Max Planck Gesellschaft

Alexander Martin Rücker

MPI for Biogeochemistry
Department of Biogeochemical Processes

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Phone: +49 (0)3641/57-6190
Street adress: Hans Knöll Str. 10 07745 Jena, Germany

Curriculum Vitae


Since 10/2017: Postdoc; MPI for Biogeochemistry, Department of Biogeochemical Processes, Jena, Germany

10/2015-9/2017: Postdoc; Clemson University, Biogeochemistry Group, Georgetown, USA

11/2011-5/2015: PhD-Student; Eberhard-Karls University Tübingen, Geomicrobiology Group, Tübingen, Germany



PhD Eberhard-Karls University Tübingen, Center for Applied Geoscience, Geomicrobiology Group:
'Indirect biotic and abiotic formation of volatile halogenated hydrocarbons (VOX) in Western Australian salt lake sediments'
(supervised by Prof. Andreas Kappler and Prof. Sebastian Behrens)


Diploma in Applied Biogeography, Trier University, Regional and Environmental Sciences:
'Combination effects of veterinary antibiotics on soil microbial activity in a temperate forest soil'
(supervised by Prof. Sören Thiele-Bruhn and Dr. Carsten Eichberg)

Research Interests

  • Halocarbon Biogeochemistry
  • VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions from soils and sediments
  • Molecular characterization of organic matter
  • Impacts of global climate change on GHG formation
  • Effects of extreme, short-term weather events on (drinking) water quality


Peng, P., Bosma, T., Nijenhuis, Y., Nijsse, B., Shetty, S., Ruecker, A., Umanetc, A., Ramiro-Garcia, J., Kappler, A., Sipkema, D., Smidt, H., Atashgahi, S. (2019): "Metagenomic and cultivation-based exploration of anaerobic chloroform biotransformation in hypersaline sediments as natural source of chloromethanes." Submitted

Chen, H., Blosser, G., Ruecker, A., Liu, X., Conner, W.H., Chow, A. (2019): "Molecular Dynamics of Foliar Litter and Dissolved Organic Matter during the Decomposition Process." Submitted

Chen, H., Ruecker, A., Su, Q., Blosser, G., Liu, X., Conner, W.H., Chow, A.T. (2019): "Fresh and recently decomposing litterfall in woody wetlands as an important source of dissolved organic matter and disinfection byproduct precursors." Submitted

Ruecker, A., Chen, H., Liu, Y., Miller, D., Wang, J.J., Suhre, D.O., Kuo, L.-J., Conner, W.H., Chow, A.T. (2019): "Impacts of sea level rise on carbon turnover along a subtropical salinity gradient." Submitted

Lehnert, A.-S., Behrendt, T., Ruecker, A., Pohnert, G., Trumbore, S. (2019): "Performance of SIFT-MS and PTR-MS in the measurements of volatile organic compounds at different humidities." Submitted

Huang, J., Ruecker, A., Schmidt, A., Gleixner, G., Gershenzon, J., Trumbore, S., Hartmann, H. (2019): "Defend or retreat: constitutive and induced defences are constrained by carbohydrate availability in developing organs." Submitted

Tsui,M.T.K., Uzun, H., Ruecker, A., Majidzadeh, H., Zhang, H., Bao, S., Blum, J.D., Karanfil, T., Chow, A.T. (2019): "Concentration and isotopic composition of mercury in a blackwater river affected by extreme flooding events." Submitted

Huang, J., Hartman, H., Hellén, H., Wisthaler, A., Perreca, E., Weinhold, A., Ruecker, A., van Dam, N., Gershenzon, J., Trumbore, S., Behrendt, T.: (2018) “New perspective on CO2, temperature and light effects on BVOC emissions using online measurements by PTR-MS and cavity ring-down spectroscopy.“ Environmental Science & Technology, 52, 13811-13823

Jiao, Y., Ruecker, A., Deventer, M., Chow, A.T., Rhew, R. (2018): “Halocarbon emissions from a degraded forested wetland in coastal South Carolina impacted by sea level rise.” ACS Earth and Space Chemistry 2018,2,10 955-967

Tominski, C., Lösekann-Behrens, T., Ruecker, A., Hagemann, N., Kleindienst, S., Müller, C., Höschen, C., Kögel-Knabner, I., Kappler, A., Behrens, S. (2018): "Insights into Carbon Metabolism Provided by Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization-Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry Imaging of an Autotrophic, Nitrate-Reducing, Fe(II)-Oxidizing Enrichment Culture." Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 84,9

Majidzadeh, H., Uzun,H., Ruecker, A., Miller, D., Vernon, J., Zhang, H., Bao, S., Tsui, M., Karanfil, T., Chow, A.T. (2017): “Extreme flooding mobilized dissolved organic matter from coastal forested wetlands.” Biogeochemistry, 136, 293-309

Ruecker, A., Uzun, H., Karanfil, T., Tsui, M.T., Chow, A.T. (2017): “Influences of an extreme flooding on disinfection byproduct precursors and water treatability in a coastal black water river, South Carolina.” Chemosphere 188, 90-98

Liu, X., Ruecker, A., Song, B., Xing, J., Conner, W.H., Chow, A.T. (2017): “Effects of salinity and wet-dry treatments on C and N dynamics in coastal forested wetland soils: Implications of sea level rise.” Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 112, 56-67

Ruecker, A., Schröder, C., Byrne, J., Weigold, P., Behrens, S., Kappler, A. (2016): “Geochemistry and mineralogy of Western Australian salt lake sediments: Implications for Meridiani Planum on Mars.” Astrobiology, 16, 525-538

Weigold, P., El-Hadidi, M., Ruecker, A., Huson, D.H., Scholten, T., Jochmann, M., Kappler, A., Behrens, S. (2016) “A metagenomic-based survey of microbial (de)halogenation potential in a German forest soil.” Scientific Reports, 6, 28958

Weigold, P. Ruecker, A., Jochmann, M., Osorio Barajas, X., Lege, S., Zwiener, C., Kappler, A., Behrens, S. (2015) “Formation of chloroform and tetrachloroethylene by Sinorhizobium meliloti strain 1021.” Letters in Applied Microbiology, 61, 346-353. Joint first authorship

Ruecker, A., Weigold, P, Behrens, S., Jochmann, M., Osorio Barajas, X. L., Kappler, A. (2015): “Halogenated hydrocarbon formation in moderately acidic salt lake sediments from Western Australia – Role of abiotic and biotic processes.” Environmental Chemistry, 12, 406414

Weigold, P., Ruecker, A., Loesekann-Behrens, T., Kappler, A., Behrens, S. (2015): “Ribosomal tag pyrosequencing of DNA and RNA reveals 'rare' taxa with high protein synthesis potential in the sediment of a hypersaline lake in Western Australia.” ''Geomicrobiology Journal, DOI: 10.1080/01490451.2015.1049304''

Kappler, A., Wuestner, M. L., Ruecker, A., Harter, J., Halama, M., Behrens, S. (2014): “Biochar as electron shuttle between bacteria and Fe(III) minerals”. Environmental Science and Technology Letters, 1, 339-344

Ruecker, A., Weigold, P., Behrens, S., Jochmann, M., Laaks, J., Kappler, A. (2014): “Predominance of biotic over abiotic formation of halogenated hydrocarbons in hypersaline sediments in Western Australia.” Environmental Science and Technology, 48, 9170-9178

Reviewer Activity

  • Environmental Science and Technology
  • Bio-Protocol
  • Soil Biology and Biochemistry
  • Geoderma
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Journal of Environmental Quality
  • Science of the Total Environment
  • Soil Science Society of America Journal
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