Plants are primary producers and the basis of human life on earth. Our general research focus is on development, evolution and ecology of plants thereby integrating plant anatomy and cell biology, genomics, metabolomics, proteomics, signalling and metabolic modeling, systems theory and ecosystems research. An applied focus is on large whole genome germplasm collections of crop species, e.g. legumes, potato, tomato, wheat, pearl millet, barley and grapevine. We investigate gene functions in the environmental and agroecological context, with a focus on plant stress physiology, plant-microbe interaction and adaptation in the era of a global climate crisis.

  • Molecular Ecophysiology
  • Plant anatomy and physiology
  • Plant signalling
  • Plant-microbe interaction
  • System theory in biology and ecology


Wolfram Weckwerth


Research Areas: Molecular Systems Biology

PhD Students:

  • Lena Fragner
  • Hannes Kramml 
  • Wan Li
  • Shuang Zhang
  • Mengke Li
  • Kaijie Liang 
  • Yuhang Meng 
  • Stefan Plott 
  • Iro Pierides

Verena Ibl

Research Areas: Plant cell biology in crop seeds (dealing with protein trafficking during the endosperm development with the focus on the ESCRT protein machinery)

PhD Student:

  • Madeleine Schnurer
  • Stefan Plott

Ingeborg Lang

Research Areas: Structural and functional plant cell biology

PhD Student:

  • Maryamalsadat Zekri
  • Caroline Ivesic
  • Luigi Schillaci

Steffen Waldherr

Research Areas: Computational Methods for Bio-/Chemical Processes

PhD Student:

  • Michiel Busschaert
  • Pablo Rolle Concha
  • Iro Pierides

Stefanie Wienkoop

Research Areas: Plant-Microsymbiont Interaction

PhD Students:

  • Yovita Astuti Djohan
  • Carlos A. Pérez Rízquez
  • Julian Preiner
  • Lena Fragner