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Department of Geography Soil Science and Biogeochemistry

Biogeochemistry of Soils and Sediments


The group focuses on biogeochemical cycling and stability of organic matter in soils and sediments by the implementation of inorganic and organic geochemical methods, including also molecular and isotope proxies. Diverse recent and past terrestrial ecosystems are under investigation and manipulative experiments improve our understanding of the influence of environmental changes on these systems.

More information on running research and projects


Understanding the influence of daylight on plant functioning from leaf level to forest stands - A stable isotope approach (Velux 1733, 2022-2025)

Improved source assessment of organic matter in soils and sediments using molecular proxies and inverse modeling (SNF 188684, 2019-2024)

Former research projects

DEEP C (SNSF 172744, 2017-2023)

Key drivers for alkane d2H composition of boreal tree needles (SNSF 204051, 2021)

   The consequence of future soil warming on carbon cycling at a molecular level (SATW Germaine de Staël 2019-08, 2020-2022)

Biogeochemcial validation of remotely sensed plant traits (UZH URPP GCB, 2017-2022)

Next-Iso: Next generation compound-specific isotope analysis of stable and radioactive isotopes of organic components in terrestrial ecosystems (SNF R'Equip 157778, 2015-2016)

Root-derived organic matter in the deep subsoil > 2 m depth - what are the consequences for terrestrial carbon cycling and paleoenvironmental records? (SNF 153631, 2014-2017)

Effect of drought on C cycling in the plant-soil system - which roles play lignin and lipids? (SNF 146473, 2013-2017)

Der Effekt lang anhaltender Trockenheit auf die CO2-Aufnahme durch Pflanzen und die Kohlenstoffdynamik im System Pflanze-Boden (DFG 230374803, 2012-2015)

Lifestyle assessment of GDGT source organisms via root systems (DAAD 54366179, 2012-2013)

Quantifizierung von postsedimentärem wurzelbürtigen Kohlenstoff in Löss mit molekularen Proxies zur Präzisierung von Paläoumweltrekonstruktionen (DFG 184773399, 2011-2015)

Rhizodeposition is the main source of carbon and energy for nutrient mobilization in subsoil (RhizoCNP) (DFG 135946177, FOR1320, 2010-2015)

Linking nutrient cycles, land use and biodiversity along an elevation gradient on Mt. Kilimanjaro (DFG Ku1184/20, FOR 1246, 2010-2014)

Lipid and PAH composition as indicators for conditions of thermal degradation (DFG 165706565, 2010-2013)

Einfluss von Wasser auf die Erhaltung von Lipiden in Böden (DAAD 50022145, 2009-2011)

Veränderungen der Lipidzusammensetzung und der Isotopie von Lipiden in Pflanzen und Böden unter erhöhter atmosphärischer CO2-Konzentration (FACE) (DFG 61682712, 2007-2011)

Weiterführende Informationen

He who digs a pit … can learn a lot about soil science!

He who digs a pit … can learn a lot about soil science!