Transregio | SFB TRR 141 | Biological Design and integrative structures
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Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Thomas Speck (Co-speaker)

TRR 141 Co-speaker
Principal investigator in A02 & A04

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Thomas Speck
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Plant Biomechanics Group Freiburg,
Lehrstuhl für Botanik: Funktionelle Morphologie und Bionik und Botanischer Garten
Fakultät für Biologie
Schänzlestraße 1
D-79104 Freiburg

Phone: +49 (0) 761 203-2875



1978 – 1986 Dipl.-Biol., Biology, University of Freiburg, Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Dieter Vogellehner & Prof. Dr. H.-C. Spatz

Scientific degrees

1990 Dr. rer. nat., Biology, University of Freiburg, Advisor: Prof. Dr. Dieter Vogellehner

1996 Dr.-rer. nat. habil. and venia legendi for Botany & Biophysics, University of Freiburg, Mentors: Prof. Dr. Dieter Vogellehner & Prof. Dr. Hanns-Christof Spatz

Work experience

2006 – current Full Professor (W3) Botany: Functional Morphology and Biomimetics, Director of the Botanic Garden Freiburg

2002 – 2006 Associate Professor (C3) for Functional Morphology and Biomimechanics, Director of the Botanic Garden Freiburg

2000 – 2002 University Lecturer for Botany and Biophysics, University of Freiburg

1993 – 1999 Assistant Professor, University of Freiburg

1990 – 1993 Research Associate (Wiss. Angestellter) at the Botanic Garden and Faculty of Biology University of Freiburg


Deputy Director of the ›Freiburg Center for Interactive Materials and Bio-Inspired Technologies (FIT)‹

Member of the Advisory Board of the Landesagentur für Leichtbau Baden-Württemberg (Leichtbau BW)

Program-Committee Member, Priority Program 1420 ›Biomimetic Materials Research: Functionality by Hierarchical Structuring of Materials‹ (DFG)

Speaker, Competence Network Biomimetics – Plants and Animals as Concept Generators for Biomimetic Materials and Technologies (funded by the Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts Baden-Württemberg)

Board member of the ›Bionic Competence Network BIOKON e.V.‹ and of the »Biomechanics Group« of the Society for Experimental Biology U.K.

Vice-President of BIOKON international – Biomimetics Association and Society for Technical Biology and Bionics – GTBB

Advisory Board Member for ›Bionics‹, ›Association of German Engineers‹ (VDI e.V.)

Scientific Member of the Freiburg Materials Research Center (FMF)

Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the B CUBE – Center for Molecular Bioengineering TU Dresden and the INM Leibniz Institute for New Materials gGmbH Saarbrücken

Fellow of the Linnean Society London

Several Science and Industrial Awards for studies in biomechanics/functional morphology and for development of biomimetic products

Associate Editor of: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics; Journal of Bionic Engineering; Internat. Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics; Trees – Structure & Function; Paläontographica, B – Palaeophytologie.

2001 offer of a C3-professorship (paleobotany), HU Berlin/2006 offer of a W3-professorship (plant systematics & plant geography), FU Berlin combined with the position as director general of the Botanic Garden & Botanic Museum Berlin-Dahlem

99/00 Visiting Professor at the „Formal- und Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät“, University of Vienna

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  Picture: Treeferns and eucalyptus trees in the Fernshaw National Park, East Australia