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CV: Harald Schneider
PD. Dr. Schneider, Harald
1996: PhD in botany, University of Zürich, Switzerland
1996-1999: Marie-Curie Fellow, University of Leiden, Netherlands
1999: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Field Museum, Chicago, USA
2000: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of California at Berkeley, USA
2001: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Duke University, USA
(- present: honorary lab member at the Pryer lab, Duke University, USA)
2002-2007: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Göttingen
2007-present: Research Leader, Natural History Museum, London, U.K.; honorary research fellow, Dept. of Systematic Botany, University of Göttingen.
Edgar T. Wherry Award, Botanical Society of America
Associate editor: SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY
Associate editor for phylogenetic methodology: TAXON
Plant phylogeny and biogeography, especially of seed-free vascular plants
Plant morphology and evolution
The rise and spread of the land plants during the mid Palaeozoic, about 400 million years ago, led to a transient elevation of chemical and physical weathering rates, rapid increases in soil volume, and long-term changes in the hydrological cycle and sediment fluxes on earth. The resulting drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide had dramatic consequences including a global climatic cooling and the onset of a continental glaciation toward the end of the Devonian period. This global change resulted in a major biotic crisis: the Frasnian-Famenian mass extinction. At the same time, the massive decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide triggered the diversification of plants with complex organs such as leaves, specialized for optimizing photosynthesis.
The relationships of the earliest land plants and their descendants, the four lineages of land plants - liverworts, hornworts, mosses, vascular plants - are still poorly understood. The study of the evolution of these lineages is a main focus of my research. Leading research questions are:
1. What are evolutionary relationships of earliest land plants and the four extant lineages?
2. How old are the earliest land plants and when were the four extant lineages established?
3. Had the earliest land plants a symbiotic association with fungi?
4. What was the impact of the earliest land plants on the evolution of their palaeo-environment?
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Schneider, H., H-P. Kreier, R. Wilson & A.R. Smith (2006): The Synammia enigma: evidence for a temperate lineage of polygrammoid ferns (Polypodiaceae, Polypodiidae) in southern South America. Systematic Botany 31: 30-40.
Schneider, H., T.A. Ranker, S.J. Russell, R. Cranfill, J. Geiger, R. Aguraijua, K.R. Wood, M. Grundmann, & J.C. Vogel (2005): Origin and diversification of the Hawaiian fern genus Diellia coincides with the renewal of Hawaiian terrestrial life in the Miocene. Proceedings of the Royal Society London, Series B 272: 455-460.
Schneider, H., E. Schuettpelz, K.M. Pryer, R. Cranfill, S. Magallón & R. Lupia (2004): Ferns diversified in the shadow of angiosperms. Nature 428:553-557.
Pryer, K.M., H. Schneider, E.A. Zimmer & J.A. Banks (2002): Deciding among green plants for whole genome studies. Trends in Plant Sciences 12: 550-554.
Pryer, K.M., H. Schneider, A.R. Smith, R. Cranfill, P.G. Wolf, J.S. Hunt & S.D. Sipes (2001): Horsetails and ferns are a monophyletic group and the closest living relatives to seed plants. Nature 409: 618-621.