Max Planck Gesellschaft
Sinikka Paulus

PhD student with the
Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions and Experimentation and
Hydrology Biosphere Climate Interactions groups

room: C1.008 (tower)
phone: +49 3641 576232
fax: +49 3641 577200
email: spaulus(at)

Research interests | Current Research | Past Research | Publications

Research Interest:

  • dew and soil water vapor adsorption at plot scale
  • soil-plant-atmosphere interactions and the role of vegetation in the water cycle
  • water stable isotope application in ecohydrology
  • soil gas transport processes and soil respiration

Current Research:

I am currently analyzing concomitant and independent time series of water fluxes (lysimeters, sap flow, eddy covariance (EC)) jointly with time series of vegetation properties (spectral vegetation indices, dendrometer etc), and biometerological variables (temperature, vapor pressure deficit, soil moisture etc) in a Mediterranean tree grass ecosystem.

I am interested in

  • robust flux estimates of all terrestrial water flux components: precipitation, evapotranspiration and dew and soil condensation
  • the seasonal and interanual variability of these fluxes
  • their effect on the biosphere

Past Research:

University of Freiburg - Institute of Ecosystem Physiology:
In the group of Maren Dubbert, we studied root water uptake processes in a temperate grassland using water stable isotopes. We combined two in situ measurement techniques to sample soil and leaf transpiration water vapor on a daily timescale. We further compared our results to the isotopic signature of destructively sampled material to gain additional information about methodological differences. (link)

University of Freiburg - Institute of Soil Ecology:
Under the supervision of Martin Maier I worked as a student's research assistant conducting research in the field of soil gas transport. We measured trace gas concentrations in the soil column with an group internally developed portable insitu sampling pole. Over different measurement campaigns we combined this technique with others, to gain information about

drivers of plot-scale variability of CH4 consumption (link)
the impact of turbulence driven pressure pumping on soil gas transport (link)
the interrelation between soil methane production and stem CH4 emission in Fagus sylvatica (link)



Haas, C., Paulus, S., Maier, M. & Gerke, H. (2020) Approach for using measured soil gas diffusion coefficients in Hydrus 1D with examples from forest soils. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 4, 183. (link)
Kübert, A., Paulus, S., Dahlmann, A., Werner, C., Rothfuss, Y., Orlowski, N., & Dubbert, M. (2020) Water Stable Isotopes in Ecohydrological Field Research: Comparison between In Situ and Destructive Monitoring Methods to Determine Soil Water Isotopic Signatures. Frontiers in Plant Science, 11, 387. (link)
Maier, M., Paulus, S., Nicolai, C., Stutz, K., and Nauer P. (2017) Drivers of Plot-Scale Variability of CH4 Consumption in a Well-Aerated Pine Forest Soil. Forests, 10.3390/f8060193, 8, 6, (193) (link)

Selected Conference Contributions

Paulus, S., El-Madany, T., Wutzler, T., Orth, R., Perez-Priego, O., Reichstein, M., Carrara, A., Moreno, G., Migliavacca, W. (2020, May) Hidden water fluxes in a Mediterranean ecosystem: new insights into seasonal dynamics from lysimeter data. Display presented at EGU General Assembly online 2020. (link)
Kübert, A., Rothfuss, Y., Götz, M., Kuester, E., Paulus, S., Dahlmann, A., Kuehnhammer, K., Piayda, A., Werner, C., Dubbert, M. (2019, December) Global Change Induced Threats Across Scales: Assessing the Impact of Extreme Drought and Nitrogen Loading on a Temperate Grassland. In AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 2019. (link)
Paulus, S., Kübert, A., Dahlmann, A., Werner, C., Rothfuss, Y., Dubbert, M. and Orlowski N. (2019, April) Comparison between destructive and in situ monitoring methods of determination of soil pore water isotopic composition for addressing ecohydrological questions. Poster session presented at the EGU General Assembly, Vienna, Austria. (link)
Paulus, S., Jochheim, H., Wirth, S., Maier, M. (2015, April) Calculating soil gas fluxes from gas concentration profiles: can we usestandard DS models or should we use site-specific DS models? Poster session presented at the EGU General Assembly, Vienna, Austria. (link)
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