Anne E. Berns

Dr. Anne E. Berns

Senior researcher „Terrestrial biogeochemistry"


+49 2461/61-5656

+49 2461/61-2518


Orcid: 0000-0002-3238-5596


Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
52428 Jülich

Institut für Bio- und Geowissenschaften (IBG)

Agrosphäre (IBG-3)

Gebäude 16.6 / Raum 2052


Research group

As a member of the Terrestrial Biogeochemistry group, my contribution revolves around unraveling molecular-scale complexities that govern biogeochemical processes, ultimately shaping the fate of elemental plant nutrients on a macroscopic scale. Our approach consists in a combination of stable metal isotope techniques, advanced mass spectrometric methods, and state-of-the-art analysis of biogeochemical interfaces and colloids. This integrated methodology not only provides a comprehensive understanding of the molecular transformations occurring but also offers novel insights into the significant roles these processes play in the complex web of elemental cycles.

Research focus

Our focus lies in understanding the dynamics of inorganic nutrient elements within soil-plant systems, especially under the influence of anthropogenic activities, climate change, or extreme events. In pursuit of this goal, we use mass-dependent shifts in stable metal isotope ratios, a phenomenon occurring due to subtle differences in reaction rates or binding affinities of isotopes with varying masses. These changes allow us to trace the origins and pathways of plant nutrients or essential soil components, moving through different soil size fractions and reaching various plant organs. Furthermore, they enable us to pinpoint alterations in uptake strategies or variations in rooting depths.

Research interests

  • Plant nutrient cycles in soils
  • Colloidal nutrient transport in soil
  • Non-traditional stable isotopes in soil systems
  • Natural stable metal isotope ratios as tracers in soil-plant-systems
Letzte Änderung: 08.01.2024