About the Institute
The Institute of Soil Science of the Universität Hamburg
Earth system scientists do not need to dig deep or drill to determine the value of the soil. Soils are the uppermost meters of the earth and essential for the survival of plants, animals, and humans in all terrestrial ecosystems. They are produced when the transformation products of mineral and organic substances turn into a unique natural body which, unlike the original rock material, supplies living creatures with nutrients, energy, and water. Soils form the central compartment within the earth and climate system and they fulfill essential functions: Soils serve as a basis for the production of food and energy plants. They are sites of conservation. They bind pollutants, store carbon, and provide clean ground water. Soils are archives of cultural and landscape history. As such an important resource, soil has enjoyed legal protection since 1998.
The Institute of Soil Science is devoted to furthering and communicating research on soil characteristics and processes with the goal of protecting the finite resource that soil is.
- Soils are colorful.
- Soils are part of our climate system.
- Soils are valuable.
- Soils are endangered.
- Soil science makes us smart.
The Institute of Soil Science consists of three research groups:
- Soil ecology and soil formation (Prof. Dr. Eva-Maria Pfeiffer)
- Soil protection and soil technology (Prof. Dr. Annette Eschenbach)
- Soils in the climate system (Prof. Dr. Lars Kutzbach)
- Dynamic of soil processes, Prof. Dr. Christian Beer
The Institute of Soil Science is a teaching and research institute of the Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN) and the Department of Earth System Sciences in the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences (MIN) at Universität Hamburg. Soil science is part of the DFG Cluster of Excellence Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction (CliSAP) and the KlimaCampus Hamburg, which brings together University institutes, major research institutions, and Hamburg's local authorities to talk about climate.