Short CV/Education and training

  • 1982 – 1989
    Studies in Biology, University of Ulm

  • 1989 – 1993
    Student assistant and scientific employee; Department Ecology & Morphology of Animals, University of Ulm

  • 1984
    Vordiplom: Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Physics University of Ulm

  • 1989
    Diplom: Zoology, Botany, Animal Ecology, Biochemistry University of Ulm. Diploma Thesis: Die Nematodenfauna eines Fichtenforstes

  • 1993
    PhD (Dr. rer.nat.), University of Ulm (magna cum laude). PhD Thesis: Die Nematodengesellschaften von Waldökosystemen – Auswirkungen anthropogener Einflüsse

  • 1993 – 1994
    Postdoc with a NATO grant (DAAD, Bonn), Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Merlewood, Grange-over-Sands, UK

  • 1995
    Scientist, Department of Botany and Zoology of Forests, Technical University of Dresden

  • 1996 – 2000
    Scientist and lecturer (wiss. Assistentin), Department of Zoology, RWTH Aachen

  • 2001
    Scientist, Institute of Zoology, Darmstadt University of Technology

  • 2001
    Contract for work and labour, LBP Freising

  • 2002 – 2004
    DFG research grant, Institute of Zoology; Darmstadt University of Technology

  • 2004
    Scientist, Institute of Zoology, Darmstadt University of Technology

  • 2004 – 2007
    Scientist and lecturer (wiss. Assistentin), Institute of Soil Science and Land Evaluation, University of Hohenheim

  • 2005
    Habilitation in Zoology, Darmstadt University of Technology. Habilitation Thesis: Nematodes in the soil food-web: Biodiversity and function

  • 2007 – 2008
    Scientist, Institute of Zoology, Darmstadt University of Technology

  • Since 2008
    Professor for Ecology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Selected publications

  • Ruess, L. & P.M. Chamberlain (2010). The fat that matters: Soil food web analysis using fatty acids and their carob stable isotope signature. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 42, 1898 – 1910.

  • Ngosong, C., Raupp, J., Scheu, S. & L. Ruess (2009). Low importance for a fungal based food web in arable soils under mineral and organic fertilization indicated by Collembola grazers. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 41, 2308 – 2317.

  • Haubert, D., Birkhofer, K., Fließbach, A., Gehre, M., Scheu, S. & L. Ruess (2009). Carbon stable isotope ratios of fatty acids as a tool to investigate soil food webs – a field study using the natural label of C3 and C4 plants. Oikos, 118, 1579 – 1589.

  • Schütz, K., Nagel, P., Vetter, W., Kandeler, E. & L. Ruess (2009). Flooding forested groundwater areas modifies microbial communities from top soil to groundwater table. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 67, 171 – 182.

  • Ruess, L. & J. Lussenhop (2006). Trophic interactions of fungi and animals. In: The fungal community: Its organization and role in the ecosystem. Dighton, J., Oudemans, P. & J. White (eds), CRC, Boca Raton, pp 581 – 598.

  • Ruess, L., Schütz, K., Haubert, D., Häggblom, M.M., Kandeler, E. & S. Scheu (2005). Application of lipid analysis to understand trophic interactions in soil. Ecology, 86, 2075 – 2082.

  • Ruess, l., Häggblom, M. M., Langel, R. & S. Scheu (2004). Nitrogen isotope ratios and fatty acid composition as indicators of animal diets in belowground systems. Oecologia, 139, 336 – 346.

  • Ruess, L. & H. Ferris (2004). Decomposition pathways and successional changes. Nematology Monographs and Perspectives 2, 547 – 556.

  • Ruess, L., Michelsen A., Schmidt I. K. & S. Jonasson (1999). Simulated climate change affecting microorganisms, nematode density and biodiversity in subarctic soils. Plant and Soil, 212, 63 – 73.

  • Ruess, L., Sandbach, P., Cudlín, P., Dighton, J. & A. Crossley (1996). Acid deposition in a spruce forest soil: effects on nematodes, mycorrhizas and fungal biomass. Pedobiologia, 40, 51 – 66.

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • Research projects performed (selection):

Biodiversity & land use

  • Exploratories for large-scale and long-term functional biodiversity research: Changes in food web structure of the decomposer systems in relation to different land use in forest ecosystems (cooperation with University of Göttingen)

  • Long-term field experiments in arable systems: Biodynamic management in crops – effects on the biomass and diversity of soil microbial communities and arthropod fauna (IBDF Darmstadt)

Biodiversity & human impact on ecosystems

  • Effects of halogenated hydrocrabons on forest health (University of Ulm)

  • Biological indicators of critical loads – nematode community structure in a spruce forest soil under acid rain (ITE Merlewood, UK)

  • Simulated climate change – impact of global warming on nutrient cylce and organisms in subarctic soils (cooperation with University of Copenhagen)

Ecological interactions

  • Carbon flow in belowground food webs assessed by isotope tracers (Spokesperson of the DFG Research Unit 918)

  • Nematodes as potential vectors of human pathogens (DFG Trilateral Cooperation)

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

Support of the faculty:

  • Curriculum development, Faculty for Agricultural Sciences, University Hohenheim, 2006

  • Head of the commission “Advancement of women”, Inst. of Biology, HU Berlin, 2010 – 2012

  • Member of the examination board, Institute of Biology, HU Berlin, 2010 – 2012

  • Member of the department council, Institute of Biology, HU Berlin, 2010 – 2012

  • Member of the faculty council, Institute of Biology, HU Berlin, since March 2012

  • Head of the commission for teaching and studies, Institute of Biology, HU Berlin, since October 2012

Reviewer activity:

  • Section Editor: Soil Biology & Biochemistry

  • Editorial Board: Nematology, Applied Soil Ecology, Soil Organisms, Pedobiologia

  • Scientific proposals: DFG (Germany); Federal Ministry for land, forest, environment and water management (Austria); NERC (UK).


  • German Ecological Society (GfÖ), German Soil Society (BDG), Society of Nematologists

    European Society of Nematologists


  • VDI Guideline Board “GVO-monitoring – effects on soil

    organisms“, since February 2007

  • Speaker of the GfÖ Specialist Group “Soil Ecology”, since September 2008

Additional qualifications

  • Baden-Württemberg-Zertifikat für den Erwerb hochschuldidaktischer Kompetenzen (Certificate for university didactic) performed in 2004 – 2006

  • organiser of scientific meetings

  • chair in symposia / sessions


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