University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) - Research portal

Institute of Botany (BOT)

Assoc. Prof. Priv.-Doz. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.nat.techn. Sabine Rosner

Mission Statement

The Institute of Botany works in various areas to analyze the natural world from organisms to ecosystems and their interactions with humans and their societies. We consider our institute, which is involved in teaching almost at all bachelor and most master curricula and has expertise in agricultural sciences, forestry, landscape planning and civil engineering, as a central part of BOKU. We pursue research and teaching on subjects fundamental for BOKU aims, and of high societal relevance.

The two main fields of research at the Institute of Botany, each with one full professor, have been traditionally classified as general botany and special botany, although we draw no clear delineations between these two areas and several researchers are active in both. The group in general botany (Peter Hietz) is working in plant physiology and ecophysiology, with a particular focus on plant water relations, as well as stress physiology. During the past years, research on functional wood anatomy and on global change effects on temperate and tropical plants has increased. Since many German-speaking universities have strongly scaled back in this field, ecophysiology has become a nearly stand-alone position in Austria (with another group in Innsbruck) and rare elsewhere.

The main fields in special botany investigated at the institute are geobotany, biodiversity and systematics. Since the appointment of Karl-Georg Bernhardt in 1998, this field has strongly moved into the genetic analysis of populations and the evolution of selected plant groups, with many research questions addressing biodiversity conservation. The group continues to emphasize traditional systematics, (applied) vegetation science and population analysis, and is active in other, often overlapping research fields, i.e. (applied) vegetation and population analysis (including soil seed banks), eco-morphology and archaeobotany.

Statistik Austria, science classification

Biodiversity research
Cultivation of land
Ecosystem research
Forest ecology
History of agriculture and forestry
Plant anatomy
Plant ecology
Plant morphology
Plant physiology
Population genetics
Systematic botany
Vegetation science

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