Prof. Dr. Ansgar Kahmen

Physiological Plant Ecology Group

University of Basel
Schönbeinstrasse 6
4056 Basel

Office no.: 01.002
Phone: +41 (0)61 207 35 71
Email: ansgar.kahmen@unibas.ch

Research Interest

My research addresses the interface between plants and their environment. The goal of my work is to understand how plants function in the context of their environment and to reveal how plants shape the provision of ecosystem goods and services that human societies depend on.

Education and Professional Experience

2013-ongoingAssociate Professor for Physiological Plant Ecology. University of Basel, Switzerland.
2011-2015Assistant Professor for Physiological Plant Ecology. ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
2010-2011 Senior Scientist. Institute of Agricultural Sciences, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
2006–2009 Schrödinger and Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow. Center for Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry, University of California at Berkeley, USA.
2005–2006Postdoctoral Fellow. Institute for Plant Sciences, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
2005–2005Visiting Scientist. Forest Science Center, University of Melbourne, Australia.
2001–2004Ph.D. Student. Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany.
1994–2001Student in botany and plant ecology. University of Vienna, Austria and University of California at Santa Cruz, USA.


2016 Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council HYDROCARB (ERC).
2012 Dr.-Karleugen-Habfast-Award of the German Stable Isotope Association (GASIR) for outstanding Research using stable isotopes.
2011 Starting Grant of the European Research Council COSIWAX (ERC).
2007 Appointed Honorary Fellow at the School for Forest and Ecosystems Sciences at the University of Melbourne, Australia.
2007 Strasburger Award of the German Botanical Society for outstanding research in plant sciences. 

Recent Key Publications

Hahn C, Lüscher A, Ernst-HaslerS, Suter M, Kahmen A (2021) Timing of drought in the growing season and strong legacy effects determine the annual productivity of temperate grasses in a changing climate. Biogeosciences 18: 585-604.

Schuldt B, Buras A, Arend A, Vitasse Y, Beierkuhnlein C, Damm A, Gharun M, Grams T, Hauck M, Hajek P, Hartmann H, Hilbrunner E, Hoch G, Holloway-Phillips M, Körner C, Larysch E, LübbeT, Nelson DB, Rammig A, Rigling A, Rose L, K. Ruehr NK, Weiser F, Werner C, Wohlgemuth T, Zang C, Kahmen A (2020) A first assessment of the impact of the extreme 2018 summer drought on Central European forests. Basic and Applied Ecology 45: 86-103.

Brinkmann N, Eugster W, Buchmann N, Kahmen A (2019) Species-specific differences in water uptake depth of mature temperate trees vary with water availability in the soil. Plant Biology 71: 21-31.

Dietrich L, Delzon S, Hoch G, Kahmen A (2019) No role for xylem embolism or carbohydrate shortage in temperate trees during the severe 2015 drought. Journal of Ecology 107: 334-349.

Brinkmann N, Seeger S, Weiler M, Buchmann N, Eugster W, Kahmen A (2018) Employing δ2H and δ 18O values to estimate mean residence time and temporal origin of soil and xylem water in a temperate forest. New Phytologist 219: 1300-1313.

Peters RL, Fonti P, Frank DC, Poyatos R, Pappas C, Kahmen A, Carraro V, Prendin AL, Schneider L, Baltzer JL, Baron-Gafford GA, Dietrich L, Heinrich I, Minor RL, Sonnentag O, Ashley M, Wightman M, Steppe K (2018) Quantification of uncertainties in conifer sap flow measured with the thermal dissipation method. New Phytologist 219: 1283-1299.

Dietrich L, Zweifel R, Kahmen A (2018) Daily stem diameter variations can predict the canopy water status of mature temperate trees.Tree Physiology 38: 941-952.

Cormier M-A, Werner RA, Saurer PE, Groecke DR, Leuenberger MC, Wieloch T, Schleucher J, Kahmen A (2018) The energy and carbon metabolism of plants affects the hydrogen isotope fractionation during the biosynthesis of organic plant compounds. New Phytologist 218: 479-491.

Newberry SL, Nelson DB, Kahmen A (2017) Cryogenic vacuum artefacts do not affect plant water-uptake studies using stable isotope analysis. Ecohydrology 10:e1892.

Nelson DB, Knohl A, Sachse D, Enno Schefuß E, Kahmen A (2017) Sources and abundances of leaf waxes in aerosols in central Europe. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 198: 299-314.

Brinkmann N, Eugster W, Zweifel R, Buchmann N, Kahmen A (2016) Temperate tree species show identical response in tree water deficit but different sensitivities in sap flow to summer soil drying. Tree Physiology 36: 1508-1519.

Gamarra B, SachseD, Kahmen A (2016) Effects of leaf water evaporative 2H enrichment and biosynthetic fractionation on leaf wax n-alkane δ2H values in C3 and C4 grasses. Plant, Cell & Environment 39: 2390 - 2403.

CernusakLA, Barbour  MM, Cheesman AW, English NB, Field TS, Helliker BR, Holloway-Phillips MM, Holtum JAM, Kahmen A, McInerney FA, Munksgaard NC, Simonin KA, Song X, Stuart-Williams H, West JB, Farquhar GD (2016) Stable isotopes in plant water. Plant, Cell & Environment 39: 1087-1102.