Anke Hildebrandt

Joint professorship Terrestrial Ecohydrology
Anke Hildebrandt
Anke Hildebrandt
Image: Sebastian Wiedling (UFZ)


Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Institute of Geoscience
Burgweg 11 / H 209  
07749 Jena / Germany
+49 3641 9-48720


Christina Mohr
Burgweg 11 / H 206

Office times:
Monday, Wednesday and Thursday: 09:00-12:00
+49 3641 9-48661


Joint appointed professorship with the
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Dept. Computational HydrosystemsExternal link

Permoser Str. 13 (Building 7.1, top floor)
04318  Leipzig / Germany

+49 341 235-482238 

Research activity

I study how the terrestrial water cycle and vegetation mutually affect each other. Currently, I work on the following topics:

  • Interrelation between ecosystem structure and vertical water flow - from the top of the canopy to the bottom of the rooting zone
  • Interpretation of soil moisture patterns and relation to root water uptake and soil water flow
  • Redistribution and confluence of precipitation in vegetation canopies and how it affects soil processes
  • Effect of vegetation structure on soil hydraulic properties and potential effects on soil water fluxes
  • Understanding where roots take up water, why, and whether this affects transpiration and soil water dynamics at the regional scale
  • Optimality of root water uptake 

Most of my work targets the plot scale, since this is the typical scale of interaction between human and the environment. However, the scale of the models and experiments ranges from the pore and plant individual to the plot and ecosystem scale.

Google scholarExternal link

ORCIDExternal link


Engineer for Water Resources Management, Technical University Dresden (Germany), with Diploma thesis on salinization due to irrigation in the Murrumbidgee / Darling Basin, prepared externally at ETH Zurich

PhD in Hydrology, MIT, Cambridge (USA), thesis on the Ecohydrology of a Seasonal Cloud Forest in Oman

2005 – 2010
Scientist and Group leader at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Group Ecohydrology

Junior Professor for Ecological Modelling at the Friedrich Schiller Universtiy Jena

since 2018
Joint professorship between the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research–UFZ in the field of Terrestrial Ecohydrology.

Selected Publications

Google scholarExternal link

ORCIDExternal link

*Fischer, C, *JC Metzger, T Wutzler, *G DemirA Hildebrandt. 2023. Throughfall spatial patterns translate into spatial patterns of soil moisture dynamics – empirical evidence. External linkHydrology and Earth System Sciences 27, 2899-2023. doi: 10.5194/hess-27-2899-2023

*Demir, G, B Michalzik, *J Filipzik, *JC Metzger and A Hildebrandt. 2022. Spatial variation of grassland canopy affects soil wetting patterns and preferential flowExternal link. Hydrological Processes. 36(12), e14760, doi: 10.1002/hyp.14760.

*Metzger, JC, J Filipzik, B Michalzik, A Hildebrandt, A. 2021. Stemflow infiltration hotspots create soil microsites near tree stems in an unmanaged mixed beech forestExternal link. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change 4: 701294. doi: 10.3389/ffgc.2021.701293.

*Fischer, C., S. Leimer, C. Roscher, J. Ravenek, H. de Kroon, Y. Kreutziger, J. Baade, H. Beßler, N. Eisenhauer, A. Weigelt, L. Mommer, M. Lange, G. Gleixner, W. Wilcke, B. Schröder, A. HildebrandtPlant species richness and functional groups have different effects on soil water content in a decade-long grassland experimentExternal link. Journal of Ecology, 2018. doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.13046.

*Guderle, M., D. Bachmann, A. Milcu, A. Gockele, *M. Bechmann, *C. Fischer, C. Roscher, D. Landais, O. Ravel, S. Devidal, J. Roy, A. Gessler, N. Buchmann, A. HildebrandtDynamic niche partitioning in root water uptake facilitates efficient water use in more diverse plant communitiesExternal link. Functional Ecology, 2018. doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12948.

*Metzger, J., N. Dalla Valle, T. Wutzler, J. Filipzik, R. Lehmann, M. Roggenbuck, D. Schelhorn, J. Weckmüller, K. Küsel, K.U. Totsche, S. Trumbore, A. HildebrandtVegetation impacts soil water content patterns by shaping canopy water fluxes and soil properties.External link Hydrological Processes 31:3783-3795, 2017. doi: 10.1002/hyp.11274.

Hildebrandt, A., A. Kleidon and *M. BechmannA thermodynamic fomulation of root water uptakeExternal link. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 20:3441-3454, 2016. doi: 10.51947hess-20-3441-2016.

Hildebrandt, A. and E. A. B. Eltahir: Forest on the edge: Seasonal cloud forest in Oman creates its own ecological nicheExternal link. Geophysical Research Letters 33:2-5, 2006. doi: 10.1029/2006GL026022.