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Dr. Melanie Tietje

Melanie Tietje
Fax: +49 30 889140 - 8565

Museum für Naturkunde
Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung
Invalidenstraße 43
10115 Berlin


Researcher in the group of PD Dr. Mark-Oliver Rödel


My main interest is in macroecological processes and the combination of paleontological and neontological data.

During my doctoral thesis I investigated the extinction risk of amphibian species and the different traits that are influencing extinction risk. My main interest was on the synthesis of paleontology and biology. I have been working with both palaeontological and neontological data from certain databases and the literature. Questions arising from this included the way in which certain traits influence the extinction risk of a taxon, as well as the applicability of insights we gain from the fossil record about extinctions on current conservation biology tasks.

In Tietje & Rödel 2017 we were able to show that the on average higher extinction risk of species from flowing waters in amphibians is not reflected in the fossil record. On the contrary, species known from flowing water bodies had on average longer stratigraphic durations than species from still waters.

In a more comprehensive study recently published, we predict the extinction risk of living amphibian species based on a fossil-calibrated model. This model uses several traits of amphibians that are suspected to influence extinction risk and are also partly used in the IUCN Red List assessments.

In another project I search for connections between climate and the amphibian fossil record. Climatic data is derived from oxygen isotope data. Influences of the climatic conditions and their changes on biodiversity and also morphological traits like body size might give insights into possible evolutionary reactions of amphibians to future climate changes. 

Since my participation in the fellow program open science in 2016 I am also interested in aspects of open science like open peer review. 

For further information see my webpage.

Publications (Selection)

  • Hofmann, R., Tietje, M., and Aberhan, M. (2018): Diversity partitioning in Phanerozoic benthic marine communities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. OPEN ACCESS
  • Tietje, M. and Rödel, M.O. (2018), Evaluating the predicted extinction risk of living amphibian species with the fossil record. Ecology Letters. 10.1111/ele.13080
  • Tietje, Rödel (2017), Contradicting habitat type-extinction risk relationships between living and fossil amphibians, Royal Society Open Science. 2017 4 170051; 10.1098/rsos.170051. Published 10 May 2017
  • Tietje, M. & Kiessling, W. (2013), Predicting extinction from fossil trajectories of geographical ranges in benthic marine molluscs. Journal of Biogeography, 40: 790–799. 10.1111/jbi.12030