Martin Schrön

Dr. Martin Schrön



Permoserstraße 15
04318 Leipzig

Building 7.1, Room 226
Phone +49 341 235 1995

What I do

I am measuring soil moisture using passive neutrons from cosmic rays. The measurement footprint is at a scale of 10-20 ha. Our device simply counts the number of neutrons equally distributed in the air. The technology is intended for long-term operation and requires low maintenance.

In order to enlarge the footprint we introduce a rover carrying mobile sensors. We will compare the results with additional data from remote-sensing projects and field studies.

Moreover, we develope and apply hydrologic models and neutron transport models in order to support our measurement strategy and improve the understanding of the detailed physical processes.

More information

Short CV

  • Postdoc 2017+, UFZ Leipzig, Dep. Monitoring and Exploration Technologies
  • Postdoctoral research fellow Jul-Dec 2016, University of Bristol (UK), Water and Environment
  • PhD student Dec 2012-Jun 2016, UFZ Leipzig and University of Potsdam, "Cosmic-Ray Neutron Sensing and its Applications to Soil and Land Surface Hydrology"
  • Research Assistant Oct-Nov 2012 Uni Greifswald, Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology, "Visualising polygon mires in peatlands" Group website
  • Technical Assistant 2006-2012 Max-Planck-Institut for Nuclear Physics, A. Kellerbauer Group website
  • Diploma Thesis Jan 2011–Feb 2012, ITA Heidelberg, TU Berlin, "Implementation of a subgrid-model for outflows for sink particles", Website
  • Studies in Physics Oct 2005–Apr 2012 Uni Heidelberg
  • Abitur 1998-2005 Cottbus, Max-Steenbeck-Gymnasium

  • ScienceSlam German Final 2015 Master Award (1st)
  • HIGRADE 2015 Conference Poster Award (1st)
  • ScienceSlam 2015 Braunschweig, Dresden, Leipzig (1st price each)
  • FameLab 2013 Saxony (1st + audience price)
  • BT Uni Cottbus 2005 Award for Ergonomics/Industrial Psychology
  • JugendForscht 2003 Geo- and Spatial Science Award (3rd)

  • TERENO Scientific Steering Committee 2016+
  • DPG - Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft

WRR (1), HESS (2), USDA (1), EGU Posters (3)
Visit me on Google Scholar


  • ZEIT Campus, 2016 Zitat im Beiheft: "Der perfekte Vortrag", Ausgabe 5/16
  • TERENO Newsletter, 2016 "The Neutron Tracker", Archiv, PDF
  • ScienceSlam German Finals 2015 "Die dümmsten Bauern haben die größten Kartoffeln? Oder: Sinnsuche eines Theoretischen Physikers", Konzerthaus Dortmund, Video, Press (Die Welt)
  • ScienceSlam 2015 "Die dümmsten Bauern haben die größten Kartoffeln? Oder: Sinnsuche eines Theoretischen Physikers", Werk2 Leipzig
  • UFZ Newsletter 2015 "Der mit Teilchen aus dem All jongliert", Interview by T. Arnhold, Read online, PDF
  • ScienceSlam 2015 "Die dümmsten Bauern haben die größten Kartoffeln? Oder: Sinnsuche eines Theoretischen Physikers", Scheune e.V. Dresden, Tweet
  • ScienceSlam 2015 "Die dümmsten Bauern haben die größten Kartoffeln? Oder: Sinnsuche eines Theoretischen Physikers", Haus der Wissenschaft, Braunschweig, Report
  • Radio Deutschland Funk 2014 "Wie Sternenexplosionen bessere Bodenfeuchte-Messungen ermöglichen", Interview by V. Mrasek in Bonn, "Forschung aktuell" Interview
  • Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften 2014 "Demonstration and Discussion of Cosmic-Ray Neutron Sensing", UFZ Leipzig
  • FameLab German Final 2013 "Neutrons Against Hunger on Earth", Lokschuppen Bielefeld.
  • FameLab Saxony 2013 "What can Exploding Stars tell us about Soil Moisture?", Video, Press report    
ca = corresponding author
* = equal contribution


  • EGU 2016 M. Schrön, M. Köhler, L. Bannehr, M. Köhli, B. Fersch, C. Rebmann, J. Mai, M. Cuntz, S. Kögler, I. Schröter, U. Wollschläger, S. Oswald, P. Dietrich, S. Zacharias, "Soil Moisture Estimation Across Scales with Mobile Sensors for Cosmic-Ray Neutrons from the Ground and Air", EGU General Assembly, Vienna
  • HCPA Neutron Workshop 2015 M. Schrön et al., "Soil Moisture Estimation Across Scales with Cosmic‐Ray Neutrons", Helmholtz Cross Program Activity
  • TERENO Workshop 2015 M. Schrön, S. Zacharias, M. Köhler, B. Fersch, M. Köhli, L. Bannehr, S. Oswald, P. Dietrich, "Soil Moisture Estimation Across Scales with Cosmic‐Ray Neutrons and the TERENO‐Rover", DLR Oberpfaffenhofen
  • DPG Spring Meeting 2015 M. Schrön, M. Köhli, S. Oswald, G. Baroni, P. Dietrich, S. Zacharias, "Sensing Environmental Water Content with Cosmic-Ray Neutrons", DPG - German Physics Society, Heidelberg
  • AGU 2014 M. Schrön, M. Köhli, M. Zreda, P. Dietrich, S. Zacharias, "Footprint Characteristics of Cosmic-Ray Neutron Sensing for Soil Moisture Monitoring", AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco
  • TERENO Int. Conf. 2014 M. Schrön, I. Schröter, S. Oswald, G. Baroni, H. Bogena, C. Rebmann, P. Dietrich, S. Zacharias, "Soil Moisture Surveys with the Cosmic TERENO:Rover", TERENO International Conference, Bonn
  • COSMOS 2014 M. Schrön, S. Zacharias, P. Dietrich, "Intercomparison of Co-Located Cosmic-Ray Sensors", 4th International COSMOS Workshop, UFZ Leipzig
  • COSMOS 2014 M. Schrön, "Cosmic-Ray Refresher", 4th International COSMOS Workshop, UFZ Leipzig

  • AGU 2015 U. Werban, P. Dietrich, M. Schrön, D. Walsh, E. Grunewald, M. Pohle, S. Kathage, "Comparison of surface NMR with non-invasive and in-situ measurements of soil water content at a floodplain field site", AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco
  • AGU 2015 M. Schrön, L. Samaniego, R. Kumar, M. Zink, R. Rosolem, O. Rakovec, G. Baroni, S. Oswald, F. Reinstorf, S. Zacharias, "Assimilation of Spatio-Temporal Cosmic-Ray Neutron Data to Improve Hydrological Model Performance", AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco
  • HIGRADE 2015 M. Schrön, S. Oswald, L. Samaniego, S. Zacharias, "Finding Water with Cosmic-Ray Neutrons", Doctoral Student Conference, Leipzig
  • ICRC 2015 M. Schrön, S. Zacharias, M. Köhli, J. Weimar, P. Dietrich, "Monitoring Environmental Water with Ground Albedo Neutrons from Cosmic Rays", 34th Internation Cosmic-Ray Conference, Den Haag
  • EGU 2015 M. Schrön, M. Köhli, M. Zreda, U. Schmidt, P. Dietrich, and S. Zacharias, "Footprint Characteristics of Cosmic-Ray Neutron Sensors for Soil Moisture Monitoring", EGU General Assembly, Vienna
  • EGU 2015 M. Schrön, O. Rakovec, M. Zink, R. Rosolem, S. Zacharias, S. Oswald, G. Baroni, I. Schröter, U. Wollschläger, F. Reinstorf, E. Martini, and L. Samaniego, "Assimilation of Cosmic-Ray Neutron Data to Improve Soil Moisture in the Distributed Hydrological Model mHM", EGU General Assembly, Vienna
  • AGU 2013 M. Schrön, L. Samaniego, S. Zacharias and P. Dietrich, "Symbiosis of Cosmic-Ray derived Soil Moisture and the mesoscale Hydrological Model mHM", AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco
  • DBG 2013 M. Schrön, S. Zacharias, L. Samaniego, "Soil Moisture at Intermediate Scales: Combining CRS and mHM", German Soil Society bianual meeting, Rostock
  • Permafrost Conf. 2012 A. Teltewskoi, P. de Klerk, J. Seyfert, E. Behrens, M. Schrön, D. Michaelis and H. Joosten 2012 "High Resolution Palaeo-Ecological Studies of Polygon Mires in the Indigirka-Kolyma Lowlands", Peatland Studies and Palaeoecology, Uni Greifswald

  • M. Schrön, I. Schröter, U. Wollschläger 2015 "Scaling of Hydrological Properties", UFZ-IP53 Journal Club, Leipzig
  • M. Schrön, O. Rakovec, L. Samaniego 2014 "On Issues and Challenges of Data Assimilation with mHM", UFZ-IP-T53 Workshop, Leipzig
  • M. Schrön 2013 "Effects of Relativity to Baking Apple Cakes and Consequences for Applied Geoelectrics", UFZ-MET PhD Meeting, Leipzig
  • M. Schrön, Svea Proft 2009 "Limnophysics", FP Seminar, Institute for Environmental Physics, Uni Heidelberg
  • M. Schrön 2008 "Self-Organisation and Pattern Formation", Organic Computing Seminar, Institute of Computer Science, Uni Heidelberg
  • M. Maier, M. Schrön 2008 "Potentialströmungen - Why do planes fly?", Seminar on Fluid Mechanics (E. Michel, W. Jäger), Institute of Applied Mathematics, Uni Heidelberg
  • M. Schrön, Moritz Mercker 2007 "Solutions of the Diffusion Equation and Time Lag in Membranes", Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing, Uni Heidelberg
  • M. Schrön 2007 "Hydrodynamics of Fluid Waves with the Approximation for Small Amplitudes", Seminar on Problems of Theoretical Mechanics (J.-M. Pawlowski), Uni Heidelberg