Max Planck Gesellschaft

Su Ding

PhD Student

Molecular Biogeochemistry

address:Hans-Knöll-Straße 10, MPI for Biogeochemistry, 07745, Jena, Germany

Current Research Interests

Carbon sources of microbial communities in pristine aquifers: The presence of SBC (soil-borne colloids) in aquifers will demonstrate their transfer from the pedosphere to the unsaturated and saturated (including the aquifers) subsurface compartments below the pedosphere. We expect to identify and quantify the major amenable lipids (such as GDGTs) in groundwater (aquifer) and seepage water (soil) along the Hainich groundwater observation transect. Spatiotemporal changes of their distributions will be used to evaluate the variations of the origin/source and fate of the OM, in relation to land management and climate, and its link into the biogeochemical processes in the different SCCZ (subsurface compartments of the earth’s critical zone below the pedosphere).

Effect of plant diversity on microbial carbon storage: The main focus of the study is to identify and quantify the mechanisms how plant diversity increases soil carbon storage by investigating lipids found in soils derived from plants, bacteria, fungi and archaea (Lange, M et al, Nature communication, 2015). We plan to use microbial markers such as PLFA and GDGT lipids to find the impact plant diversity on the lipid spectrum in soils and further more the insights in the carbon cycle and storage processes.

Academic career

2017.8 - 2017.10
Research stay in Hinrichs Lab, Marum, Bremen


Since 2015
Ph.D. student in the research group of Molecular Biogeochemistry at Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena.

Project 1: Carbon sources of microbial communities in pristine aquifers (AquaDiva)
Supervisors:Dr. Valérie F. Schwab, Prof. Dr. Georg Pohnert (Friedrich Schiller University Jena)

Project 2: Effect of plant diversity on microbial carbon storage (The Jena Experiment)
Supervisors:Dr. Markus Lange, Prof. Dr. Gerd Gleixner (Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry)

2012 – 2015
M.Sc. Organic Geochemistry at College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, China. Supervisor:Prof. Dr. Yunping Xu

2006 – 2010
B.Sc. Applied Chemistry at College of Science, Kunming University of Science and Technology, China.


Ding, S.,Kohlhepp, B., Trumbore, S., Küsel, K., Totsche, K.U., Pohnert, G.,Gleixner, G., Schwab, V.F., 2018. In-situ production of core and intact bacterial and archaeal tetraether lipids in the pristine groundwater. submitted

Ruan, J.P., Xu, Y, Ding, S., Wang, Y.H., Zhang, X., 2017.A biomarker record of temperature and phytoplankton community structure in the Okinawa Trough since the last glacial maximum. Quaternary Research 88(1), 89-97.

Ding, S.,Schwab, V.F., Ueberschaar, N., Roth, V.-N., Lange, M., Xu, Y., Gleixner, G., Pohnert, G., 2016. Identification of novel 7-methyl and cyclopentanyl branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers in lake sediments. Organic Geochemistry

Xiao, W., Xu, Y., Ding, S., Wang, Y., Zhang, X., Yang, H., Wang, G., Hou, J., 2015. Global calibration of a novel, branched GDGT-based soil pH proxy. Organic Geochemistry 89–90, 56-60

Ding, S., Xu, Y., Wang, Y., He, Y., Hou, J., Chen, L., He, J.S., 2015. Distribution of branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers in surface soils of the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau: implications of brGDGTs-based proxies in cold and dry regions. Biogeosciences 12, 3141-3151.

Ruan, J., Xu, Y., Ding, S., Wang, Y., Zhang, X., 2015. A high resolution record of sea surface temperature in southern Okinawa Trough for the past 15,000 years. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 426, 209-215.

Ding, S., Xu, Y., Wang, Y., Zhang, X., Zhao, L., Ruan, J., Wu, W., 2014. Spatial and Temporal Variability of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Sediments from Yellow River-Dominated Margin. The Scientific World Journal 2014, 9.

Wu, W., Ruan, J., Ding, S., Zhao, L., Xu, Y., Yang, H., Ding, W., Pei, Y., 2014. Source and distribution of glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers along lower Yellow River-estuary–coast transect. Marine chemistry 158, 17-26.

Zhang, X., Xu, Y., Ruan, J., Ding, S., Huang, X., 2014. Origin, distribution and environmental significance of perylene in Okinawa Trough since last glaciation maximum. Organic Geochemistry 76, 288-294.

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