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Prof. Dr. Jochen Heinrichs

Professor Jochen Heinrichs passed away on 22 April 2018.
We will miss an extraordinary colleague.


Obituary of the Faculty of Biology
Professor Jochen Heinrichs verstorben

Research interests

Liverworts represent an early diverging main lineage of land plants that dates back to the Ordovician. Phylogenetic research of my team focuses on leafy liverworts, using various chloroplast, nuclear and mitochondrial markers.
The current speed of taxonomic research is slow and without dramatic improvements of the working methods will likely miss the discovery of many species before their extinction. The inclusion of molecular data in a revision will accelerate the progress in taxonomic studies, and will lead to more reliable taxonomic treatments than studies based solely upon morphological evidence.
Molecular data do not only allow improvements of the current classification of liverworts but also reconstruction of their diversity in time and space. A current project addresses the historical biogeography of leafy liverworts. Integration of the fossil record in a robust phylogeny may shed some light on the diversification time of leafy liverworts, and may help answer the question whether the diversification of leafy liverworts coincides with the rise of the angiosperms.
Many liverworts are sensitive to environmental changes and may be good indicator organisms. Monitoring of their distribution ranges and population structure will allow for deeper insights into climate fluctuations in the age of anthropogenic global change.

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Last update: 2018-04-24