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Current research and interests

I am broadly interested in understanding and quantifying the role and the fate of natural communities facing global change. In my research, I predominantly use theoretical and modeling tools as well as statistical analyses to approach this complex issue. In particular, I am excited about leveraging the full potential of this methodology in collaborations with experimental researchers.

Soils contain the largest pool of terrestrial organic carbon and an accurate description of their dynamics is thus key to achieving reliable predictions of climate change. The fate of soil carbon is heavily controlled by the microbial community and this has been studied extensively, but its representation in earth system models is still lacking and contributes substantial uncertainty to projections of future conditions.

In my PhD project “C-timing”, I develop a new model representing the temporal dynamics of the microbial community and carbon in soil by integrating and interpreting the experimental results obtained in the “SoilSystems” priority program. The model will feature a modular structure with components to account for diverse factors across varying timescales, such as substrate availability, soil anaerobiosis,  microbial dormancy, the presence of different functional groups as well as the effects of grazing. This approach aims to identify the main drivers of the temporal dynamics of soil carbon and to ultimately combine them in a parsimonious formulation.


Priority Program “SoilSystems” (SPP 2322)

The “C-timing” project (P15) [https://soilsystems.net/projects/p15-c-timing/] is part of the “SoilSystems” priority program (SPP 2322) funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). This joint research program aims to gain a systemic view on the fluxes and storage of matter and energy in the soil system by investigating the many complex interactions between its living and non-living components. This will be achieved using a common experimental platform for all involved projects and by placing a special emphasis on a thermodynamic description of the system. The insights gained through this integrated approach will advance the reliable prediction of the dynamics and the role of soil ecosystems in the context of global change.