Imke Schmitt


Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre BiK-F
Georg-Voigt-Str. 14-16 (visitors)
Senckenberganlage 25 (mail)
60325 Frankfurt

Phone: +49 (0)69 7542 1855
Fax: +49 69 798 24771
E-Mail: imke.schmitt(at)

Office: Georg-Voigt-Str. 14-16, room 3.19

Prof. Dr. Imke Schmitt

Head of Research Group 'Molecular Evolutionary Biology'

Research interests

My primary research interest is the evolution of symbiotic organisms, in particular those that form partnerships with fungi. I have been using phylogenetics and comparative phylogenetics to analyze the evolutionary history of lichen-forming fungi and their characters. Since many fungal groups produce a wide variety of secondary metabolites, I am also interested in exploring the potential of phylogenetic methods in natural product chemistry to understand the evolution of chemical characters and biosynthetic genes. Currently my lab is studying the effects of climate change on the assembly of fungal communities associated with plant leaves and roots using next generation sequencing approaches. We want to find out, if the composition of symbiotic fungal communities affects local adaptation of the plants. My work integrates a variety of disciplines, such as molecular phylogenetics, systematics, natural product chemistry, and metagenomics.