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Dr. Katja Geißler

Katja Geißler
Photo: IBB


University of Potsdam
Biodiversity Research/Systematic Botany

Maulbeerallee 2a, room K.25
14469 Potsdam, Germany    or

Am Mühlenberg 3, Building 60, 3rd floor, room 3.12  
14476 Potsdam (Golm), Germany

Phone: +49 331 977 1974 
E-Mail: kgeissleuni-potsdamde



  • 1992-1994 Biology, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany (pre-diploma)
  • 1994-1995 Plant biology, Biochemistry, Statistics, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK
  • 1995-1998 Ecology, Plant physiology, Biophysics, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany (diploma)
  • 1998 Diploma thesis:"Variability of stand structure and ecophysiology of different clones of common reed after planting on a degraded fen"
  • 1999, 2002, 2003 Maternity leave
  • 2000-2007 PhD-Thesis, University of Potsdam, Germany:"Life strategies of rare river corridor plants with particular emphasis on stress resistance"

Current employment

since 10/2019: Lecturer and research assistant in Botany/Ecology

Research interests

  • Functional diversity of plants
  • Biotic interactions of plants and animals
  • Process based, ecohydrological modelling
  • Biogeochemical ecosystem processes in drylands
  • Mechanisms of stress tolerance and stress avoidance in plants
  • Impacts of land use and climate change on ecosystem functions



  • Marquart A, Eldridge DJ, Geissler K, Lobas C & Blaum N (2020). Interconnected effects of shrubs, invertebrate‐derived macropores and soil texture on water infiltration in a semi‐arid savanna rangeland. Land Degradation and Development. DOI: 10.1002/ldr.3598.
  • Marquart A, Geissler K, Heblack J, Lobas C, Münch E & Blaum N (2020). Individual shrubs, large scale grass cover and seasonal rainfall explain invertebrate-derived macropore density in a semi-arid Namibian savanna. Journal of Arid Environments 176doi:10.1016/j.jaridenv.2020.104101.
  • Geissler K, Fiedler S, Ni J, Herzschuh U, Jeltsch F (2019): Combined effects of grazing and climate warming drive shrub dominance on the Tibetan PLateau. The Rangeland Journal 41: 425-429,  doi:10.1071/RJ19027
  • Geissler K, Heblack J, Uugulu S., Wanke H, Blaum N (2019): Partitioning of water between differently sized shrubs and potential groundwater recharge in a semiarid savanna in Namibia. Frontiers in Plant Science,  doi:10.3389/fpls.2019.01411
  • Geissler K, Hahn C, Joubert D, Blaum N (2019): Functional responses of the herbaceous plant
    community explain ecohydrological feedbacks of savanna shrub encroachment. Perspectives in Plant Ecology and Evolution39, doi:10.1016/j.ppees.2019.125458
  • Hering R, Hauptfleisch M, Geißler K, Marquart A, Schoenen M & Blaum N (2019). Shrub encroachment is not always land degradation: Insights from ground dwelling beetle species niches along a shrub cover gradient in a semi-arid Namibian savanna. Land Degradation and Development30: 14-27.
  • Reinhard J, Geissler K, Blaum N (2019): Short-term responses of darkling beetles (Coleoptera:Tenebrionidae) to the effects of fire and grazing in savannah rangeland. Insect Conservation and Diversity 12: 39-48.
  • Poppei M., Michael Ristow, Katja Geissler & Johannes Metz (2018): Die Bestandssituation des Breitblättrigen Knabenkrautes (Dactylorhiza majalis [Rchb.] Hunt et Summerhayes subsp. majalis) in ausgewählten Schutzgebieten Brandenburgs. Naturschutz und Landschaftspflege in Brandenburg, 27 (1) 20-27.
  • Synodinos AD, Eldridge D, Geißler K, Jeltsch F, Lohmann D, Midgley G & Blaum N (2018). Remotely sensed canopy height reveals three pantropical ecosystem states: comment. Ecology. DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1997
  • Weiss L, Schalow L, Jeltsch F, Geissler K (2018) Experimental evidence for root competition effects on community evenness in one of two phytometer species. – Journal of Plant Ecology.
  • Geißler K , Gzik A (2016) Lebensstrategien seltener Stromtalpflanzen. In: Beiträge aus dem Nationalpark Unteres Odertal Band1/2016, Daten vom Fluss: Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen und aktuelle Anwendungsaspekte in Auenlandschaften. Nationalpark Unteres Odertal (Hrsg.) 74-78
  • Bergholz K, Jeltsch F, Weiss L, Pottek J, Geißler K, Ristow M (2015) Fertilization affects the establishment ability of species differing in seed mass via direct nutrient addition and indirect competition effects. Oikos. DOI:10.1111/oik.02193
  • Lohmann D, Falk T, Geissler K, Blaum N, Jeltsch F (2014). Determinants of semi-arid rangeland management in a land reform setting in Namibia. Journal of Arid Environments100 - 101. pp. 23 - 30.
  • Müller, E N, L van Schaik, T Blume, A Bronstert, J Carus, J H Fleckenstein, N Fohrer, K Geißler, H H Gerke, T Graeff, C  Hesse, A Hildebrandt, F Hölker, P Hunke, K Körner, J Lewandowski, Lohmann  D , K Meinikmann, A Schibalski, B Schmalz, B Schröder und B Tietjen (2014): Scales, key aspects, feedbacks and challenges of ecohydrological research in Germany. HyWa58: 221-240 DOI: 10.5675/HyWa_2014,4_2
  • Schaldach R, Wimmer F,  Koch J, Volland J, Geißler K, Köchy M  (2013). Model based analysis of the environmental impacts of grazing management on Eastern Mediterranean ecosystems in Jordan. Journal of Environmental Management127, 84-95
  • Jeltsch F, Blaum N,  Brose U, Chipperfield J, Clough Y, Farwig N, Geissler K, Graham C, Grimm V, Hickler T, Huth A, May F, Meyer K, Pagel J, Reineking B, Rillig M, Shea K, Schurr F, Schroeder B, Weiss L, Wiegand K, Wiegand T, Wirth C, Zurell D (2012). How can we better link empirical studies and models in functional biodiversity research? Basic and Applied Ecology14: 93-101.
  • Geissler, K. and Gzik, A. (2010). Germination ecology of Cnidium dubium, Gratiola officinalis and Juncus atratus, three endangered River corridor plants of Central European lowlands. Flora205, 590-598
  • Geissler, K. and Gzik, A. (2008). The impact of flooding and drought on seeds of Cnidium dubium, Gratiola officinalis, and Juncus atratus, three endangered perennial River corridor plants of Central European lowlands. Aquatic Botany89, 283-291
  • Geissler, K. and Gzik, A. (2008). Ramet demography and ecological attributes of the perennial river corridor plant Cnidium dubium. Flora203, 396-408
  • Pflugmacher, S., Geissler, K., Steinberg, C.E.W. (1999). Activity of phase I and phase II detoxification enzymes in different cormus parts of Phragmites australis. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf42 (1): 62-66.
  • Koppitz, H., Kühl, H., Henze, R., Geissler, K., Eitner, A. and Kohl, J.-G. (1999). Comparison of the development of different reed clones (Phragmites australis) established at a reflooded fen area. I. Seasonal development of stand structure, culm morphology and productivity (in German). Archives of Nature Conservation and Landscape Research38, 145-166.
  • Koppitz, H., Kühl, H., Geissler, K., and Kohl, J.-G. (1999). Comparison of the development of different reed clones (Phragmites australis) established at a reflooded fen area. II. C/N-balance and rhizome ventilation. Archives of Nature Conservation and Landscape Research38, 167-191.
Katja Geißler
Photo: IBB