Dr. rer. nat. Stefanie Schulz

Phone: +49 89 3187-3054
Fax: +49 89 3187-3376
Building/Room: 43a / 009

Dr. Stefanie Schulz (n
ée Töwe)


Dr. Stefanie Schulz is a research scientist in the field of microbiology with a special focus on the soil environment. She is advanced in the application of classical microbiological tools as well as in the use of high end molecular techniques to describe microbial communities in terms of abundance, activity and diversity. Her main research aim is to investigate microbially driven soil formation and nutrient turnover in different habitats. Since 2015 she is the leader of the “Soil Microbiome” working group.

  • 2011 PhD, Technical University Munich. Dissertation:  Functional diversity of nitrogen transforming microbial communities during terrestrial ecosystem development.
  • 2007 Diploma in Biology, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University of Greifswald. Thesis: The adaptation of Bacillus subtilis to aromatic compounds  and phytate


  • 2015-2017   DFG-Young researcher academy “Agricultural ecosystem research: Soil resources and plant production”
  • Since 2015: Head of the working group “Soil Microbiome”
  • 2012-2015: Postdoctoral researcher, Research Unit Environmental Genomics, Helmholtz Zentrum München.
  • 2014: Parental leave
  • 2011-2012: Postdoctoral researcher, Chair of Soil Ecology, Technical University Munich, CRC/TRR 38
  • 2007-2011: PhD student, Chair of Soil Ecology, Technical University Munich, CRC/TRR 38

Wasserstrom H, Kublik S, Wasserstrom R, Schulz S, Schloter M, Steinberger Y (2017): Bacterial community composition in costal dunes of the Mediterranean along a gradient from the sea shore to the inland. Scientific Reports 7: 40266.
Schöler A, Jacquiod S, Vestergaard G, Schulz S, Schloter M (2017): Analysis of soil microbial communities based on amplicon sequencing of marker genes. Biol Fert Soils 53: 485-489.
Vestergaard G, Schulz S, Schöler A, Schloter M (2017): Making big data smart—how to use metagenomics to understand soil quality. Biol Fert Soils 53: 479-484.
Stempfhuber B, Richter-Heitmann T, Bienek L, Schöning I, Schrumpf M, Friedrich M, Schulz S, Schloter M (2017): Soil pH and plant diversity drive co-occurrence patterns of ammonia and nitrite oxidizer in soils from forest ecosystems. Biology and Fertility of Soils: 1-10.
Schulz S, Kölbl A, Ebli M, Buegger F, Schloter M, Fiedler S (2017): Field-scale pattern of denitrifying microorganisms and N2O emission rates indicate a high potential for complete denitrification in an agriculturally used organic soil. Microbial Ecology: 1-6.
Vestergaard G, Schulz S, Schöler A, Schloter M (2017): Making big data smart—how to use metagenomics to understand soil quality. Biology and Fertility of Soils 53: 479-484.
Bergkemper F, Bünemann EK, Hauenstein S, Heuck C, Kandeler E, Krüger J, Marhan S, Mészáros É, Nassal D, Nassal P, Oelmann Y, Pistocchi C, Schloter M, Spohn M, Talkner U, Zederer DP, Schulz S (2016): An inter-laboratory comparison of gaseous and liquid fumigation based methods for measuring microbial phosphorus (Pmic) in forest soils with differing P stocks. J Microbiol Methods 128: 66-68.
Bergkemper F, Kublik S, Lang F, Krüger J, Vestergaard G, Schloter M, Schulz S (2016): Novel oligonucleotide primers reveal a high diversity of microbes which drive phosphorous turnover in soil. Journal of Microbiological Methods 125: 91-97.
Bergkemper F, Schöler A, Engel M, Lang F, Krüger J, Schloter M, Schulz S (2016): Phosphorus depletion in forest soils shapes bacterial communities towards phosphorus recycling systems. Environmental Microbiology 18: 1988-2000.
Bergkemper F, Welzl G, Lang F, Krüger J, Schloter M, Schulz S (2016): The importance of C, N and P as driver for bacterial community structure in German beech dominated forest soils. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 179: 472-480.
Schaeffer A, Amelung W, Hollert H, Kaestner M, Kandeler E, Kruse J, Miltner A, Ottermanns R, Pagel H, Peth S, Poll C, Rambold G, Schloter M, Schulz S, Streck T, Roß-Nickoll M (2016): The impact of chemical pollution on the resilience of soils under multiple stresses: A conceptual framework for future research. Science of The Total Environment 568: 1076-1085.
Ehrlich, R.; Schulz, S; Schloter, M; Steinberger, Y. (2015): Effect of slope orientation on microbial community composition in different particle size fractions from soils obtained from desert ecosystems. Biol Fertil Soils 51: 507-510.
Steinbach, A.; Schulz, S.; Giebler, J.; Schulz, S.; Pronk, G. J.; Kogel-Knabner, I.; Harms, H.; Wick, L. Y.; Schloter, M. (2014): Clay minerals and metal oxides strongly influence the structure of alkane-degrading microbial communities during soil maturation. ISME J: doi:10.1038/ismej.2014.243.
Vogel, C.; Mueller, C. W.; Hoeschen, C.; Buegger, F.; Heister, K.; Schulz, S.; Schloter, M.; Koegel-Knabner, I. (2014): Submicron structures provide preferential spots for carbon and nitrogen sequestration in soils. Nat commun 5: doi:10.1038/ncomms3947
Schulz, S.; Brankatschk, R.; Duemig, A.; Koegel-Knabner, I.; Schloter, M.; Zeyer, J. (2013) The role of microorganisms at different stages of ecosystem development for soil formation. Biogeosciences 10 (6): 3983-3996.
Schulz, S.; Engel, M.; Fischer, D.; Buegger, F.; Elmer, M.; Welzl, G.; Schloter, M. (2013) Diversity pattern of nitrogen fixing microbes in nodules of Trifolium arvense (L.) at different initial stages of ecosystem development. Biogeosciences 10 (2): 1183-1192.
Ollivier, J; Töwe, S.; Bannert, A.; Hai, B.; Kastl, E.; Meyer, A.; Su, M.; Kleineidam, K.; Schloter, M. (2011): Nitrogen turnover and global change. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 78: 3-16.
Brankatschk, R.; Töwe, S.; Kleineidam, K.; Schloter, M.; Zeyer, J. (2011): Abundances and potential activities of nitrogen cycling microbial communities along a chronosequence of a glacier forefield. The ISME Journal 5: 1025-1037.
Töwe, S. Wallisch, S. Bannert, A.; Fischer, D.; Hai, B.; Haesler, F.; Kleineidam, K.; Schloter, M. (2011): Improved protocol for the simultaneous extraction and column-based separation of DNA and RNA from different soils. Journal of Microbiological Methods 84: 406-412.
Töwe, S.; Kleineidam, K.; Schloter, M. (2010): Differences in amplification efficiency of standard curves in quantitative real-time PCR assays and consequences for gene quantification in environmental samples. Journal of Microbiological Methods 82: 338-341.
Töwe, S.; Albert, A.; Kleineidam, K.; Brankatschk, R.; Dümig, A.; Welzl, G.; Munch, J.C.; Zeyer, J.; Schloter, M. (2010): Abundance of microbes involved in nitrogen transformation in the rhizosphere of Leucanthemopsis alpina (L.) Heywood grown in soils from different sites of the Damma glacier forefield. Microbial Ecology 60: 762–770.
Leelakriangsak, M.; Huyen, N. T. T.; Töwe, S.; van Duy, N.; Becher, D.; Hecker, M.; Antelmann, H.; Zuber, P. (2008): Regulation of quinone detoxification by the thiol stress sensing DUF24/MarR-like repressor, YodB in Bacillus subtilis. Molecular Microbiology 67: 1108-1124.
Antelmann H.; Töwe, S.; Albrecht, D.; Hecker, M. (2007): The phosphorus source phytate changes the composition of the cell wall proteome in Bacillus subtilis. Journal of Proteome Research 6: 897-90.
Töwe, S.; Leelakriangsak, M.; Kobayashi, K.; Van Duy, N.; Hecker, M.; Zuber, P.; Antelmann, H. (2007): The MarR-type repressor MhqR (YkvE) regulates multiple dioxygenases/glyoxalases and an azoreductase which confer resistance to 2-methylhydroquinone and catechol in Bacillus subtilis. Molecular Microbiology 66: 40-54.


  • 2016: “SOMmic – Microbial Contribution and Impact on Soil Organic Matter, Structure and Genesis” workshop, Leipzig
  • 2015: 10 Years Hühnerwasser / Chicken Creek Catchment Symposium, Cottbus
  • 2012: Final Symposium CRC/TRR 38, Cottbus
  • 2011: Ecology of Soil Microorganisms, Prague
  • 2011: Annual conference of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology, Karlsruhe
  • 2010: 1st International Conference CRC/TRR 38, Cottbus