Dr. Christina Weißbecker

Contact / Address

Dr. Christina Weißbecker

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


Christina Weißbecker

I am fascinated by the biodiversity and interaction of soil microbial communties and their effects on ecosystem functioning. In the future I would like to extent my analyses to other organismic groups and trophic levels to better adress the complexity of relationships among the soil organisms, and also with the aboveground vegetation.

I apply amplicon high-throughput sequencing of marker genes to characterize the composition of microbial communities. Sequencing technologies and bioinformatic tools evolve rapidly and my work also comprises the optimization of the data processing and the evaluation and implementation of new bioinformatic tools. The high performance computer cluster "EVE" at the UFZ facilitates the work with the vast amounts of generated sequencing data.

During my participation in the GFBIO project I was involved in the data management according to the FAIR principles. For my publication projects I aim to follow a good documentation of my analyses and also publish associated data, metadata, bioinformatic and statistic scripts. The manuscripts are published open acess.

My PhD thesis "Biodiversity and assembly processes of soil fungal communities in Chinese subtropical forests with variable tree diversity"  was part of the research project Biodiversity and Ecosystem-Functioning Experiment China ( BEF-China ). The project evolved to TreeDì TreeDì .  


Scientific career

since 2018 Scientist
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research Halle - UFZ, Department of Soil Ecology.

Bioinformatic processing and development of a pipeline for the evaluation of amplicon sequencing data produced by a variety of sequencing technologies.

2011 - 2020 PhD student at the Department of Soil Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research Halle - UFZ.

PhD thesis: "Biodiversity and assembly processes of soil fungal communities in Chinese subtropical forests with variable tree diversity"
2005 - 2011 Dipl.-Ing. Biotechnology, Technische Universität Berlin. Focus: Microbiology and Molecular analysis.

Diploma thesis: "Metagenomic analysis of Dehalococcoides-related Chloroflexi enriched from marine sediments" (Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research -UFZ, Department of Isotope Biogeochemistry, Leipzig).

  • Annual Conference of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM), 17.03-20.03.2019, Mainz       
  • International Conference on Ecological Informatics (10. ICEI), 24.09-28.09.2018, Jena
  • Ecology of Soil Microorganisms (2. ESM), 29.11- 03.12.2015, Prag
  • International Conference on Mycorrhiza (7. ICOM), 6-11 January 2013, New Delhi
  • Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (42. GfÖ), 10 -14 September 2012, Lüneburg
  • Weißbecker, C., B. Schnabel, A. Heintz-Buschart. (2020, preprint): Efficiently processing amplicon sequencing data for microbial ecology with dadasnake, a DADA2 implementation in Snakemake. bioRxiv 2020.05.17.095679; doi: 10.1101/2020.05.17.095679
  • Weißbecker, C., A. Heintz-Buschart, H. Bruelheide, F. Buscot, T. Wubet. (2019): Linking Soil Fungal Generality to Tree Richness in Young Subtropical Chinese Forests. Microorganisms. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms7110547                        
  • Weißbecker, C., T. Wubet, G. Lentendu, P. Kühn, T. Scholten, H. Bruelheide, F. Buscot. (2018): Experimental evidence of functional group-dependent
    effects of tree diversity on soil fungi in subtropical forests. Frontiers in Microbiology. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.02312
  • Trogisch, S., A. Schuldt, J. Bauhus, J.A. Blum, S. Both, F. Buscot, N. Castro-Izaguirre, D. Chesters, W. Durka, D. Eichenberg, A. Erfmeier, M. Fischer, C. Geißler, M.S. Germany, P. Goebes, J.Gutknecht, C.Z. Hahn, S. Haider, W. Härdtle, J.-S. He, A. Hector, L. Hönig, Y. Huang, A.-M. Klein, P. Kühn, M. Kunz, K.N. Leppert, Y. Li, X. Liu, P. A. Niklaus, Z. Pei, K.A. Pietsch, R. Prinz, T. Proß, M. Scherer-Lorenzen, K. Schmidt, T. Scholten, S. Seitz, Z. Song, M. Staab, G. von Oheimb, C. Weißbecker, E. Welk, C. Wirth, T. Wubet, B. Yang, X. Yang, C.-D Zhu, B. Schmid, K. Ma, H. Bruelheide. (2017). Toward a methodical framework for comprehensively assessing forest multifunctionality. Ecology and Evolution. doi: 10.1002/ece3.3488
  • Weißbecker, C., F. Buscot,T. Wubet.(2017). Preservation of nucleic acids by freeze-drying for next generation sequencing analyses of soil microbial communities. Journal of Plant Ecology. doi: 10.1093/jpe/rtw042