Sinikka Jasmin Paulus

Doctoral Researcher
Department Biogeochemical Integration (BGI)
Research group Eco-Meterology
Research group Hydrology-Biosphere-Climate Interactions
Intern. Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles (IMPRS-gBGC)
+49 3641 57-6232
University of Freiburg - Herderbau Room 03053

Main Focus

The overarching aim of my research is to improve our understanding of land-atmosphere interactions. I currently transferring knowledge from the soil physical community about the role of soil hydraulic parameters for the gas phase water exchange between soil and atmosphere to understand large scale patterns in (micro-) meteorological observations.

In the first study of my PhD project I studied complexity of the water cycle at  the Majadas de Tietar field site, using a combination of several high-resolution data streams, including large weighing lysimeters, micrometeorological,
and soil hydrological measurements. My work revealed the prevalence of different non-rainfall water types (dew, fog and soil water vapor adsorption) within the ecosystem across all seasons (Paulus et al. 2022).

Now, I focus on investigating the spatial and temporal extent of soil vapor adsorption in ecosystems. I've successfully demonstrated the detectability of soil vapor adsorption in semi-arid ecosystems using eddy covariance (Paulus et al. 2023; minor revisions) and am currently analyzing data from a global network of eddy covariance stations. I would like to quantify the role of soil water adsorption in different ecosystems, and thereby explore the role of soil hydraulic properties under arid conditions.

Past research:

University of Freiburg - Institute of Ecosystem Physiology:

In the group of Maren Dubbert we analysed the water uptake of roots in a temperate grassland using stable water isotopes. We combined two measurement methods to measure "live" and without disturbance in situ (i.e. without removing material) the isotopy of soil water vapour and leaf transpiration during a drought. We compared these results with the isotopic signature of destructively sampled material to characterise the methodological differences. Such method comparisons are important development steps to evaluate the potential applications of new methods and are often the basis for many follow-up studies. (Link Master thesis) (Link Paper)

University of Freiburg - Institute of Soil Ecology:

Under the supervision of Martin Maier, I conducted research as a student assistant in the field of soil gas transport. We measured trace gas concentrations in the soil column using a portable in situ sampling rod developed within the group. In various measurement campaigns we have combined this technique with others to gain information on

  • the drivers of variability in methane consumption on a small scale (link)
  • the effects of turbulence-induced pressure pumping on gas transport in the soil (Link)
  • the correlation between methane production in the soil and methane emission from the trunk of beech trees (Fagus sylvatica) (link)

Community service:

  • until January 2024: Elected deputy of the equal opportunities officer of the MPI-BGC
  • Supervision of students, assistance in courses (FSU Jena, UNI Freiburg)
  • Scientific reviewer for Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS) and Journal of Hydrology

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