Dr. Emily Solly


Department of Computational Hydrosystems
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ

Full member of German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv)

Permoserstr. 15
04318 Leipzig, Germany

Phone +49 341 6025-1792


photo of Emily Solly

Research Interests

I am a soil biogeochemist and terrestrial ecosystem ecologist. I study how the carbon and nutrient balance in forest ecosystems is determined by the interplay of plant and soil processes and how it will be influenced by environmental changes. Specifically, I work at the root-soil interface to assess how human-induced alterations in the environment influence nutrient uptake by plants, the supply of root-derived carbon to soils and soil microorganisms, and the storage of this source of soil organic carbon. I combine a variety of field and laboratory techniques, including the use of isotopes (13C, 15N, and 14C - both natural abundance and enriched levels) to quantitatively track carbon and nitrogen transformations in soils and estimate the carbon age of plants and soils compartments.

Thanks to an Ambizione grant funded by the SNSF, a recent focus of my research has been on understanding how episodes of drought act synergistically on the biological interplay between Scots pine trees and associated soil microbial communities, and the cascading effects on ecosystem nutrient and carbon cycling.

Currently I am a topical editor of the journal SOIL, and recently I co-edited a Special Issue on Global change affects on terrestrial biogeochemistry at the plant-soil interface in the journal Biogeosciences.


9/2023- Scientist, Department of Computational Hydrosystems – UFZ, Leipzig, Germany
9/2019-8/2023 Ambizione Fellow, Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
1/2015-8/2019 Postdoc, Swiss Federal Institute WSL, and University of Zurich, Switzerland
5/2011-12/2014 PhD student, Department Biogeochemical Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany


12/2014 PhD, Chemistry and Geosciences, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany
10/2010 MSc, Environmental Sciences and Management, University of Torino, Italy
10/2008 BSc, Natural Sciences, University of Torino, Italy
(Main subjects: Biology, Ecology)



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