Christian Ristok

Wissenschaftlicher Gast

Research focus


My research project aims to integrate eco-metabolomics and biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) experiments to enhance our knowledge about multitrophic interaction in natural ecosystems. I analyze and experimentally manipulate interactions between plants and their above- and belowground interaction partners. In my research project I will 1) study the effects of aboveground and belowground biodiversity on plant metabolomes of common grassland species; 2) separately analyze the importance of aboveground biodiversity, i.e. plant species richness, as well as belowground biodiversity, i.e. soil biota diversity, for herbivore resistance via changes in plant metabolomes; and 3) assess the interactive effect of biodiversity and elevated CO2 on plant metabolomes. Eventually this new knowledge will help us to improve our predictions on changes in plants, communities and multitrophic interactions, and to assess the impact of biodiversity loss and climate change through changes in the plant metabolome.


This project is funded by DBU.



Eco-metabolomics, Jena Experiment, plant-insect interactions, chemical ecology

Short CV


2015 - now

PhD Student in Molecular Interaction Ecology at the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

2011 – 2015

Master in Biology/ Geobotany at Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany

  • Master thesis “Effects of leaf litter diversity on the decomposition of plant polyphenols”

2008 – 2011

Bachelor in Biology at Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany

  • Bachelor thesis “Phenolic metabolites in Chinese tree species: The effect of different sample processing and storage conditions”



Since 05/2018

Course “Multivariate Statistics with R “, part of the curriculum of the International Graduate Academy (InGrA). Co-lecturer: Dr. Stephan Kambach (i.e. Course conceptualization and presentation, incl. lecture, exercises, tasks).

Since 12/2016

Course “Introduction to R and Statistics“, part of the curriculum of the International Graduate Academy (InGrA). Co-lecturer: Dr. Stephan Kambach; multiple times a year.

Since 08/2015

(Co-)Supervision of students (i.e. Project module J. Gabriel, Internship L. Albrecht, Master thesis M. Kirchner, School internship A. Hauer und S. Alschahari).



Eichenberg, D., Ristok, C., Kröber, W., Bruelheide, H. (2014). Plant Polyphenols – Implications of different sampling, storage and sample processing in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments. Chem. Ecol., 30, 676-692 (DOI:10.1080/02757540.2014.894987)



Ristok, C., K. N. Leppert, M. Scherer-Lorenzen, P. A. Niklaus, H. Bruelheide

(2019):Soil macrofauna and leaf functional traits drive the decomposition of secondary metabolites in leaf litter.Soil Biology and Biochemistry 135, 429-437 *

Ristok, C., Poeschl, Y., Dudenhöffer, J.-H., Ebeling, A., Eisenhauer, N., Vergara, F., Wagg, C., van Dam, N. M., Weinhold, A.

(2019):Plant species richness elicits changes in the metabolome of grassland species via soil biotic legacy.Journal of Ecology 107(5), 2240-2254

Peters, K., Worrich, A., Weinhold, A., Alka, O., Balcke, G., Birkemeyer, C., Bruelheide, H., Calf, O. W., Dietz, S., Duhrkop, K., Gaquerel, E., Heinig, U., Kucklich, M., Macel, M., Muller, C., Poeschl, Y., Pohnert, G., Ristok, C., Rodriguez, V. M., Ruttkies, C., Schuman, M., Schweiger, R., Shahaf, N., Steinbeck, C., Tortosa, M., Treutler, H., Ueberschaar, N., Velasco, P., Weiss, B. M., Widdig, A., Neumann, S., van Dam, N. M.

(2018):Current Challenges in Plant Eco-Metabolomics.International Journal of Molecular Sciences 19(5)

Ristok, C., Leppert, K. N., Franke, K., Scherer-Lorenzen, M., Niklaus, P. A., Wessjohann, L. A., Bruelheide, H.

(2017):Leaf litter diversity positively affects the decomposition of plant polyphenols.Plant and Soil 419(1-2), 305-17

Eichenberg, D., Purschke, O., Ristok, C., Wessjohann, L., Bruelheide, H.

(2015):Trade-offs between physical and chemical carbon-based leaf defence: of intraspecific variation and trait evolution.Journal of Ecology 103(6), 1667-79
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Deutscher Platz 5e
04103 Leipzig

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+49 341 9733163
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Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

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