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Climate resilient varieties for new climates

At the Fruit Logistica in Berlin, the Fresh Produce Forum attracts visitors with current topics with simultaneous translations into German, English, French, Italian and Spanish at the world’s largest fruit fair.

On Friday, 9 February 2018, Kaasten Rehof (Fruchthandel Magazine) welcomed the audience and introduced the speakers, Dr Michael Blanke, University of Bonn and Prof. Cristos Xyloyannis, University of Basilikata, Italy. Dr M Blanke presented his talk on opportunities and challenges for new climate resisilient varieties in the fruit and vegetable sectorand examined existing varieties as to their climate resilience. He addressed the question, whether our current varieties are climate resilient or new breeding goals should be addressed.
This presentation is a result of the successful BSc thesis of Mehdi Bisbis and the joint review with Dr Nazim Gruda on climate change effects in horticulture in the Journal of Cleaner Production (

With 3,000 exhibitors and 75,000 visitorsfrom 130 countries, Fruit Logistica is not only the largest fruit fair worldwide, but it’s satellite meetings like the Tech stage, Future Laband Fresh Produce Forum have become an unrivalled meeting point for all the researchers, producers, trade and consumers alike  and attract many  international stakeholders in the fruit and vegetable business.

„Donnerwetter“ - Science Slam in Bonn‘s Bundeskunsthalle

The Science Slam on 31 January 2018 filled the lecture hall of the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn on a rainy, dreary evening. The popular topic ‘Climate change and weather’ attracted 450 visitors.

The five scientists on stage from the Universities of Bonn and Düsseldorf and RWTH Aachen, presented their research on weather forecast, rain radar, weather satellites and climate change in an easy to follow language. The event accompanied the on-going exhibition on ‘Weather’ at the Bundeskunsthalle, following the international climate change congress COP23 at Bonn in November 2017.

Michael Blanke of INRES-Horticultural Science presented his latest findings on local climate change in the Bonn-Meckenheim fruit growing region. His findings are based on a combination of 60 years’ of weather and phenology records from Campus Klein-Altendorf, Bonn university’s research station, which show a shift of 2 weeks’ earlier flowering in apple, combined with a continued risk of a late spring frost and concerns about sufficient winter cold temperatures (chilling). 

Science slam is a modern way of technology transfer of scientific results to the members of the general public in clear language without academic jargon - the performance is judged by the audience’s applause. This is Dr. Blanke’s 3rd science slam at Bonn and the sell-out indicates the popularity of both the interest in regional climate change effects and the way this is presented.

New staff members for TOMRES

Dr. Simone Schmittgen is a plant scientist (PostDoc) working on the impact of stress-induced accumulation of secondary metabolites in Solanaceae. Her expertise is in the area of abiotic stress detection by optical measurement (fluorescence, hyperspectral) and monitoring plant responses by altered metabolite accumulation and biochemical/-physical parameters. She obtained her Diploma at Biology (Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany) in 2011 and her PhD in plant sciences (Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany) in 2014. Currently, she supervises the working group “stress physiology” at the INRES Horticultural Science, University of Bonn, coordinates the TaReCa project of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research - BMBF, and is involved in KoGa activities. In TOMRES, she participates in work package 1 (screening of tomato genotypes) and leads work package 6 (dissemination).


Jan Ellenberger is a PhD student at the horticulture department of the Institute for Crop Science and Resource Conservation, University of Bonn. He graduated from University of Bonn with a MSc degree in Crop Science in 2017. Experienced in hyperspectral and fluorescence-based stress detection as well as thermal imaging of plants, his research will be on early stress detection in tomato plants within the TOMRES project.