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Joshua Emil Spitz
My DFG-funded PhD research at MultiTroph, supervised by Dr. Michael Staab and Prof. Dr. Heike Feldhaar, centers on diversity and ecological functions of ants within a tree diversity experiment at BEF-China.

I have a broad interest in ant taxonomy and ant-plant interactions, from the molecular to the ecosystem level. It fascinates me how the life histories of ants and plants run parallel and influence each other at different stages and in many ways.

In my research, I am investigating how tree diversity, mediated by ant community, may influence ecosystem functioning. Thereby I am using integrative taxonomy as an important tool to explain the impact of shifts in ant community.

As a Chinese son-in-law I am familiar with both cultures. In my free time, I love to dive into Chinese language, culture, and history.


MS (2022), Technical University of Munich, Germany

BS (2019), University of Freiburg, Germany

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B1|01, Room 256

Joshua E. Spitz


Fachbereich Biologie

Technische Universität Darmstadt

Schnittspahnstr. 3

64287 Darmstadt




Ant diversity at BEF-China

Currently, I am finalizing identification of ant specimens from a survey back in 2016. So far, about 100 ant species are known from the BEF-China sites, of which about 70% could additionally be characterized by functional traits. 


Below are some examples from the BEF-China sites from Dr. Michael Staab's collection. Special thanks to Dr. Christoph von Beeren for taking the images with his personal setup.






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