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The CROP project is a joint adventure between researchers from the Forschungszentrum Jülich and the University of Hohenheim




Guillaume Lobet (GL) has a strong experience in the field of root quantification, root image analysis and root modelling. Since Sept. 2016, GL is an Assistant Professor at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, where he leads a research team on functional-structural plant models. GL research lead to the development of several tools and methods that aims a better quantifying biological processes. 


Andrea Schnepf is a W2 professor, jointly appointed by Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Agrosphere Institute) and the University of Bonn (Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation). Her expertise includes the mathematical modelling of plant and soil interactions with applications such as plant resource acquisition efficiency, root architecture, rhizosphere, mycorrhiza, hyperaccumulation or the fate of plant protection products in the soil-root system.


Mathieu Javaux has a strong experience in soil-plant flux quantification and modeling.  He is senior researcher at the Forschungszentrum Jülich and Professor in soil and water engineering at UCLouvain (BE). His research combine geophysical methods and modeling approaches to understand plant/water relations and to investigate impacts of abiotic stresses (water stress, saline stress, nutrient stress) on plant growth and uptake, as well as on soil water flow and solute transport.  


Youri Rothfuss is a senior scientist at Forschungszentrum Jülich and part-time associated professor at University de Liege (BelgIum), faculty of agricultural sciences (Agro-bio Tech Gembloux). He is specialized in the online, high-frequency, and non-destructive monitoring of water and CO2 stable isotopic compositions of the soil gas phase and of ecosystem fluxes (e.g., transpiration, photosynthesis), on basis of which he, e.g., traces the origin of water extracted by root systems at the single plant in the laboratory to the field scale in the field.


Thomas Pütz is senior scientist and head of the division Environmental Monitoring, at the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences IBG-3: Agrosphere, Forschungszentrum Jülich. His expertise and work are in the fields: Water and matter fluxes in ecosystems on the lysimeter, field and small catchment scale, carbon and nitrogen cycles influenced by clear cuttings in forest, lysimeter and environmental sensing, fate of pesticides, and radioecology.



Ellen Kandeler is a professor of Soil Biology at the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart. Over the past 20 years, her laboratory has developed soil microbiological methods to understand the abundance and function of soil microbial communities. During the last years, the group of EK has extended its analytical expertise in microbial ecology: (1) enzyme assays using fluorogenic substrates, (2) structural diversity of soil microorganisms were investigated, (3) functional gene analyses, (4) quantitative PCR analyses targeting bacterial taxa and phyla, (5) PLFA pattern and ergosterol content as well as stable isotope probing of PLFA and ergosterol. 


Christian Poll (CP) has a strong experience in investigating the regulation of microbial activity by various environmental constraints. His research covers the range from small-scale studies during lab incubations to field experiments simulating climate change. In both cases, microbiological/molecular (quantification of taxonomic marker and functional genes) and isotopic (14C in microbial biomass and CO₂, ¹³C in microbial biomass, PLFAs and CO₂) techniques are used to identify mechanisms of microbial regulation in soils.


Holger Pagel has strong experience in assessing and modelling small-scale spatiotemporal dynamics of soil organic carbon, pesticides and soil-microbiome interactions. Several interdisciplinary studies in collaboration with the Soil Biology group of E. Kandeler allowed understanding bacterial and fungal mechanisms of organic carbon turnover within microhabitats.


Thilo Streck (TS) has been Professor of Biogeophysics at the University of Hohenheim since 2001. His research focuses on measuring and modelling biophysical processes in terrestrial ecosystems. Special research interests include soil-plant-atmosphere as well as soil-microbiome interactions and the fate of environmental chemicals in spatially variable soils. The soil-crop model XN (Expert-N), originally developed by Helmholtz Zentrum München, is maintained and further developed by his group.

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