Tobias Stürzebecher

PhD Student

About me

I am very interested in the thin, upper and enlivened layer on our planet- called soil or pedosphere. Soil consists of small, weathered rock particles and organic matter. Our soils are dynamic systems. They stay under continuous spacial and temporal changes and are influenced by natural forces and a bunch of microorganisms, other soil organisms, plants and also by the use of the human being. In my studies on this unique ecosystem I focus on the essential nutrient elements (carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus). These nutrients are very importent for life itself and many biogeochemical processes. For me it is highly interesting to look at processes, exchanges and interactions between these nutrients and plants, soil and microorganisms. Most of these processes are located around roots and roothairs. We call this zone of soil next to the roots „rhizosphere“. In this area we find so called „hot-spots of life“, but we are just beginning to understand it. Many is unknown about the mechanisms and processes in this area. Especially we do not know how these processes are influenced by changing environmental conditions like climate change, e.g. increasing drought periods. Additionally, the demand for a sustainable and ecological beneficial agriculture increased in the last decades which brings new questions and challenges for future farmers in the context of (agroecosystem adaption, reduced firtilization, water defizit control, etc.)

In spring 2020, we started the BMBF suported project RootWayS where I use modern methods and highly sensitive technologies like labeling with stable isotopes to enlighten to shed light on the dark of the secrets of processes between roots and soil. In this work I will also test solutions for the big question of resource scarcity and abiotic stress in applied agriculture.

Educational background

Main focus: scientific methods of soil ecology, stable isotopes in ecosystem research, exchanges and interactions between ecology and climate change

Main focus: soil sciences, nutrient cycles, changes and adaption of land-use systems within the challenges of climate change