FJ (Frank) Sterck FJ (Frank) Sterck

Associate Professor

Woody plants in action:

environment, physiology and plant traits, and their consequences for forests.


Trees look like solid, static and architectural creations, but they are continuously in action and fulfil many functions that influence their growth and structure. Functions include acquisition, transport and use of resources, biomechanical support, hydraulics, resource allocation, and development.


My work focusses on the understanding of trees in action – the role of different functions and pressures on growth - and on the consequences of trees in action - for the niche differentiation and distributions of species and the sustainable management of trees and forests.I therefore develop mechanistic plant models and collect data on morphological and physiological traits, plant growth and survival, species distributions, the production of timber or non-timber products, soil properties and climate conditions in a variety of forest ecosystems around the globe.