Ilka Engell

K III - Soil biology and soil ecology

Commission III scientifically studies organisms living in soil (mainly microorganisms and soil fauna) and their activities. The focus of the work of commission III is on the interactions of soil organisms with each other and with their habitat, the soil, which defines the physical and chemical environment of the organisms. We also study the role of the organisms and their interactions in ecosystems and their significance for maintaining soil functions. A central aim of Commission III is applying and further developing methods for the observation and quantification of soil organisms and their functions for different soil processes. A particular focus is the analysis of the consequences of human activities, in particular related to land use, on soil organisms and their activities.

Lumbricus terrestris. Photo: Ilka Engell

Working groups

AG Humusformen


Various events and activities are scheduled around the topic of soil biology and ecology, plenty of them within the framework of the priority progamm „SoilSystems – Systems ecology of soils“: latest announcements can be checked on the homepage of the SPP 2322 under the category “events” (https://soilsystems.net/events/);

Several conferences, meetings or workshops with a focus or themes within soil biology and ecology are scheduled within the year 2024:


Anja Miltner, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research- UFZ Leipzig, Department of Molecular Environmental Biotechnology


Deputy chair:

Michaela Dippold, Department of Geosciences, University of Tübingen




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