Daniela Aros Mualin: Plant Physiology First Author

Daniela Aros Mualin, first author of “Light, rather than circadian rhythm, regulates gas exchange in ferns and lycophytes”

Current Position:

PhD Candidate in Ecology in Dr. Michael Kessler lab at University of Zurich


  • Plant Biology. University of Bonn, Germany
  • Biology. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile

Non-scientific Interests:

Travelling to awesome diving spots, Freediving, collecting animal and plants earrings, drawing and reading.

Brief bio:

Plants became my main interest during a botany course, where I began seeing them as living beings that moved at significantly different timeframes instead of beautiful decoration. From that moment on, I was captivated by the functioning of plants, particularly how their anatomy and physiology changes with their environment. In my bachelor project, I studied how the holoparasite called Tristerix aphyllus affects the fitness and photosynthesis of its host, the cactus species Echinopsis chiloensis, along a climatic gradient. The MSc and working at the botanical garden in Bonn introduced me to the fascinating world of ferns, and they have since been my primary focus. As an early divergent group of tracheophytes, they provide fascinating information on the evolution of terrestrial plants, yet they have been historically understudied. In this context, I have dedicated my PhD to understanding key limitations to their distribution, such as water availability, to help build the foundations that will allow us to anticipate their response to rapidly changing environments. I believe that ferns have developed numerous strategies for adapting to water and carbon limitations, some of which differ significantly from those of angiosperms. The large number of physiological differences between ferns and angiosperms shows the need for taxonomically diverse studies to understand the future of our biodiversity.