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Klaus BirkhoferProf. Klaus Birkhofer

Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany & Lund University, Sweden

I am the coordinator of the SoilClim project and the leader of synthesis activities in the project. The coordinator role involves coordination of roof development and experimental design. In the role as leader of syntheses activities, I will lead the development of sets of indicators for the application as early warning system for drought stress. I will also lead the work on trade-offs and synergies between soil biodiversity and ecosystem functions using data from field experiments.

PhD. Andreas Fliessbach

Research Institute of Organic Agriculture/Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (FiBL), Frick, Switzerland


katarina_hedlundProf. Katarina Hedlund

Lund University, Sweden

I'm responsible for the research on microbial functional genes and will take part of the work that concerns isotopic labelling and general soil ecology in the project.



Pilar GavinPilar Gavin, PhD Student

Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas, Almería, Spain

My PhD research focuses on how water, as an essential resource, affects fauna reproductive and/or aggregative responses. I will focus on nematodes and macrofauna. The former are powerful bioindicators of agroecosystem functioning and can be central in the control of upper trophic levels. Predatory macrofauna, on the other hand, can exert top-down control on soil biota. In Soilclim, I will investigate how all of the above are affected by decreasing rainfall.


maria_ingimarsdottirPhD. María Ingimarsdóttir

Lund University, Sweden

I am a researcher and the administrator of the SoilClim project. As the project administrator I e.g. coordinate the production of sampling protocols, archive data in a central database and coordinate the writing of annual reports.


Katja KozjekKatja Kozjek, PhD Student

Lund University, Sweden

The focus of my work is to determine how summer droughts influence the functional genetic diversity of soil microorganisms in agricultural soils. To analyse the identity, presence and activity of genes, a novel technique called sequence capture will be used.


dominika_kundelDominika Kundel, PhD Student

Research Institute of Organic Agriculture/Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (FiBL), Frick, Switzerland

In SoilClim, I work in the rhizosphere of wheat plants and determine how the community of soil bacteria and fungi is affected by simulated drought and how drought stress tolerance of plants is influenced by microbes. For that purpose, I work in FiBL’s long-term farming systems comparison trial (DOK) where I study the influence of drought stress on microbial diversity also in the context of different land management strategies.


Jordi MartaPhD. Jordi Moya-Laraño

Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas, Almería, Spain




PhD. Marta Montserrat

Instituto de Hortofruticultura Subtropical y Mediterránea-CSIC, Málaga, Spain

Our group will be in charge of studying the diversity and abundance of the below- and above-ground macro-fauna fauna as well as the ecosystem services associated to the fauna activity (decomposition, substrate use) and diversity/composition (pest control). We will also collaborate with Dr. Sara Sánchez Moreno (INIA) to incorporate a very important component of the micro-fauna (i.e., nematodes), which will be also tested for associations with the above ecosystem services.


LokeshPhD. Lokeshwaran Manoharan

Lund University, Sweden

I will be an adviser for the project regarding the research on microbial functional genetic diversity and their relation to the ecosystem services.



svenja_meyerSvenja Meyer, PhD student

Georg August University Göttingen, Germany

Dominant mesofauna taxa, like collembolans, are highly sensitive to desiccation and might suffer from reduced rainfall and increasing temperatures that are predicted by climate change models. I will therefore extract microarthropods from soil samples to understand the effects on the mesofaunal community. The contribution of the different species of mesofauna to processes like decomposition is determined by their trophic position within the soil food web. I will therefore use stable isotope analysis to estimate individual trophic levels and interactions with other soil organisms. I will also investigate carbon fluxes from carbon isotope labelled litter into the below-ground mesofauna foodweb.

PhD. Paul Mäder

Research Institute of Organic Agriculture/Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (FiBL), Frick, Switzerland


stefan_scheuProf. Stefan Sheu

Georg August University Göttingen, Germany

In SoilClim we analyze the response of soil communities to increased drought conditions focusing on soil mesofauna taxa such as oribatid mites and collembolans. Using natural variations in stable isotope ratios we explore how increased drought alters the trophic structure of decomposer food webs. Further, using plant residues labelled with 13C and 15N, we follow the flux of C and N into decomposer soil animal species as affected by increased drought.


jaak_truuProf. Jaak Truu

University of Tartu, Estonia

Main responsibility is to assess differences in soil microbial diversity, community structure and dynamics over time in experimental plots by amplicon based high-throughput sequencing of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial communities. We will analyse the impact of drought events and management intensity on the relationship between soil microbial community parameters and ecosystem processes.


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