Group member until September 2017
Plants are not isolated in nature but they interact with the surrounding environment. My study target is to examine the response of plants to their environment in an ecophysiological context. I particularly focus on changes in plant growth, metabolism and biochemistry in response to abiotic factors.
The focus of my PhD project is the effect of climatic change on tropical vascular epiphyte species along their ontogeny and the potential of this plants group as indicator for such changes. To achieve this goal, I will focus on the effect of changes in CO2 concentration and concurrent changes in temperature and water availability on growth, photosynthetic rates, and physiological mechanisms of tropical epiphytes.
Among the questions raised within the frame of my PhD project are:
- Will an acclimatization of the photosynthetic response of tropical epiphytes occur under an elevated CO2 atmosphere? Up-ward or down-ward regulation?
- Will growth of epiphytic plants be stimulated by a CO2-rich atmosphere?
- Will elevated CO2 concentrations lead to a higher heat and water-stress tolerance in epiphytic plants?
I will monitor these responses and some of the physiological mechanisms involved in plants of different size (life stages) kept experimentally under different CO2, temperature and water conditions. Additionally, I will study germination responses to water and temperature. Studying different responses and different life stages should provide a complete panorama of climatic change impacts on this striking plant group.
I am also interested in changes in phenotypic plasticity of morphological and physiological features along ontogeny of plant populations in different environments. I am generally interested also in plant community ecology, distribution patterns of plants and biotic interactions (mostly, plant-plant competition).
Correa S & Zotz G. 2014. The influence of collecting date, temperature and moisture regimes on the germination of epiphytic bromeliads. Seed Science Research 24: 353–363.
2002 Admission to the Science Faculty. Biology School of the Venezuelan Central
University (U.C.V). Caracas-Venezuela.
2003-2004 Internship in the Laboratory of Aquatic Plants Ecology U.C.V.
2005-2006 Internship in the Laboratory of Epiphytic Plants Ecology U.C.V.
2005-2005 Internship in the Laboratory of Soil Ecology I.V.I.C.
2009-2010 Research Assistance at the Laboratory of Biohelmintiasis at the Institute of
Licenciada en Biología. Thesis: Physical and Biological Structure of the Vascular
Epiphyte Community of a Premontane Wet Tropical Forest, in the Reserva
Ecológica Guáquira located in the Zona Protectora del Macizo de Nirgua,
2010-2017 PhD at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg.
2009 Oral presentation at the Venezuelan National Congress of Ecology.
"Diversity and Structure of Vascular Epiphyte Communities in a Lowland Wet
Forest, located in the Zona Protectora del Macizo de Nirgua, Yaracuy-Venezuela.
2010 Poster presentation at the Annual Conference of the German Ecological Society
"Germination Requirements of Epiphytic Bromeliads: The Controlling Factors"
Venezuelan Society of Ecology (SVE)
Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (GfÖ)
DAAD-FUNDAYACUCHO Fellowship for PhD study in Germany.