Prof. Dr. Hans Schnyder



Academic Career and Research Areas

The research of Prof. Schnyder (b. 1954) explores the carbon balance of grassland plants and ecosystems. He also studies the related nutrient and hydrologic balance processes from cell growth to ecosystem processes. His particular interest lies in the relationships between photosynthesis, carbon allocation and respiration, which determine, among other things, the period for which carbon is retained in the biosphere. Using long-term plant and animal archives, he studies the impact of recent climate change on water use efficiency and the C3/C4 composition of grassland. This work involves the use of stable isotope methods in natural and artificial enrichment.

Prof. Schnyder studied agricultural science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and did his doctorate there in 1984. A grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation enabled him to work at the University of Missouri, Columbia (1985/86). After qualifying as a lecturer at the University of Bonn (1990), he lectured at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna (1993/94). In 1994, he accepted the position of Chair of Grassland Science at TUM. Prof. Schnyder has declined offers from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna and ETH Zurich.


Baca Cabrera JC, Hirl RT, Schäufele R, Macdonald A, Schnyder H: “Stomatal conductance limited the CO2 response of grassland in the last century”. BMC Biology. 2021; 19: 50.


Hirl RT,  Ogée J, Ostler U, Schäufele R, Baca Cabrera JC, Zhu J, Schleip I, Wingate L, Schnyder H: “Temperature-sensitive biochemical 18O-fractionation and humidity-dependent attenuation factor are needed to predict d18O of cellulose from leaf water in a grassland ecosystem”. New Phytologist. 2021; 229: 3156–317.


Baca Cabrera JC, Hirl RT, Zhu J, Schäufele R, Schnyder H: “Atmospheric CO2 and VPD alter the diel oscillation of leaf elongation in perennial ryegrass: compensation of hydraulic limitation by stored-growth”. New Phytologist. 2020; 227: 1776–1789.


Hirl RT, Schnyder H, Ostler U, Schäufele R, Schleip I, Vetter SH, Auerswald K, Baca Cabrera JC, Wingate L, Barbour MM, Ogée J: “The 18O ecohydrology of a grassland ecosystem – predictions and observations”. Hydrology and Earth Systems Science. 2019;  23: 2581-2600.


Schnyder H, Auerswald K, Geist J, Heissenhuber A: “Farmers need independent and holistic advice”. Nature. 2019; 571: 326.