Soils can be considered as major basis for life on earth. Soils provide a large number of ecosystem services including promotion of plant growth, safeguarding of drinking water resources, sequestration of carbon or protection of biodiversity. Most of these services are induced by soil biota, which provide the functional and catalytic backbone of soil quality. Thus in the last decades the soil microbiome has gained large attention by the public as well as by scientists, mainly with the aim to identify major drivers for the structure and function of the soil microbiome with the aim to overcome the threats of global change and to identify ways for sustainable land use. However, only the introduction of molecular methods has revolutionized our understanding on soil microbes recently.

We are using in our research modern "-omics" based technology to describe soil microbiomes mainly at the interface to plants and humans.

since 2011 Director of the Research Unit for "Environmental Genomics"
at the Helmholtz Zentrum München

since 2010 Professor for Microbiology at the Technical University Munich

since 2009 Distinguished Lecturer at Technical University of Graz, Austria

2008-2011 Head of the Research Unit "Terrestrial Ecogenetics"
at the Helmholtz Zentrum München

2006-2011 Deputy Director of the Institute for Soil Ecology
at the Helmholtz Zentrum München

2002-2007 Leader of the Working group "Functional Microbial Ecology"
at the Institute for Soil Ecology at National
Research Center for Environment and Health (GSF)

2000-2002 Scientist at the Institute for Soil Ecology at National
Research Center for Environment and Health (GSF)

2000 PostDoc at Environmental Protection Agency, Corvallis, USA

1995-1999 Post-doctoral position
Institute for Soil Ecology at National
Research Center for Environment and Health (GSF)

1995 PostDoc at EMBRAPA, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

1993-1994 PostDoc at the Institute for Soil Ecology at National
Research Center for Environment and Health (GSF)

1990-1993 Researcher at University of Bayreuth, Chair for Genetics


 •  Science Award of the Republic of Croatia (2014)
 •  List of most cited German microbiologists (place 22) (2013)
 •  Heinrich Baur Research Award (2011)
 •  Offer for a Professorship (W3) at the University of Bonn
     (Rhizosphere Microbiology), denied (2011)
 •  Award of the Society of Croatian University Teachers,
     Scholars and other Scientists (2011)
 •  Most cited paper in “Environmental Microbiology” (Schauss et al., 2009) (2010)
 •  Member of FEMS Academy (2009)
 •  List of most cited German microbiologists (place 31) (2009)
 •  Award of the Society of Croatian University Teachers,,
     Scholars and other Scientists“ (2009)
 •  Helmholtz Zentrum München: “Science Award” (2008)
 •  Pesticide Chemistry Award (2007)
 •  SETAC-Europe Award (1998)
 •  Int. Soc. Water Poll. Award (1994)


More than 300 publications in peer reviewed journals
(including Nature, Science, PNAS, etc.) h=48