Research interests

  • Plant microbiome ecology
  • Sustainable land use
  • Plant evolutionary ecology
  • Plant interactions

Scientific projects

I am interested in the different supporting or detrimental interactions plants have with each other or partners in their environment and how anthropogenic influences or the natural environment shape these interactions and with that plant fitness. During my bachelors and masters my main research interest circled around interactions during plant reproduction and connected to that around inbreeding depression. My PhD research focus on the functional biodiversity of the microbiome community of flowers and roots of the legume Trifolium pratense as a central organism of the trophic chain in grasslands.

Given that a healthy and diverse microbiome and its interactions with the plant are crucial for plant health and plant fitness, understanding how different commonly used fertilization methods affect the functional biodiversity and the health of the microbiomes is of key importance. My PhD work is part of the IMPALA project ‘Impact of agricultural land use intensity on the health functions of microbiomes along the food chain’ funded by the Baden-Württemberg-Stiftung and co-supervised by Prof. P. Schäfer (University of Gießen), and Profs. C. Riedel, L. Wilfert and S. Sommer (Ulm University). By combining field work on different grassland sites on the Swabian Alb and recreating the grassland ecosystem in mesocosm experiments in the lab, I will investigate how different fertilizers on grassland sites influence the functional biodiversity and community composition of the microbiomes associated with Trifolium and how this may impact plant fitness and interactions with e.g. pollinators.


Buse J, Illi M, Jetter K, Klotz AK, Knödler S, Schütz N, Förschler MI (2021) Extensive Beweidung mit Rindern als Maßnahme des Insektenschutzes. Naturschutz und Landschaftsplanung, 53 (07).

Conference contributions

PopBio Conference Praque 2021: Poster presentation “Segregation of self-(in)compatibility is not due to S-locus genotype”


  • Karoline Jetter
  • Institute of Evolutionary Ecology
    and Conservation Genomics
    University of Ulm
    Albert-Einstein-Allee 11
    89081 Ulm