Prof. Dr. Madhav (Maddy) P. Thakur

Head of the Terrestrial Ecology Group

Postal Address
Balzerstrasse 6

I test theories of community ecology against global change factors using experiments, observations and syntheses. More specifically, my research is driven by two general questions: how do global change factors (e.g. climate warming and drought) affect species interactions and what are the implications of those altered (or unaltered) interactions for biodiversity maintenance and regulation of ecosystem functions? To answer these broad questions, I mainly work with soil microorganisms, soil invertebrates and plant communities from both grasslands and forests. But in general, I am interested in any system and organism where I can intersect community- and global change ecology.


I really enjoy working with students and help them develop their own projects under the key themes of our research group (please click on “Research” to get a short overview of our main research interests). Drop me an email if you are interested in developing your B.Sc. or M.Sc. thesis projects in our group!

  Short CV
2020- Present Assistant Professor, University of Bern, Switzerland
2020 Post-doc (DFG Research Fellow), University of Konstanz, Germany
2018-2020 Post-doc (DFG Research fellow), Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Wageningen, The Netherlands
2018-2021 Co-PI, Warming Effects on Plant Soil interplay and ecosystem functioning in Wadden Sea Salt marshes (WEPSS), University of Hamburg, Germany
2016- 2018 Post-doc, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig and Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany

PhD, University of Leipzig, Germany
Thesis: Plant-soil interactions in a changing world: A consumer-resource perspective

Selected publications

Thakur, MP (2020) Climate warming and trophic mismatches in terrestrial ecosystems: the green-brown imbalance hypothesis. Biology Letters, 16: 20190770.

Thakur, MP, Phillips, HRP,  Brose, U, De Vries, FT, Lavelle, P, Loreau, M, Mathieu, J, Mulder, C, van der Putten, WH, Rillig, MC, Wardle, DA, Bach, EM, Bartz, MLC, Bennett, JM, Briones, MJI, Brown, G, Decaens, T, Eisenhauer, N, Ferlian, O, Guerra, CA, Konig-Ries, B, Origazzi, A, Ramirez, KS, Russell, DJ, Rutgers, M, Wall, DH, Cameron, EK (2020) Towards an integrative understanding of soil biodiversity. Biological Reviews, 95: 350-364.

Thakur, MP,  van der Putten, WH, Cobben, M, Kleunen, M, Geisen, S (2019) Microbial invasions in terrestrial ecosystems. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 17: 621-631.

Thakur, MP, and Geisen, S (2019) Trophic regulations of the soil microbiome. Trends in Microbiology, 27: 771–780.

Thakur, MP,  Reich, PB, Hobbie, SE, Stefanski, A, Rich, R, Rice, KE, Eddy, WC, Eisenhauer, N  (2018) Reduced feeding activity of soil detritivores under warmer and drier conditions. Nature Climate Change, 8: 75-78.

Thakur, MP, and Wright, AJ (2017): Environmental filtering, niche construction and trait variability-the missing discussion. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 32: 884-886.

Thakur, MP, Tilman, D, Purschke, O, Ciobanu, M, Cowles, J, Isbell, F, Wragg, P, Eisenhauer, N (2017): Climate warming promotes species diversity, but with greater taxonomic redundancy, in complex environments. Science Advances 3, e1700866-

Thakur, MP, Kuenne, T, Griffin, JN, Eisenhauer, N (2017) Warming magnifies predation and reduces prey coexistence in a model litter arthropod system, Proceedings of Royal Society B 284, 20162570.

Thakur MP, Milcu A, Manning P, Niklaus PA, Roscher C, Power S, Reich PB, Scheu S, Tilman D, Ai F, Guo H, Ji R, Pierce S, Guerrero Ramirez N, Richter AN, Steinauer K, Strecker T, Vogel A, Eisenhauer N (2015) Plant diversity drives soil microbial biomass carbon in grasslands irrespective of global environmental change factors. Global Change Biology, 12: 4076-4085.

Full list of publication : Google Scholar