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.
2011-2015 Assistant 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

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

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.

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.

Cernusak LA, 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.

Gamarra B and Kahmen A (2015) Concentrations and δ2H values of cuticular n-alkanes vary significantly among plant organs, species and habitats in grasses from an alpine and a temperate European grasslands. Oecologia, 178: 981-998.

Kahmen A, Schefuß E, Sachse D (2013) Leaf water deuterium enrichment shapes leaf wax n-alkane δD values of angiosperm plants I: Experimental evidence and mechanistic insight. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 111: 39-49.

Kahmen A, Hoffmann B, Schefuß E, Arndt SK, Cernusak LS, West JB, Sachse D (2013) Leaf water deuterium enrichment shapes leaf wax n-alkane δD values of angiosperm plants II: Observational evidence and global implications. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 111: 50-63.

Sachse D, Chikaraishi Y, Dawson TE, Feakins SJ, Freeman KH, Magill C, McInerney FA, van der Meer M, Pedentchouk N, Polissar P, Robins R, Schmidt HL, Sessions AL, White JWC, West JB, Kahmen A (2012) The hydrogen-isotopic composition of organic biomarkers from photosynthesizing organisms. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 40: 221-249.

Kahmen A, Sachse D, Arndt SK, Farrington H, Vitousek PM, Dawson TE (2011) Cellulose δ18O is an index of leaf to air vapor pressure difference (VPD) in tropical plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 108: 1981-1096.

Prof. Dr. Ansgar Kahmen

Professor (FG Kahmen)


Schönbeinstrasse 6
4056 Basel