dunkel FG, Daubert M, Hörandl E. Phylogenomics supported by geometric morphometrics reveals delimitation of sexual species within the polyploid apomictic Ranunculus auricomus complex (Ranunculaceae). Taxon, 2020; 69; 1191-1220. https://doi.org/10.1002/tax.12365; BioRxiv: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.01.07.896902
  17. Tomasello S, Karbstein K, Hodač L, Pätzold C, Hörandl E. Phylogenomics unravels Quarternary vicariance and allopatric speciation patterns in temperate-montane plant species: a case study on the Ranunculus auricomus species complex. Molecular Ecology 2020;29;2031-2049. https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.15458; BioRxiv: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.01.06.895904 
  18. Karbstein, K, Prinz, K., Hellwig, F., Römermann, C. Plant intraspecific functional trait variation is related to within-habitat heterogeneity and genetic diversity in Trifolium montanum L. Ecology and Evolution, 2020; 10; 5015-5033. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.6255 
  19. Karbstein K, Tomasello S, Prinz K. Desert-like badlands and surrounding (semi-)dry grasslands of Central Germany promote small-scale phenotypic and genetic differentiation in Thymus praecoxEcology and Evolution, 2019; 9; 14066–14084. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5844 


National and international activities

 - Editor for scientific journals:

- Reviewer for scientific journals (latest first)

  • Taxon, Scientific Reports, Horticulturae, Frontiers in Plant Sciences, Plos One, Biology, Planta, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, Biocell, Journal of Biogeography, American Journal of Botany, Ecology and Evolution

- Conferences, Workshops, and Defenses

- Botanical Trips

  • Central Europe (focus on semi-dry grasslands and mountain regions), Mediterranean region (focus on Canary Islands), Western USA (focus on California)

- Awards

  • 03/2023: Bernhardt-Rensch-Award 2023

- Funding

  • 11/2022: Seed Money for Post-Doc Grants, DFG SPP 1991 Taxon-Omics
  • 08/2022: Travel Grant Universitätsbund Göttingen e.V (DBG Conference)

- Memberships

  • DBG (Deutsche Botanische Gesellschaft)
  • GfBS (Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik)
  • TBG and Board Member (Thüringische Botanische Gesellschaft)
  • IAPT (International Association for Plant Taxonomy)
  • BSA (Botanical Society of America)

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