PhD student

Lars Dietrich
Totengässlein 3
4051 Basel

Phone: +41 (0)61 207 35 18




Research Interests

Stable isotopes in ecology
Physiological plant ecology
Plant water relations
Plant anatomy (particularly microscopic wood anatomy of temperate forest trees)

PhD Project

Since climate projections not only assume temperatures will rise in Central Europe but also predict a higher frequency of drought events in the near future, it is ecologically - and economically - important to estimate future impacts of heat and drought on Central European forests. Therefore, there is a need to assess the water relations of the most abundant tree species. My research investigates the water relations of the dominant Central European forest tree species Carpinus betulus, Fagus sylvatica, Quercus petraea, Larix decidua, Picea abies and Pinus sylvestris in a near-natural, 130-year-old forest in the vicinity of Basel. Using the Swiss Canopy Crane facility, I link sap-flow, stem diameter variations and leaf water potential to the major environmental variables influencing the climate at the site. By this means, I analyse the responses of the respective species to climate change-related drought and combine the assessed physiological variables to find more reliable indicators for drought stress. In a deuterium labelling experiment, we try to determine the major water sources the trees are relying on.

Education and Professional Experience

05/2014 - ongoing: graduate student in the Sustainable Land Use group, University of Basel, Switzerland
2013-2014: M.Sc. in Ecology, major in Plant Ecology, University of Basel and ETH Zürich, Switzerland. Thesis title: "Shoot growth, carbohydrates and stable carbon isotope signals in mature CO2-enriched Picea abies"
09/2013-12/2013: Student assistant and tutor for "Plant Microscopic Anatomy", University of Basel, Switzerland
10/2012-01/2013: Student assistant and tutor for "Evolution and Biodiversity of Plants", WWU Münster, Germany
04/2012-07/2012: Student assistant and excursion leader for "Biodiversity of Plants", WWU Münster, Germany
10/2010-04/2012: Student assistant for "Interconnecting Natural Sciences"-basics module, WWU Münster, Germany
2009-2012: B.Sc. in Biology and Chemistry, WWU Münster, Germany


Dietrich L, Körner C (2014) Thermal imaging reveals massive heat accumulation in flowers across a broad spectrum of alpine taxa. Alpine Botany 124: 27-35


Schmidt C, Dietrich L - (2014) - Chemie für Biologen. Springer Spektrum, ISBN 978-3-642-55423-0, Erscheinungstermin: 14. November 2014, (academic textbook in german language)