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Dr. Christian KÖRNER Head, Section Plant Ecology, Institute of Botany, University of Basel


 Graduated with a Ph.D. in plant sciences at the University of Innsbruck. His major research fields are alpine ecology, forest ecology and comparative plant ecology of biomes worldwide. He represents a process oriented, functional approach to ecology which aims at deciphering the mechanisms by which plants master their environmental challenges. After years of research in the Alps, the Caucasus and Sweden, and overseas works (e.g. Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Argentina) Christian Körner was appointed to a chair in plant sciences at the University of Basel, Switzerland in 1989. In a number of experimental works he explored the above tasks in the context of rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations and biodiversity. Körner published over 250 articles in international journals, edited several books and became known for his standard textbook 'Alpine Plant Life' (Springer). He is editor in chief of Oecologia, worked on editorial boards of high profile journals such as Science and chaired the Swiss climate research forum Proclim for several years. Since 2000, he directs GMBA, the global mountain biodiversity assessment of DIVERSITAS. Körner is a member of several academies of science (e.g. the Austrian and the German Leopoldina), was plenary speaker at large international conferences and most recently was a guest professor at Yale University.


German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Halle
Acedamia Europaea, London
Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna


Körner Ch.: Alpine plant life. Springer, Berlin, 2003
Körner Ch., Asshoff R., Bignucolo O., Hättenschwiler S., Keel SG., Pelaez-Riedl S., Pepin S., Siegwolf RTW., Zotz G.: Carbon flux and growth in mature deciduous forest trees exposed to elevated CO2. Science 309:1360-1362, 2005
Körner Ch.: Plant CO2 responses: an issue of definition, time and resource supply. New Phytol 172:393-411, 2006
Körner Ch., Morgan J., Norby R.: CO2 fertilization: when, where, how much? In: Canadell JG., Pataki D., Pitelka L. (eds) Terrestrial ecosystems in a changing world series: Global change  The IGBP series. Springer, Berlin, pp 9-21, 2007


Marsh Award for Ecology, British Ecological Society, 2007