Dr Christian Ristok


Research focus


I am an interactions ecologist with a Masters in Biology and a PhD in Biodiversity and Molecular Interaction Ecology. For my research, I combine field, greenhouse and lab experiments with synthesis approaches to improve our mechanistic understanding of biodiverse, multitrophic interactions and ecosystem processes. My research aims to quantify the drivers and consequences of biodiversity change in plant and soil biota communities. I integrate traditional and molecular functional traits with quantitative data analysis to study biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) relationships across multiple taxa, ecosystems, and biomes, above and below the ground.


ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Christian_Ristok

ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1446-977X

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.de/citations?user=NI4geRUAAAAJ&hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/christianristok



Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning, plant-soil biota-herbivore interactions, biodiversity change, chemical ecology

Short CV


09/2022 – now
PostDoc in the group Experimental Interaction Ecology and Project Scientist for “Faktencheck – Artenvielfalt” at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

08/2015 – 02/2022
PhD in Molecular Interaction Ecology at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig and Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, Leipzig, Germany
PhD thesis “Effects of above- and belowground biodiversity on the metabolome of common grassland species in different environmental contexts”

10/2019 – 09/2020
Quality Assurance (Senior) in the group Quality Assurance Training at IDT Biologika GmbH, Dessau-Roßlau, Germany

02/2019 – 08/2019
Scientific employee in the group Molecular Interaction Ecology at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

10/2018 – 01/2019
Scientific employee in the Bioinformatics Unit at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

10/2011 – 07/2015
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”

10/2008 – 09/2011
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”



Lecture “Intro to Literature Search and Management” (3h)

Since 10/2022
4-day course “Introduction to Meta-Analysis”, Co-lecturer: Dr. Stephan Kambach

2-day course “Processing and analysis of metabolomics data”

Since 05/2018
2-day course “Multivariate Statistics with R”, Co-lecturer: Dr Stephan Kambach

Since 12/2016
4-day course “Introduction to R and Statistics”, Co-lecturer: Dr Stephan Kambach

Since 08/2015
(Co-)Supervision of students (Master thesis: M. Kirchner; Master student research internship: J. Gabriel; Bachelor student internship: L. Albrecht; School internship: A. Hauer, S. Alshahari)

Lecture on “Literature search and management” (90 min). Supervision of Biology Bachelor course “Geobotany” in statistical analyses and result interpretation (1 week)



Barnes, A. D., Scherber, C., Brose, U., Borer, E. T., Ebeling, A., Gauzens, B., Giling, D. P., Hines, J., Isbell, F., Ristok, C., Tilman, D., Weisser, W. W., & Eisenhauer, N. (2020). Biodiversity enhances the multitrophic control of arthropod herbivory. Science Advances, 6(45), eabb6603. (DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb6603)

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. J Ecol. (DOI: 10.1111/1365‐2745.13185)

Ristok, C., Leppert, K.N., Scherer-Lorenzen, M., Niklaus, P.A., Bruelheide, H. (2019). Soil macrofauna and leaf functional traits drive the decomposition secondary metabolites in leaf litter. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 135, 429-437 (DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2019.06.007)

Peters, K., Worrich, A., Weinhold, A., Alka, O., Balcke, G., Birkemeyer, C., Bruelheide, H., Calf, O.W., Dietz, S., Dührkop, K., Gaquerel, E., Heinig, U., Kücklich, M., Macel, M., Müller, C., Poeschl, Y., Pohnert, G., Ristok, C., Rodríguez, 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., Dam, N.M. van, (2018). Current Challenges in Plant Eco-Metabolomics. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19. (doi:10.3390/ijms19051385)

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), 305-317 (DOI: 10.1007/s11104-017-3340-8)

Eichenberg, D., Purschke, O., Ristok, C., Wessjohann, LA., Bruelheide, H. (2015). Trade-offs between physical and chemical carbon-based leaf defense: Disentangling the relative importance of intraspecific variation and trait evolution. J Ecol. 103: 1667-1679. (DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12475)

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)

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Puschstraße 4
04103 Leipzig

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+49 341 9733253
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Leipzig University

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