Julia Siebert

Doctoral Researcher



I studied biology at the University of Tuebingen, where I mainly focused on ecology, evolution, phylogeny and zoology.

I’m also holding a Bachelor’s degree in Rhetoric and Philosophy, which enabled me a broad insight into the history and philosophy of science (with a focus on Charles Darwin and his influence on modern thought and on paradigm shifts in science), communication and media science, psychology, system theory, and for example the concepts of persuasion and authenticity.

Apart from that, I completed several internships within the range of science journalism and public relations and I have been a student research assistant at the interdisciplinary institution FORUM SCIENTIARUM for many years. During a one year stay abroad I participated in different research projects in avian ecology at the Charles Sturt University in Australia and in marine biodiversity at the University of British Columbia in Canada and worked at the Centre of Science Communication at the University of Otago in New Zealand.

Research interests


Despite the ubiquity of anthropogenic climate change and its impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, belowground subsystems have long been underestimated in their contribution to ecosystem functioning. Although soil subsystems comprise a huge fraction of terrestrial biodiversity, little is known about their sensitivity to climate change, the effects of different land-use strategies, and the general importance of soil organisms for ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services.

During my PhD I will focus on the question how soil organisms and belowground processes are shaping ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services in a changing world. I am working in the Global Change Experimental Facility (GCEF), the Nutrient Network and the Drought-Network to address the following questions:

  • How do climate change and land-use types interact in affecting soil communities, soil food webs, and ecosystem processes?
  • Do climate change and land-use practices shift the phenology of the activity of soil organisms and processes?
  • How are nutrient addition and grazing affecting soil microbial and animal activity on a global scale?
  • How do nutrient addition and experimental drought interact in affecting the functional composition of soil communities?
  • What is the contribution of soil organisms and soil-mediated processes to ecosystem services in a changing world?

Furthermore, I also have a background in science communication and I am particularly interested in working at the interface of (environmental) science, policy and society, in order to achieve that gained knowledge is transferred to other disciplines and to decision makers.

Scientific career


Since 2014
PhD candidate in the lab of Prof. Dr. Nico Eisenhauer, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Germany
Topic: "Global change effects on soil organisms and processes"

2013 - 2014
Diploma thesis “The Hohenheim Climate Change Experiment - Effects of elevated temperature, earthworm density and altered precipitation regimes on soil food web structure” (supervised by Heinz-R. Köhler and Nico Eisenhauer)

Stay abroad:
Centre for Science Communication (University of Otago, New Zealand)
Avian Ecology (Charles Sturt University, Australia)
Biodiversity Research Centre (University of British Columbia, Canada)

2010 - 2014
Research Assistant at the interdisciplinary FORUM SCIENTIARUM, University of Tuebingen

Internship at the Senckenberg Research Institute, Department of Marine Science

2007 - 2011
Study of Rhetoric and Philosophy at the University of Tuebingen (Bachelor of Arts)

2006 - 2014
Study of Biology at the University of Tuebingen (Dipl. Biol.)

iDiv publications


Cameron, E. K., Martins, I. S., Lavelle, P., Mathieu, J., Tedersoo, L., Gottschall, F., Guerra, C. A., Hines, J., Patoine, G., Siebert, J., Winter, M., Cesarz, S., Delgado-Baquerizo, M., Ferlian, O., Fierer, N., Kreft, H., Lovejoy, T. E., Montanarella, L., Orgiazzi, A., Pereira, H. M., Phillips, H. R. P., Settele, J., Wall, D. H., Eisenhauer, N.

Global gaps in soil biodiversity data Nature Ecology & Evolution 2(7), 1042-43

Eisenhauer, N., Herrmann, S., Hines, J., Buscot, F., Siebert, J., Thakur, M. P.

The Dark Side of Animal Phenology Trends in Ecology & Evolution (in press),

Cabral, I., Keim, J., Engelmann, R., Kraemer, R., Siebert, J., Bonn, A.

Ecosystem services of allotment and community gardens: A Leipzig, Germany case study Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 23, 44-53

Eisenhauer, N., Barnes, A. D., Cesarz, S., Craven, D., Ferlian, O., Gottschall, F., Hines, J., Sendek, A., Siebert, J., Thakur, M. P., Türke, M.

Biodiversity–ecosystem function experiments reveal the mechanisms underlying the consequences of biodiversity change in real world ecosystems Journal of Vegetation Science 27(5), 1061-70
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Deutscher Platz 5e
04103 Leipzig, Germany

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+49 341 9733173
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Leipzig University

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