Max Planck Gesellschaft
Sinikka J. Paulus

PhD student with the
Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions and Experimentation and
Hydrology Biosphere Climate Interactions and
Terrestrial Ecohydrology (Uni Jena) groups

room: C1.008 (tower)
phone: +49 3641 576232
fax: +49 3641 577200
email: spaulus(at)

Research interests | Current Research | Meet me | Past Research | Publications | Community Service | Zusammenfassung auf Deutsch

Research Interest:

  • non-rainfall water input measurements and implications in arid ecosystems
  • soil-plant-atmosphere interactions and the role of vegetation in the water cycle
  • water stable isotope application in ecohydrology
  • soil gas transport processes and soil respiration

Current Research:

I am currently analyzing concomitant and independent time series of water fluxes (lysimeters, sap flow, eddy covariance (EC)) jointly with time series of vegetation properties (spectral vegetation indices, dendrometer etc), and biometerological variables (temperature, vapor pressure deficit, soil moisture etc) in a Mediterranean tree grass ecosystem.

I am interested in

  • robust flux estimates of all terrestrial water flux components: precipitation, evapotranspiration and condensation processes of atmospheric humidity- such as dew and capillary condensation, as well as soil vapor adsorption
  • the seasonal and interanual variability of these fluxes
  • their implications for water and energy balances
  • and their effect on the biosphere

Meet me:

EGU 2022 23-27 May 2022 Paulus, S., El-Madany, T., Orth, R., Hildebrandt, A., Wutzler, T., Carrara, A., Moreno, G., Perez-Priego O., Kolle O., Reichstein, M., Migliavacca, M. (2022) Frequent water inputs to a semi-arid ecosystem at night - a lysimeter based study. EGU General Assembly, 2022

Past Research:

University of Freiburg - Institute of Ecosystem Physiology:
In the group of Maren Dubbert, we studied root water uptake processes in a temperate grassland using water stable isotopes. We combined two in situ measurement techniques to sample soil and leaf transpiration water vapor on a daily timescale. We further compared our results to the isotopic signature of destructively sampled material to gain additional information about methodological differences. (link thesis) (link paper)

University of Freiburg - Institute of Soil Ecology:
Under the supervision of Martin Maier I worked as a student's research assistant conducting research in the field of soil gas transport. We measured trace gas concentrations in the soil column with an group internally developed portable insitu sampling pole. Over different measurement campaigns we combined this technique with others, to gain information about

drivers of plot-scale variability of CH4 consumption (link)
the impact of turbulence driven pressure pumping on soil gas transport (link)
the interrelation between soil methane production and stem CH4 emission in Fagus sylvatica (link)



Haas, C., Paulus, S., Maier, M. & Gerke, H. (2020) Approach for using measured soil gas diffusion coefficients in Hydrus 1D with examples from forest soils. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 4, 183. (link)
Kübert, A., Paulus, S., Dahlmann, A., Werner, C., Rothfuss, Y., Orlowski, N., & Dubbert, M. (2020) Water Stable Isotopes in Ecohydrological Field Research: Comparison between In Situ and Destructive Monitoring Methods to Determine Soil Water Isotopic Signatures. Frontiers in Plant Science, 11, 387. (link)
Maier, M., Paulus, S., Nicolai, C., Stutz, K., and Nauer P. (2017) Drivers of Plot-Scale Variability of CH4 Consumption in a Well-Aerated Pine Forest Soil. Forests, 10.3390/f8060193, 8, 6, (193) (link)


Paulus, S., El-Madany, T., Orth, R., Hildebrandt, A., Wutzler, T., Carrara, A., Moreno, Perez-Priego, O., Kolle, O., Reichstein, M., G., Migliavacca, M. (2021) Lysimeter based evaporation and condensation dynamics in a Mediterranean ecosystem. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions (link)

Selected Conference Contributions

Paulus, S., El-Madany, T., Orth, R., Hildebrandt, A., Migliavacca, M. (2021) Multi-source characterisation of non-rainfall water inputs to a semi-arid ecosystem. in: Beiträge zur 19. Lysimetertagung, 13.-14.4.2021, HBFLA Raumberg-Gumpenstein; 2021. (link)
Paulus, S., El-Madany, T., Orth, R., Nelson, J. A., Hildebrandt, A., Reichstein, M., Wutzler, T., Carrara, A., Moreno, G., Migliavacca, M. (2021) Adsorption of water vapor by soil in semi arid ecosystems: reconciling estimates from Lysimeters and Eddy Covariance. (online Display) EGU General Assembly, 2021. (link)
Paulus, S., El-Madany, T., Wutzler, T., Orth, R., Perez-Priego, O., Reichstein, M., Carrara, A., Moreno, G., Migliavacca, W. (2020, May) Hidden water fluxes in a Mediterranean ecosystem: new insights into seasonal dynamics from lysimeter data. Display presented at EGU General Assembly online 2020. (link)
Kübert, A., Rothfuss, Y., Götz, M., Kuester, E., Paulus, S., Dahlmann, A., Kuehnhammer, K., Piayda, A., Werner, C., Dubbert, M. (2019, December) Global Change Induced Threats Across Scales: Assessing the Impact of Extreme Drought and Nitrogen Loading on a Temperate Grassland. In AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 2019. (link)
Paulus, S., Kübert, A., Dahlmann, A., Werner, C., Rothfuss, Y., Dubbert, M. and Orlowski N. (2019, April) Comparison between destructive and in situ monitoring methods of determination of soil pore water isotopic composition for addressing ecohydrological questions. Poster session presented at the EGU General Assembly, Vienna, Austria. (link)
Paulus, S., Jochheim, H., Wirth, S., Maier, M. (2015, April) Calculating soil gas fluxes from gas concentration profiles: can we usestandard DS models or should we use site-specific DS models? Poster session presented at the EGU General Assembly, Vienna, Austria. (link)

Community Service

Elected member of the Gender Equality Team of the BGC-Institute

Open Access Ambassador of the BGC-Institute

Zusammenfassung auf deutsch

Wissenschaftliche Schwerpunkte:

  • Berechnung der Mengen an Wasser, die in Form von Tau, Nebel oder Bodenwasser adsorption in trockenen Ökosysteme auftreten
  • Boden-Pflanzen-Atmosphären Interaktionen und die Rolle von Vegetation für den Wasserkreislauf
  • Anwendung von Stabilen Wasserisotopen im Fachbereich Ökohydrologie
  • Bodengastransport und Bodenrespirations Messungen

Aktuelle Forschung:

In meinem Projekt analysiere ich Zeitreihen von Variablen des Wasserkreislaufs (Lysimeter, Sapflow, Eddy Covarianz) zusammen mit Informationen zu Vegetations Zuständen (spektrale Indizes, Dendrometer etc) und biometeorologischen Variablen (Luft- und Bodentemperatur, Dampfdruck (defizit)...) in einem Mediterranen Ökosystem.

Mein Ziel ist es

  • robuste Schätzungen aller terrestrischen Wasserflüsse zu erhalten. Zusätzlich zu Regen und Evapotranspiration konzentriere ich mich dabei auf Kondensations- und Niederschlagsprozesse durch Nebel, Tau und Bodenphysikalische Einflüsse (Kapillarität, Adsorptionskräfte)
  • Saisonale und jährliche Variabilität dieser Flussmengen zu untersuchen
  • deren Relevanz für die Wasser und Energie Bilanz zu berechnen
  • und diese Informationen einzubeziehen als potenzielle Erklärung für die jährliche Schwankungen in der Kohlenstoffbilanz dieses Ökosystems
Directions | Disclaimer | Data Protection | Contact | Internal | Webmail | Local weather | PRINT | © 2011-2022 Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry