Dr. Anu Eskelinen
Senior Scientist, Academy Research Fellow
PI of the group Global Change and Biotic Interaction Ecology
I am a plant community ecologist who specializes in examining how different climatic and environmental factors like rainfall patterns and soil nutrient availability interact with biotic factors, such as herbivory and plant competition, to drive plant community composition and diversity. Currently my research focuses on understanding the consequences of multiple interacting anthropogenic global changes on biodiversity and seeks to understand which factors drive community resistance and resilience to these global changes. I am especially intrigued by investigating the roles of plant traits, herbivory by mammalian grazers, competition for light and linkages between above -and belowground systems as mechanisms mitigating or magnifying community responses. I primarily work with grasslands and tundra using manipulative field experiments.
Dr. Chhaya Werner
I am interested in the effects of contingency on plant community dynamics, particularly in the context of global change. For my postdoc in the Eskelinen lab, I am studying how herbivory and light limitation mediate the effects of nutrient deposition on plant communities. I focus on seedling recruitment in these manipulated communities, including whether we can use seedling traits to predict their responses to these conditions. Additionally, I am working on a project in Finland on the recovery of plant communities after cessation of nutrient deposition.
MSc. Maria-Theresa Jessen
I am a PhD student in plant ecology, focusing on light competition – community composition/diversity relationships in temperate and high latitude grassland ecosystems. I am interested in how plants respond to changes in light conditions, induced by interactive effects of changes in grazing patterns, nutrient deposition and climate change. My research focuses on intraspecific trait changes in adult plants, establishment of seedlings and potentials of field-based light manipulation methods. My work is field-work based, where I use multi factorial manipulation experiments partly with additional illumination.
MSc. Paul Kühn
Field and lab technician
I am a field and lab technician with an interest in grassland ecosystems and the interactions between plant functional traits and environmental changes. My tasks within this work group include, among other things, taking leaf and soil samples in the field, taking environmental measurements, processing said samples in the laboratory as well as carrying out data entry and preliminary statistical analyses.
MSc. Anna Leyendecker
Field and Lab Technician
I am a Field and Lab Technician with a Master‘s degree in Biotechnology and Applied Ecology with Specialization on Conservation & Utilisation of Biodiversity (M.Sc.). I am especially interested in forest ecology and nature conservation. To me the complexity and diversity of the envionment with the interplay of it’s biotic and abiotic factors is fascinating. This job was a great opportunity to gain work experience and insights into scientific research and the chance to work in an excellently qualified and wonderful team.