Dr Andreas Gattinger, agricultural scientist and Head of Climate Research at FiBL in Frick (Switzerland) and Frankfurt (Germany), recently successfully completed his habilitation at the Justus Liebig University Giessen. As part of the University’s habilitation process at Faculty 09 - Agricultural Sciences, Nutritional Sciences, and Environmental Management he prepared a habilitation thesis entitled "Carbon fluxes in soil ecosystems with particular emphasis on the role of the soil microbiota" and presented his inaugural lecture on "Nullbodenbearbeitung - ein klimafreundlicher Ansatz in der Landwirtschaft?" ("Zero tillage - a climate-friendly approach to farming?"). He has thus proven his exceptional ability for independent scholarly research and academic teaching in the field of soil ecology.
Prof. Dr Hans-Georg Frede acted as academic mentor to Dr Gattinger, whose habilitation thesis builds on a total of sixteen original publications focussing on topics such as soil microbial community structure in natural ecosystems and farmland, impacts of organic fertiliser (cattle manure) on microbial activity and material fluxes, the rhizosphere as a "hot spot" of microbial diversity and carbon turnover, as well as soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions from soils.
At the occasion of his inaugural lecture entitled "Klimawirkungen der konservierenden Bodenbearbeitung - Realität und Visionen" ("Climate impacts of conservation tillage - Reality and vision"), Dr Gattinger was awarded his Habilitation Certificate by the Faculty’s Vice-Dean Prof. Dr Klaus Eder and was thus granted the venia legendi (permission to lecture) for soil ecology.
Andreas Gattinger originally trained as a chemical laboratory assistant, then studied agricultural sciences at the Universities of Kassel and Aberdeen, wrote his PhD in soil microbiology at the Technical University of Munich School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, and for ten years worked in agroecosystems research at the Institute for Soil Ecology of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Munich. He has international scientific expertise with a focus on carbon and nitrogen fluxes in agricultural ecosystems and on the role of soil microbiota. He has authored or co-authored a total of 47 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles to date. Dr Gattinger is involved in numerous national and international research projects on climate change mitigation and adaptation in agriculture. He teaches at the Universities of Basel and Giessen and together with his family he manages his parents’ holding in Selters (Germany) as an organic farm.