Justus Hennecke

Justus Hennecke

Research Fellow

iDiv Flex Pool
Johannisallee 21
04103 Leipzig


I am a plant and soil (functional) ecologist fascinated by biodiversity and the world below our feet! I am interested in understanding biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships and interactions from plant-plant level to multitrophic interactions at the ecosystem level.

I currently study how plant roots and their variation in traits affect soilborne fungal communities. I am especially interested in the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in roots for pathogen protection of individual plants and the interactive role of root traits and species richness on microbial communities in the soil and ecosystem functioning.

In my Bachelor degree with Jes Hines, I investigated the role of aboveground enemy release for the invasion of Centaurea stoebe and Solidago canadensis.

In my Master degree, I worked with Fons van der Plas in establishing a theoretical model to investigate effects of plant beta-diversity on biomass production.

Professional career

  • since 09/2020
    Doctoral Researcher - German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig and Systematic Botany and Functional Biodiversity, Leipzig University'Root Economics Space - Understanding soil biodiversity: using the new functional framework for root traits'


  • 10/2017 - 05/2020
    M.Sc. Biology, Leipzig UniversityThesis: 'The effect of β-diversity on plant biomass production'
  • 10/2014 - 09/2017
    B.Sc. Biology, Leipzig UniversityThesis: 'Plant Invasions – Experimental Test of the Enemy Release Hypothesis'