Research Interests

My research covers several aspects of functional tree biology and forest ecology, ranging from molecular physiology, functional anatomy and whole plant ecophysiology to population genetics and ecosystem processes. I focus particularly on tree-climate interactions and their further implications for forest ecosystem function under climate change. Studying mechanisms of drought-induced mortality and tree resilience are specific aims of my current work in the Physiological Plant Ecology group.

Education and Professional Experience 

2016 - ongoing Senior scientist, University of Basel
2008 - 2017 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

Arend M, Schuldt B, Link RM, Patthey R, Hoch G, Kahmen A (accepted) Rapid hydraulic collapse as cause of drought-induced mortality in conifers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA

Cuervo-Alarcon L, Arend M, Müller M, Sperisen C, Finkeldey R, Krutovsky KV (2021) A candidate gene association analysis identifies SNPs potentially involved in drought tolerance in European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.). Scientific Reports 11:2386,

Gessler A, Bottero A, Marshall JD, Arend M (2020) The way back: recovery of trees from drought and its implication for acclimation. New Phytologist, doi: 10.1111/nph.16703

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, Kuster TM, Günthardt-Goerg MS, Dobbertin M (2011) Provenance-specific growth responses to drought and air warming in three European oak species (Quercus robur, Q. petraea, Q. pubescens). Tree Physiology 31: 287-297

Arend M, Schnitzler J, 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 in Grey poplars (Populus x canescens (Ait.) Sm.). Plant Physiology 151: 2110-2119


  • Lecture Tree and Forest Ecology
  • Lab course Plant Anatomy
  • Block course Plant Biology

Current Research Activities


Dr. habil. Matthias Arend

University of Basel
Schönbeinstrasse 6
4056 Basel

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