HIGRADE Conference 2015. Photo: Gunnar Dreßler/UFZ

HIGRADE Conference

At the HIGRADE Conference, doctoral researchers in their final year present their work and there are many possibilities for scientific exchange and networking. All UFZ colleagues and our cooperation partners are invited to join the event!

HIGRADE Conference 2023

planned date: 25 May 2023, UFZ Leipzig: KUBUS

Review: HIGRADE Conference 2022 again in presence (15 June)

Photo: Lara Hauck, UFZ

The conference day started in the morning with a well-attended "warm-up", which was followed by lively discussions at the poster stands. The official part in the afternoon began with a digital welcome from Prof. Georg Teutsch, after which almost 50 doctoral researchers presented short "pitches" (one-minute speed talks) to more than 200 visitors, inviting them to discuss their dissertation projects at their posters.

Jaya Upadhyay (BZF) and Stembridge Ayuk (IMMU) moderated this lively part of the event, which produced some creative contributions. This was followed by the poster session with intense discussions over coffee and cake. Dr. Daniel Kaping (HIGRADE) moderated the final session, where prizes were awarded for the best posters and the best pitch. The best pitch was awarded as an audience prize. Here, Ayesha Siddique (OEKOTOX) gave a convincing presentation on "Adaptation to pesticides and associated fitness costs under single and multi-stress conditions". The best posters were selected by a jury. The lucky winners of the book prizes are:

  • Caglar Akay (UBT): Microbial transformation of sulfonamide antibiotics under different redox conditions
  • Jonna Heuschele (BZF): Spatio-temporal effects of land use intensity on plant-pollinator networks
  • Sarah Haenelt (ISOBIO): Fate and effects of sulfamethoxazole antibiotic in surface water.

Furthermore, the 50 doctoral researchers of the UFZ who successfully completed their doctorate in 2021 were honoured. A special highlight during the session was the lecture by UFZ alumna Dr. Jennifer Hauck (CoKnow Consulting) on the topic: "How to choose between reputation, security and freedom", which was followed by interested questions about non-university careers.
Special thanks go to the UFZ Förderverein, which contributed the book prizes for the best posters and the best pitch. Furthermore, we would like to thank everyone who made the conference and the subsequent evening programme a successful event!


  1. Cynthia Albracht (BOOEK): Plant and soil history effects on community assembly of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  2. Anton Gasser (BOSYS): The transfer of carbon incubation parameters to model the soil organic carbon and nitrogen dynamics of a field trial
  3. Qijun Yang (BOSYS): Assessing soil biodiversity potentials in Northeast China: a multi-attribute decision approach
  4. Saeed Golmohammadi (BOSYS): Impact of wettability and gravity on fluid displacement and trapping in representative 2D micromodels of porous media
  5. Jonna Heuschele (BZF): Spatio-temporal effects of land use intensity on plant-pollinator networks
  6. Qun Liu (BZF): Effects of climate change and land use on earthworm community
  7. Victoria Volke (BZF): Tree Traits and their functional role in cooling urban environments - an across-species approach
  8. Yicong Liu (BZF): Can we relate environmental information to nectar production?
  9. Maria Gabriela Rodriguez Barrera (CLE): Understanding the effect of prairie dogs on semi-arid grasslands cancelled
  10. Marta Bonato (CLE): Understanding the effect of landscape complexity and crop management in modelling natural pest control
  11. Francesca De Giorgi (PHYDIV): Effects of species diversity on phenotypic traits and epigenetic and genetic variation
  12. Dorian Nothaaß (PHYDIV, OESA): Modelling metapopulations with variable mortality and stochastic birth-death processes

  • 13. Sarah Haenelt (ISOBIO): Fate and effects of sulfamethoxazole antibiotic in surface water
  • 14. Marc Tamisier (ISOBIO): Characterization of microbiologically influenced corrosion by methanogenic    archaea and sulfate reducing bacteria
  • 15. Caglar Akay (UBT): Microbial transformation of sulfonamide antibiotics under different redox conditions
  • 16. Emea Ude (UBT): Identification of candidate enzymes for nitrite reduction in anaerobic ammonium oxidizing  “Candidatus Kuenenia stuttgartiensis” strain CSTR1
  • 17. Carmen Bruckmann (UMB): My ellipse problem: Can an algorithm replace scientists staring at dot-plots?
  • 18. Nafi'u Abdulkadir (UMB): Combining flow cytometry and metagenomics improves the recovery of    metagenome-assembled genomes in an enrichment culture from activated sludge
  • 19. Vedran Vucic (UMB): P uptake from wastewater in the brewery yeast for P recovery
  • 20. Zhe Cheng (UMB): The fate and effect of antibiotics and antibiotic resistant genes in anaerobic digestion    system

  • 21. Katrina Chan (Bioenergy): The land-use system: The effects of food-demand on bioenergy production
  • 22. Mansi Nagpal (OEKON): Agricultural drought adaptation and costs: Country-wide empirical analysis of a multi-agent model for Germany
  • 23. Fengxiang Guo (SUSOZ): A new nonlinear method for downscaling land surface temperature by integrating guided and Gaussian filtering
  • 24. Marieke Baaken (UPOL): Behavioral insights and adequate policy responses for sustainable agriculture

  • 25. Rafael Chavez Garcia Silva (ASAM): Understanding trends and patterns of groundwater storage changes in the Northwestern Mediterranean region
  • 26. Karen Rojas-Gómez (ASAM): Transport, fate and impacts of particle bound contaminants on the water quality of an urbanised catchment
  • 27. Xiaolin Zhang (ASAM): Disentangling in-stream nitrate uptake pathways based on two-station high-frequency monitoring in high-order streams
  • 28. Christina F. Radtke (CATHYD): Nitrate and water isotopes as tools to resolve nitrate travel times in a mixed land use catchment
  • 29. Felipe Saavedra (CATHYD): Effects of hydrological events on nitrate mobilization and delivery in German river catchments
  • 30. Hong Wei (CATHYD): Impact of hydrological variability on C and N cycling in an agricultural headwater catchment
  • 31. Arianna Borriero (HDG): Evaluating the value of young water fractions for determining water transit times in diverse catchments
  • 32. Franz Dichgans (HDG): Integrated modeling of transport of microplastics in(to) the hyporheic zone
  • 33. Pouyan Ahmadi (HDG): Modeling the transport and fate of microplastic particles in stagnant waters
  • 34. Carolin Waldemer (SEEFO): Fish ponds and climate-relevant gases

  • 35. Bahar Bahrami (CHS): Developing a parsimonious canopy model to predict forest gross primary productivity and leaf area index
  • 36. Friedrich Boeing (CHS): High-resolution drought simulations and comparison to soil moisture observations in Germany
  • 37. Sebastian Müller (CHS): GeoStat-Framework: Create your geo-statistical model with Python!
  • 38. Floris Hermanns (CLE): Flux footprint modeling for improved ecosystem productivity estimation
  • 39. Diana Altendorf (ENVINF): Decentralised ventilation efficiency for indoor radon reduction considering different environmental parameters.
  • 40. Sophie Steigerwald (MET): Evaluating VNIR spectroscopy, electromagnetic induction and gamma spectrometry to predict soil properties at landscape scale
  • 41. Antonia Ludwig (RS): Using simulated grassland communities and radiative transfer modeling to test the spectral variation hypothesis
  • 42. Toni Schmidt (RS): Intercomparison of current soil moisture products from remote sensing and modeling over COSMOS field sites in Germany

  • 43. Ayesha Siddique (OEKOTOX): Adaptation to pesticides and associated fitness costs under single and multi-stress conditions
  • 44. Elaine Jennings (ANA): Stable isotope labeling for detection of ozonation products in effluent organic matter
  • 45. Julia Nöth (BIOTOX): Development of approaches to study vascular disruptors as an endpoint for developmental toxicity in zebrafish embryos
  • 46. Sebastian Gutsfeld (BIOTOX): How do structurally similar Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) cause hyperactivity in zebrafish?

  • HIGRADE team
  • Do-it doctoral representation
  • "WTT": "transfun" and other services
  • UFZ Career Center: Meet your Career Center!
  • RDM team: How to manage your research data? / You are not alone! Research Software Development at UFZ / HIFIS Services