Prof. Dr. François Buscot

Contact / Address

Prof. Dr. François Buscot
Head of the department

Department of Soil Ecology
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Theodor-Lieser-Strasse 4 | D-06120 Halle/Saale


+49 345 5585 221
+49 345 5585 449

François Buscot



Chemical biology, University of Lille (F) - undergraduate


Botany, plant physiology and ecology, University of Strasbourg (F) - graduate


Military service


Diploma (DEA) in cell and molecular biology, Universities of Besançon, Strasbourg and Nancy (F)


Doctoral thesis in plant biology, University of Strasbourg


Postdoctoral fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, stage at the Department of Botany and Mycology of the University of Tübingen (D)


Habilitation in soil biology, technical university of Braunschweig (D)



Research scientist at the Department of Botany and Mycology of the University of Tübingen (D), investigation of recognition mechanisms in ectomycorrhizal symbioses


Senior scientist at the Institute of Soil Biology of the Federal Research Centre of Agriculture of Braunschweig (D), leader of the research group on soil fungi and mycorrhizas


Research scientist at the Institute for Soil Ecology of the GSF- Research Centre for Environment and Health of München-Neuherberg (D)


Professor and Head of the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Jena (D)


Professor and Head of the Department of Terrestrial Ecology at the University of Leipzig (D)

since 2005

Head of the Department of Soil Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ

Research interest

My main interest in research is the ecology of soil fungi and mycorrhizas. In the frame of my doctoral thesis and of my habilitation, I tried to elucidate the biological and ecological strategies of higher ascomycetes and in particular of the morels. Therefore, I used a broad range of field and laboratory techniques like light and transmission electron microscopy, analyses of metabolites, isoenzymes and DNA (PCR) and also cultivation models in pure culture or in association with higher plants.

I used this expertise to develop projects dealing with:

  • microbial decontamination of polluted soils
  • the significance of stuctural and functional diversity of soil microorganisms and mycorrhizas in natural and man disturbed ecosystems
  • the significance of mycorrhiza for restoration of ancient mining or industrial sites (Verena Blanke + Carsten Renker)
  • the influence of arbuscular mycorrhiza on plant biodiversity (Stephan König + Stefan Hempel + Carsten Renker)
  • the mycorrhizal interactions of transgenic aspens (Michael Kaldorf)
  • the recognition mechanisms and regulation of ectomycorrhizal symbioses between oaks and fungi with diverse strategies (Sylvie Herrmann, Patrick Frettinger)
  • the role of soil fungi for mineralisation and stabilization of organic soil matter (Harald Kellner + Stephan König)

My teaching activity

  • I am full professor for terestrial Ecology at the Institute for Biology I at the University of Leipzig .
  • Lectures, seminars, practical courses and excursions with emphasis on general ecology, soil ecology, human ecology and molecular ecology
  • Special lectures and seminars on symbioses and mycorrhizas



Prize of the "Foundation of France"


Humboldt Fellow


Offer of two full professor positions for Botany and Plant Ecology at the Universities of Nancy and Strasbourg (F)


Member of the evaluation board mathematics and natural sciences by the German institute for accreditation and certification of university curricula (ACQUIN)

since 2004

Member and vice chairman of the evaluation college for plant sciences by the German Science Foundation (DFG)


Offer of two full professor positions for Ecology and Geobotany at the Universities of Bielefeld and Trier (Germany)

since 2006

Member of the Editorial Board of Mycological progress



Buscot F. (1996)
Untersuchung der Zusammenhänge zwischen biologischen Merkmalen und ökologischen Strategien der Pilz-Gattung Morchella unter variierenden Biotopbedingungen
Habilitation thesis

Buscot F. (1987)
Contribution à l'étude d'une espèce de morille de la forêt rhénane, Morchella rotunda (Pers.) Boudier, perspectives de domestication
Doctoral thesis

Buscot F. (1983)
Multiplication végétative de Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata subvar. spherica f. alba.
Diploma thesis

Buscot F., Cheviron D. & Gorget J.F. (1981)
Concurence inter- et intraspécifique entre trois espèces aquatiques, Lemna minor, Azolla filiculoides, et Salvinia natans
Master Thesis