PhD projects

On-going projects


Affiliated PhD projects

Phosphorus availability and its interaction with plant belowground carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus input to soil

PhD candidate: Pierre Stevenel (e-mail)

UZH supervisor: Samuel Abiven

For more information click here



Completed PhD projects

All PhD theses are available online via the Hochschulschriftenkatalog of the Zentralbibliothek Zurich.






Organic carbon vulnerability in Swiss forest soils Beatriz Gonzalez Dominguez 2018 Dr. S. Abiven
Agricultural Management and Below Ground Carbon Inputs Juliane Hirte 2018 Dr. S. Abiven

Fire's Black Legacy:
The Fate of Pyrogenic Carbon in Soils across Scales

Moritz Reisser 2018 Dr. S. Abiven

Breeding and drought influence root biomass and rooting depth

Cordula Friedli 2017 Dr. S. Abiven

Molecular and Isotopic Signatures of Combustion in the Modern Environment

Ulrich Hanke 2017 Prof. Dr. M. W. I. Schmidt
Effect of Drought on Carbon Cycling in Model Temperate Grassland and Heathland Plant-soil Systems Kavita Srivastava 2017 PD Dr. G. L. B. Wiesenberg

A Holistic Approach to Study Carbon Cycling
in the Plant-Soil System Based on Stable Isotope Labelling

Mirjam S. Studer


Dr. S. Abiven

New Insights into Pyrogenic Carbon by an Improved Benzene Polycarboxylic Acid Molecular Marker Method

Daniel Wiedemeier


Prof. Dr. M. W. I. Schmidt

Nitrogen deposition and elevated CO₂ effects on geochemical biomarkers in soil fractions

Marco Griepentrog


Prof. Dr. M. W. I. Schmidt

The fate of pyrogenic organic matter in soil and its interaction with native soil organic matter and increased N inputs

Bernardo Maestrini


Dr. S. Abiven

Dynamics of Pyrogenic Organic Matter: Physical, Chemical and Biological Transformation and Stabilization Processes in the Soil

Nimisha Nimisha


Dr. S. Abiven

Turnover and stabilization of soil organic matter: effect of land-use change in alpine regions

David Hiltbrunner (WSL Birmensdorf)


Dr. S. Zimmermann

Dr. F. Hagedorn

Turnover and stabilization of soil organic matter in Alpine grasslands

Stefanie Meyer (ART Reckenholz)


Dr. J. Leifeld

Prof. Dr. J. Fuhrer

Does carbon distribution and turnover in (sub)alpine grassland soils indicate these areas may be potential carbon dioxide hotspots in the event of global warming?

Karen Budge (ART Reckenholz)


Dr. J. Leifeld

Prof. Dr. J. Fuhrer

Carbon Fluxes from Decaying Beech Litter: Insights from a 13C-Tracer Experiment and a New Method to Analyse the Stable Isotopes in Soil CO2 Effluxes

Adrian Kammer (WSL Birmensdorf)


Dr. F. Hagedorn

Prof. Dr. A. Knohl

Assessment of a Molecular Marker Method to Determine the Pyrogenic Carbon Component in Charcoals and Soils

Maximilian Schneider


Prof. Dr. T. Dittmar

Dr. R.H. Smittenberg

Dr. S. Abiven

Lignin dynamics in arable soils as determined by 13C natural abundance

Anett Hofmann


  Dr. A. Heim

  Dr. A. Miltner

Detecting prehistoric fire-based farming using biogeochemical markers

Eileen Eckmeier


  Prof. Dr. R. Gerlach

  J. O. Skjemstad

Analysis and fate of combustion residues in soil

Karen Hammes


  Dr. R. J. Smernik

  Prof. Dr. M. W. I. Schmidt

Effects of pedogenic processes and vegetation on soil organic matter, Fe, Al, Si and clay mineralogy in the Southern Alps

Remo Zanelli


  PD Dr. M. Egli

  Prof. Dr. P. Fitze

Spectroscopic quantification of soil organic carbon fractions that can be related to model pools

Michael Zimmermann (ART Reckenholz)


  Dr. J. Leifeld

  Prof. Dr. J. Fuhrer

  Dr. M. G. Johnson