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We are interested in mechanisms maintaining biodiversity and how biodiversity is affected by land-use changes and other human influences, particularly in agricultural landscapes. We focus on the ecology of invasive plant species, on plant-soil interactions and on evolutionary ecology in the face of climate change. We use a range of study systems and perform field, lab and garden experiments. Besides we also study fungal diversity at local and regional scales. We are closely linked to the botanic garden of the University of Potsdam and to the Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB, www.bbib.org).