Research Interests

As a tree physiologist, my current research focuses on climate change effects on trees and forest ecosystems. I analyze short and long-term responses to drought and increasing temperature using eco-physiological and molecular approaches in combination with lab and field experiments. A particular interest relates to the use of stable isotopes of carbon and oxygen as indicators of plant physiological responses to environmental stresses. With my research, I aim to better understand the mechanisms of how trees may cope with severe droughts and increasing temperature and thus succeed in forest ecosystems under the conditions of climate change. 

Education and Professional Experience 

2016 - ongoing Research associate, University of Basel
2008 - ongoing Lecturer in Forest Genetics and Biotechnology, Technical University Munich
2008 - 2016 Research associate, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL
2009 Habilitation, Technical University Munich
2001 - 2008 Research associate, Technical University Munich, Department of Plant Sciences
1998 - 2001 PhD student, Technical University Munich, Wood Biology Laboratory
1992 - 1997 Diploma (MSc) student in forest sciences, Technical University Dresden 

Key Publications

Pflug E, Buchmann N, Siegwolf RTW, Schaub M, Rigling A, Arend M (2018) Resilient response of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) to severe summer drought and drought release. Frontiers in Plant Science 9, doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00187

Hagedorn F, Joseph J, Peter M, Luster J, Pritsch K, Geppert U, Kerner R, Molinier V, Egli S, Schaub M, Liu JF, Li M, Sever K, Weiler M, Siegwolf RTW, Gessler A, Arend M (2016) Recovery of trees from drought depends on belowground sink control. Nature Plants 16111, doi: 10.1038/nplants.2016.111 

Arend M, Sever K, Pflug E, Gessler A, Schaub M (2016) Seasonal photosynthetic response of European beech to severe summer drought: limitation, recovery and post-drought stimulation. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 220: 83-89

Pflug E, Siegwolf RTW, Buchmann N, Dobbertin M, Kuster TM, Günthardt-Goerg MS, Arend M (2015) Growth cessation uncouples isotopic signals in leaves and tree rings of drought exposed oak trees. Tree Physiology 35: 1095-1105

Arend M, Schnitzler JP, Ehlting B, Hänsch R, Lange T, Rennenberg H, Himmelbach A, Grill E, Fromm J (2009) Expression of the Arabidopsis mutant abi1 gene alters ABA sensitivity, stomatal development and growth morphology in Grey poplars (Populus x canescens (Ait.) Sm.). Plant Physiology 151: 2110-2119


Dr. Matthias Arend

University of Basel
Schönbeinstrasse 6
4056 Basel

Office no.: 01.011
Phone: +41 (0)61 207 35 13