Dr. Evgenia Blagodatskaya

I'm Russian, but I hate Putin and support Ukraine in its stand against the invasion of Putin's troops

Contact / Address

Dr. Evgenia Blagodatskaya
Senior Scientist
Group leader in „Microbial stoichiometry and functions“
The lead of a lab platform for elemental analysis, mass spectrometry and soil microbiology
Mission: integrated analytic pipelines in crucial domains of key experimental platforms of the UFZ: GCEF, Static Fertilization Experiment, MyDiv, Biodiversity Exploratories, PhytOAKmeter.

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


Evgenia Blagodatskaya

I'm Russian, but I hate Putin and support Ukraine in its stand against the invasion of Putin's troops.

Research Interests

Soil Quality & Fertility: C sequestration; agroecology, soil priming effects; land use, Global changes, stoichiometry of elements in plant & soil; bioenergy plants; biochar.
Eco-physiological indicators: metabolic coefficients Cmic/Corg, qCO2 DNA/RNA, respiratory index QR, temperature sensitivity Q10.
Soil biogeochemistry: biochemical C, N and P cycles; partitioning of CO2 fluxes,
Soil microbiology: microbial ecology; microbial biomass and community structure, enzymes activity, Michaelis-Menten kinetics, soil zymography, microbial growth parameters, carbon use efficiency, microcalorimetry.
Soil geography: geographical gradients and temperature acclimation of SOM transformation.
Molecular biomarkers: DNA, RNA, PLFA, ATP.
Stable and radioactive isotopes: 14C, 33P, 13C, 15N.

Research Projects

2021 Principal Investigator of DFG Priority Program SPP2089 Microbial life in the rhizosphere: kinetics and visualization of the functions, Microzym  (ca 252000 EUR).

2021 Principal Investigator of DFG SPP2322 Heat dissipation and matter turnover in the course of microbial succession constrained by substrate and oxygen availability, Microheat (ca 175700 EUR).

2021 Co-PI of PhD Cohort UFZ project Global change impacts on microbiota-plant-soil processes relevant for water and matter cycling in agricultural ecosystems, GLIMPSE 

2019-2021 Participant of USDA, AFRI Program (United States), Project: ‘A new perspective for carbon sequestration: interaction between plant diversity, physical microenvironments and microorganisms’. Principal Investigator Prof. Alexandra Kravchenko, Michigan State University.

2018 Principal Investigator of DFG Priority Program SPP2089 – Rhizosphere, project Microzym – No 403664478 (ca 272000 EUR).

2017-2018 Principal Investigator (extended phase) of Russian Scientific Foundation project № 14-14-00625 “Extreme climatic events as drivers of biotic transformation of soil organic matter” (ca 171000 EUR).
2016 -2018 DFG KU 1184/35-1.Carbon in-/outputs, rates and mechanisms of C stabilization and sequestration in abandoned soils: example of Luvisol chronosequenzes of Russia (ca 200000 EUR).
2014-2016 Principal Investigator of Russian Scientific Foundation project № 14-14-00625 “Extreme climatic events as drivers of biotic transformation of soil organic matter” (ca 257000 EUR).
2012-2013 DAAD-project No 55517614 “Active microorganisms in terrestrial ecosystems”
2010 Research fellowship of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) “Competition of r and K strategists in soil microbial communities under elevated atmospheric CO2”.
2008 – 2009 Principal investigator of ERC-project MICROSOM – Return phase (ca 25000 EUR).
2007 – 2008 Principal investigator of ERC-project No 39907 MICROSOM. (ca 186000 EUR).
2006-2008 Russian Foundation for Basic Research No 06-04-48527 “Role of competition of microorganisms with different growth strategies in intensification of soil organic matter mineralization“.
2003 Russian Foundation for Basic Research No 03-04-6876 – МАС as supervisor of young scientist.
2002 Principal investigator from Russian side in project No 123 “Effect of soil treatment and agricultural usage on microbial biomass and its productivity” granted by the Program of cooperation in the field of agricultural investigations between Russia and Germany (BMVEL);
2001-2003 Principal investigator in project of Russian Foundation for Basic Research No 01-04-48533 “Effect of higher plants on dominating ecological strategy of soil microbial community”;
2001 German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) “Growth strategies and biodiversity of rhizospheric and non-rhizospheric soil microbial communities under anthropogenic impact”;
1998-1999 Principal investigator in project of Russian Foundation for Basic Research No 98-04-48906 “Change of growth kinetics and strategy of soil microorganisms under ecological stress conditions”.
1995 Principal investigator in project of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) “Microbial biomass and respiratory activity of bacteria and fungi in different types


- Microbial biomass C, N and P
- Fungal contribution: Ergosterol
- Microbial growth and respiration
Long-term Static fertilization Experiment (towards efficient agriculture)
- Energy & C Use Efficiency as affected by stoichiometry
- Microbial C & N; Efficiency of SOM decomposition: coupling metabolic heat & CO2

iDiv - China Garden experiment – Remy Beugnon; Dr. Simone Cesarz; Prof. Nico Eisenhauer
iDiv – MyDiv experiment – Dr. Olga Ferlian; Prof. Nico Eisenhauer
iDiv – Respiratory coefficient (O2/CO2 ) as indicator of microbial metabolism in subtropical forest – Remy Beugnon; Prof. Nico Eisenhauer

BOOEK – Plastic in soil – Dr. Witoon Purahong
GCEF – Annual & seasonal samplings campaigns – Dr. Thomas Reitz
GCEF – Soil cores experiment – Dr. Steffen Schlütter, Dr. Thomas Reitz

Potential for network extension: join national & international initiatives
  •  LUCAS (Land Use & Coverage Area frame Survey) – iDiv Soil Tape Root, EU JRC
  • Global distribution of Soil biodiversity (iDiv Soil Tape Root/Tea Bag experiment/ DFG sequencing Initiative) Energy & C Use Efficiency as affected by stoichiometry
  • Bundeswald Inventur Thünen Institute Eberswalde + Agentur für Nachhaltige Rohstoffe

CV / Scientific Career

since 2019

Senior scientist, Group Leader Dept. of Soil Ecology Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH – UFZ, Halle, Germany

2019 - 03.2022

Associate Prof. Agro-Technological Institute, RUDN University, Moscow, Russia.
This employment was interrupted as I do not want to have any commitments to a Russian state institution because of Russia's aggressive policy against Ukraine.

2011 - 2019

Associate prof., Dept. of Agricultural Soil Science,  Dept. of Soil Science of Temperate Ecosystems,
Georg-August University of Göttingen

03. - 08.2011

Guest researcher at Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany

2010 - 2012

Visiting professor, Institute for Atmospheric physics, Beijing, China


Guest researcher, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

2007 - 2008

Senior Researcher at the University of Bayreuth, Dept. Agrarökosystemforschung, Germany


Guest stay at the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany

2001 - 2003

Guest researcher at the Institute of Soil Biology, BFAL, Braunschweig, Germany

1987 - 2019

Leading scientist, Institute of Physico-Chemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science, Russian Academy of Science, Pushchino, Russia


- Since 2005 European Geosciences Union

  • European Geosciences Union - Chair of SSS4 Soil Biology sub-division (2018-2020)
  • European Geosciences Union - Vice-President of Soil Science Division (SSS) since 2021.

- Since 2007 Deutsche Bodenkundliche Gesellschaft (DBG; German Soil Science Society)

- Since 2018 Soil Microbial ecology Society

- Since 2012 Independent expert for European Commission

Editorial Activities

CHIEF EDITOR Soil Biology and Biochemistry
ASSOCIATE EDITOR European Journal of Soil Science
EDITORIAL BOARDS Biology & Fertility of Soils, European Journal of Soil Biology, Pedosphere, Rhizosphere

Awards and Honours

2018 Top 1% Highly Cited Researchers in Agricultural Sciences Clarivate Analytics
2017 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher in Agricultural Sciences 2017
2016 John Waid Award for the best Review paper in Soil Biology & Biochemistry published in 2015
2016 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher Award in Earth sciences 2016
2014-2015 Award of Innovative teaching concept of the Campus QPLUS Georg-August University Göttingen
2012-today Independent expert for European Commission
2012-2013 DAAD-fellowship in frame of “Gastdozentur – Programm”
2011-2012 “Gastprofessur” – award of Excellence Initiative of Göttingen University
2010-2012 Professorship for Senior International Scientists of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
1995-2010 Three Research fellowships of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
2007-2009 Marie Curie research fellowship of European Commission

Selected Publications

Recently published:

1. Blagodatskaya E, Tarkka M, Knief C, Koller R, Peth S, Schmidt V, Spielvogel S, Uteau D, Weber M, Razavi B. 2021. Bridging microbial functional traits with localized process rates at soil interfaces. Frontiers in Microbiology 12: 625697.

2. Tanunchai, B., Kalkhof S, Guliyev V., Wahdan, S.F.M., Krstic D., Schädler M, Geissler A., Glaser B, Buscot F, Blagodatskaya E, Noll M, Purahong W. 2022. Nitrogen fixing bacteria facilitate microbial biodegradation of a bio-based and biodegradable plastic in soils under ambient and future climatic conditions. Environ Sci Processes & Impacts DOI: 10.1039/D1EM00426C.

3. Wang C, Dippold MA, Blagodatskaya E, Dorodnikov M. 2022. Oxygen matters: Short- and medium-term effects of aeration on hydrolytic enzymes in a paddy soil. Geoderma 407, 115548

4. Guber, A., Blagodatskaya, E., Juyal, A., Razavi, B.S., Kuzyakov, Y. & Kravchenko, A. (2021). Time-lapse approach to correct deficiencies of 2D soil zymography Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 157 108225.

5. Bonkowski M, Tarkka M, Razavi BS, Schmidt H, Blagodatskaya E, et al. 2021. Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Maize (Zea mays L.) Root Growth and Its Potential Consequences for the Assembly of the Rhizosphere Microbiota. Frontiers in Microbiology 12, 461

6. Tanunchai, B., Juncheed, K., Wahdan, S.F.M., Guliyev V., Udovenko M., Lehnert AS, Gomes Alves E, Glaser B, Noll M, Buscot F, Blagodatskaya E, Purahong W. 2021. Analysis of microbial populations in plastic–soil systems after exposure to high poly(butylene succinate-co-adipate) load using high-resolution molecular technique. Environ Sci Eur 33 (1), 105.

7. Bilyera N, Dippold MA, Bleicher J, Maranguit D, Kuzyakov Y, Blagodatskaya E. 2021. Microbial tradeoffs in internal and external use of resources regulated by phosphorus and carbon availability. European Journal of Soil Biology,Volume 106,103353.

8. Zhou J, Wen Y, Shi L, Marshall MR, Kuzyakov Y, Blagodatskaya E, Zang H. 2021. Strong priming of soil organic matter induced by frequent input of labile carbon. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 152, 108069

9. Schlüter S, Roussety T, Rohe L, Guliyev V, Blagodatskaya E, Reitz T. 2021. Land use impact on carbon mineralization is mainly caused by variation of particulate organic matter content rather than of soil structure. Soil. doi.org/10.5194/soil-2021-56

*- Highly cited papers (either top 0.1%, 1% citations & more than 100 citations).
1. Tian, P., Razavi, B. S., Zhang, X.; Wang, Qi., Blagodatskaya, E. 2020. Microbial growth and enzyme kinetics in rhizosphere hotspots are modulated by soil organics and nutrient availability. Soil Biology and Biochemistry,141, 107662 (>34 citations).

2. Kuzyakov, Y., Horwath, W.R., Dorodnikov, M., Blagodatskaya, E. 2019. Review and synthesis of the effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on soil processes: No changes in pools, but increased fluxes and accelerated cycles Soil Biology and Biochemistry 128, pp. 66-78. (>79 citations.)

3. *Kuzyakov, Y., Blagodatskaya, E. 2015. Microbial hotspots and hot moments in soil: Concept & review. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 83 184-199. IF 3.93 (>928 citations).

4. *Shahbaz, M., Kuzyakov, Y., Sanaullah, M., Heitkamp, F., Zelenev, V., Kumar, A. & Blagodatskaya, E. 2017, "Microbial decomposition of soil organic matter is mediated by quality and quantity of crop residues: mechanisms and thresholds", Biology and Fertility of Soils, vol. 53, no. 3, pp. 287-301 (>130 citations).

5. *Blagodatskaya E., Blagodatsky S., Khomyakov N., Myachina O., Kuzyakov Y. 2016. Temperature sensitivity and enzymatic mechanisms of soil organic matter decomposition along an altitudinal gradient on Mount Kilimanjaro. Scientific Reports 6:22240 DOI: 10.1038/srep22240 (>100 citations).

6. *Tian J., Wang J., Dippold M., Gao Y., Blagodatskaya E., Kuzyakov Y. 2016. Biochar affects soil organic matter cycling and microbial functions but does not alter microbial community structure in a paddy soil. Science of the Total Environment 556: 89–97 (>164 citations).

7. *Razavi B., Zarebanadkouki M., Blagodatskaya, E., Kuzyakov, Y. 2016. Rhizosphere shape of lentil and maize: Spatial distribution of enzyme activities Soil Biology & Biochemistry 96:229-237 (>100 citations).

8. *Chen R., Senbayram M., Blagodatsky S., Myachina O., Dittert K., Lin X., Blagodatskaya E. (corresponding author), Kuzyakov Y. 2014. Soil C and N availability determine the priming effect: microbial N mining and stoichiometric decomposition theories. Global Change Biology 20: 2356-2367. (>612 citations).

9. *Blagodatskaya E., Khomyakov N., Myachina O., Bogomolova I., Blagodatsky S., Kuzyakov Y. 2014 Microbial interactions affect sources of priming induced by cellulose. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 74: 39-49 (>129 citations).

10. *Blagodatskaya E., Blagodatsky S., Anderson T-H., Kuzyakov Y. 2014. Microbial growth and carbon use efficiency in the rhizosphere and root-free soil. PLoS ONE 9(4): e93282. (>170 citations).

11. *Blagodatskaya, E., Kuzyakov, Y. 2013. Active microorganisms in soil: Critical review of estimation criteria and approaches. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 67:192-211. (>605 citations).

12. * Qiao N., Schaefer D., Blagodatskaya, E., Zou X., Xu X., Kuzyakov, Y. 2013. Labile carbon retention compensates for CO2 released by priming in forest soils. Global Change Biology DOI:10.1111/gcb.12458 (>147 citations).

13. *Awad Y., Blagodatskaya E., Sik Ok Y., Kuzyakov Y. 2013. Effects of polyacrylamide, biopolymer and biochar on the decomposition of 14C-labelled maize residues and on their stabilization in soil aggregates. European Journal of Soil Science doi: 10.1111/ejss.12034 (>134 citations).

14. *Awad Y., Blagodatskaya E., Sik Ok Y., Kuzyakov Y. 2012. Effects of polyacrylamide, biopolymer, and biochar on decomposition of soil organic matter and plant residues as determined by 14C and enzyme activities. European Journal of Soil Biology. V. 48. P. 1-10. (>198 citations).

15. *Chen R., Blagodatskaya E. Senbayram M., Blagodatsky S., Myachina O., Dittert K., Kuzyakov Y. 2012. Decomposition of biogas residues in soil and their effects on microbial growth kinetics and enzyme activities. Biomass & Bioenergy. V. 45. P. 221-229 (>100 citations).

16. *Blagodatskaya, E., Yuyukina, T., Blagodatsky, S., Kuzyakov, Y. 2011. Three-Source-Partitioning of Microbial Biomass and of CO2 Efflux from soil to evaluate mechanisms of Priming Effects. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 43 778-786 (>151 citations).

17. *Blagodatskaya, E., Yuyukina, T., Blagodatsky, S., Kuzyakov, Y. 2011. Turnover of soil organic matter and of microbial biomass under C3-C4 vegetation change: Consideration of 13C fractionation and preferential substrate utilization. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 43:159-166(>180 citations).

18. *Sanaullah M, Blagodatskaya E, Chabbi A, Rumpel C., Kuzyakov, Y. (2011) Drought effects on microbial biomass and enzyme activities in the rhizosphere of grasses depend on plant community composition. Applied Soil Ecology 48(1): 38-44 (>190 citations).

19. *Blagodatskaya E, Blagodatsky S, Dorodnikov M, Kuzyakov Y. (2010) Elevated atmospheric CO2 increases microbial growth rates in soil: results of three CO2 enrichment experiments. Global Change Biology 16(2), 836-848 (>151 citations).

20. *Blagodatsky, S., Blagodatskaya, E., Yuyukina, T., Kuzyakov, Y. 2010. Model of apparent and real priming effects: Linking microbial activity with soil organic matter decomposition. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 42, 1275-1283 (>172 citations)

21. *Blagodatskaya E, Blagodatsky S, Anderson TH, Kuzyakov Y. (2009) Contrasting effects of glucose, living roots and maize straw on microbial growth kinetics and substrate availability in soil. European Journal of Soil Science, 60, 186-197 (>196 citations).

22. *Dorodnikov M, Blagodatskaya E, Blagodatsky S, Marhan S, Fangmeier A, Kuzyakov Y. (2009) Stimulation of microbial extracellular enzyme activities by elevated CO2 depends on soil aggregate size. Global Change Biology, 15, 1603-1614 (>187 citations).

23. *Blagodatskaya Е, Kuzyakov Y., (2008) Mechanisms of real and apparent priming effects and their dependence on soil microbial biomass and community structure: critical review. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 45:115-131 (>1093 citations).

24. *Blagodatskaya, E.V., Blagodatsky, S.A., Anderson, T.H., Kuzyakov, Y., (2007) Priming effects in Chernozem induced by glucose and N in relation to microbial growth strategies. Applied Soil Ecology, 37, 95-105 (>357 citations).

25. *Blagodatskaya Ye. V., Anderson T.-H. (1998) Interactive effects of pH and substrate quality on the fungal-to-bacteria ratio and QCO2 of microbial communities in forest soils. Soil Biology & Biochemistry. 30(10/11), 1269-1274 (>401 citations).