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Wolf Eiserhardt


Associate Professor

Primary affiliation

Wolf Eiserhardt

Areas of expertise

  • Biodiversity
  • Botany
  • Phylogenomics
  • Biogeography
  • Macroecology

Contact information

Telephone number
Email address


Biodiversity - the diversity of living organisms - is something we humans are surrounded by, fascinated by, and dependent on. But how, when, and where did biodiversity originate? Why is it unevenly distributed across the globe, with approximately half of the world’s biodiversity concentrated in tropical rainforests, which occupy less than 10% of the world’s land area? And why are there only a few species of animals, plants, or fungi that exist in many places, while most are limited to very small areas? My research aims to answer these and other fundamental biodiversity questions using genomic and biogeographic methods, with a focus on flowering plants (approximately 330,000 species) and especially palms (approximately 2,500 species).

Teaching activities

In my group, you can learn how to reconstruct the ‘tree of life’ - the family tree that shows the relationships between all living species - based on DNA sequences, and how to use this tree to explain the origin and distribution of biodiversity across the globe. I teach phylogenetic methods, botany, biogeography, and macroecology, and I regularly supervise BSc, MSc, PhD and postdoc projects within my area. Working with me, you’ll improve your skills in various relevant methods, such as programming, bioinformatics, and geographic information systems (GIS), in addition to gaining a deeper understanding of ecological and evolutionary processes. 


In addition to Aarhus University, I am also affiliated with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London, one of the world’s leading research institutions in plant science. A significant part of my research takes place in close collaboration with colleagues at Kew. Currently, we have joint projects focused on the phylogeny of flowering plants and palms, as well as the origin of rainforests, with a specific emphasis on Madagascar.

I also collaborate with colleagues at other research institutions and universities in several countries including France, Germany, Madagascar, Switzerland, the UK and the USA.


Selected publications

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