Dr. Katrin Fleischer

Department Biogeochemical Signals (BSI)
Terrestrial Biosphere Modelling (TBM)
+49 3641 57-6372

Main Focus

My research revolves around the Amazon rainforest and its resilience to climate change. I study connections between plants, soil, and soil microorganisms through process-based models, trait data analyses, forest plot observations and ecosystem manipulation experiments. I aim to constrain feedbacks by nutrient cycles on the carbon cycle. In particular, I want to understand how plant functional traits affect ecosystem functions, and how plants interact with living organisms in the soil and the soil matrix. Belowground processes are hard to observe and study, but are critical for plants and ecosystem function. Forests’ ability to withstand climate change will be determined by belowground processes, such as plant water and phosphorus uptake, and by the mineralization and mobilization of critical nutrients by plants and soil microorganisms.

Leader of Project Team “PhosForest”. International IGSSE-Research group 12.10, Freising, Germany, Constraining phosphorus feedbacks on the CO2 fertilization effect in the Amazon rainforest. https://www.igsse.gs.tum.de/en/igsse/projects-and-teams/igsse-call-projects/12th-cohort/1210-phosforest/

Scientific Steering Committee Member of the AmazonFACE program, Manaus, Brazil. https://amazonface.inpa.gov.br/en/

Group member of TropiRoot, Research Coordination Network for Tropical Root Trait Research, with the support of New Phythologist. https://tropiroottrait.github.io/TropiRootTrait/

Core group member of INCyTE (Investigating Nutrient Cycling in Terrestrial Ecosystems: Integrating Observations, Experiments, and Models)NSF-funded Research Coordination Network, Missoula, USA.      https://www.cfc.umt.edu/research/incyte/about-incyte/

Gender equality officer at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany. https://www.bgc-jena.mpg.de/karriere/gleichstellung

Current students

Kristian Schufft, PhD Student (2022-), Department Biogeochemical Signals

Tatiana Reichert, PhD Student (2018-), TUM, Freising.


Umweltgeochemie, Summer term, Friedrich-Schiller-University, Jena.

Curriculum Vitae

PhD in "The effect of nitrogen deposition on terrestrial carbon sequestration”, VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2016.

MSc in Biology, "Ecology and Evolution", UvA Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2010.

BSc in Environmental Science and Ecology, QUT, Australia, 2007.

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