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Welcome to the Department of Soil Science at the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena!

Here, we like to introduce our team and our main fields in research and teaching. Apart from subjects of "classical" soil science, such as the development and spatial distribution of soil types, we are very interested in the ecological functions soils fulfill within terrestrial ecosystems. This might encompass for example the ability of soils to act as sources or sinks for organic matter and nutrient elements, to store plant available water or to temporarily retain huge amounts of water during heavy rain storms, thus regulating water cycling- or simply to sustain the capability of soils to produce crops and timber. However, those soil functions and thus ecosystem services are threatened by changing environmental conditions, the loss of biodiversity and shifts in land use and management intensities.
That is why this department also focuses on biogeochemistry and global change related disturbance ecology associated with soil science and ecosystem functioning. In more detail, we deal with organic matter and nutrient cycling in forests and agricultural systems in temperate and tropical eco-zones, ecosystem disturbance and land-use related losses of matter and elements on a plot and sub-catchment scale.