Environmental Physiology and Functional Ecology
Dr. Maik Veste

Niewouldtville, Northern Cape, South AfricaPost-mining sites Lusatia, BrandenburgExpedition Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South AfricaNorthern Cape, South AfricaDesert agricultural research station Yotvata, Southern Arava, IsraelCentral Negev, IsraelSouthern Negev, IsraelLiving in the Namib desert, NamibiaCooperation with Lund University, SwedenHarddangervidda, Norway

I am plant physiological ecologist and like very much to work outdoors in extreme environmental conditions.  Therefore I developed my interest for short-term acclimation and long-term adaptation of plants to changing environmental conditions in order to understand the impact of environmental conditions on basic physiological processes and their response to biotic and abiotic stresses. 

Many years I spent in thee Succulent Karoo (South Africa), the Namib desert (Nambia), the Negev (Israel) and other drylands to carry out long-term research projects on dryland ecology. Here I studied photosynthesis, gas exchange, soil-plant interactions of desert plants as well the ecologcial functions of biological soil crusts.

Presently, the research focus is on ecophysiology and ecosystem processes in reclaimed ecosystems in the temperate zone of Europe and in drylands of South Africa. The research range from physiological processes inside the plants to studies on soil-plant and plant-atmosphere interactions within ecosystems. A key question is the integration of plant ecophysiology into ecosystem functioning. 


  • Study of biology at the Westfälische-Wilhelms Universität Münster
  • PhD at the University of Hohenheim, Thesis Ecological behaviour of desert plants - Integration of ecophysiological adaptation strategies from plants to ecosystems
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Current research projects

  • ANFOREK - Applied research for reclamation of post-mining sites in the Lusatian lignite mining district
  • AgroSolarSystems - An integrated Agro-Forestry-Energy approach to land use
  • Development of biocrusts on temperate sand dunes and post-mining sites and their application in restoration ecology


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© Maik Veste 2017 - Update 07Dec2017                                          Impressum