Dr. Carsten Brühl

Community Ecology & Ecotoxicology
Senior Reseacher
Building I; Room 405

Research Interests

My research is concerned with multiple stressors in agricultural landscapes, with a focus on the effects of pesticides on terrestrial biodiversity. I am also working on ecological aspects and biogeographic patterns of ants in SE Asia and their use in conservation management. For an overview of current and former studies and research projects click here.


I studied Biology at the Julius-Maximilians University Würzburg and Duke University (North Carolina, USA) with a focus on Tropical Biology and Animal Ecology and received in 2001 a PhD for my thesis on forest management impacts on ant biodiversity in tropical rain forests. I then worked as a study director and team leader in Ecotoxicology in the agrochemical industry in Switzerland and England. Since 2006 I am leading the section on Community Ecology and Ecotoxicology at the Institute for Environmental Sciences of the University of Koblenz-Landau.


  • Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecology
  • Terrestrial Ecotoxicology
  • Methods in Ecotoxicology & Good Laboratory Practice
  • Community Ecology
  • Program advisor for Master of Science in Ecotoxicology


  • I chaired sessions on Terrestrial Ecotoxicology, Pesticide Risk Assessment and Biodiversity at SETAC (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) meetings and was a board member and acting president of the German Language Branch of SETAC. I organised the SETAC GLB 2006 and the recent 2011 annual conference in Landau and run the module on landscape effects in its postgraduate course on Ecotoxicology together with Ralf Schulz.
  • I am involved in EFSA (Environmental Food and Safety Agency, Europe) working groups and in the current organising committee of ESCORT3, that evaluates the risk assessment procedures of pesticides towards arthropods.
  • I am involved in EFSA (Environmental Food and Safety Agency, Europe) working groups and in various SETAC (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) working groups on various groups (e.g. Arthropods, Amphibians, Plants) that evaluate risk assessment procedures of pesticides.
  • On the ant side of things I am very proud to be part of ANeT, the International Network for the Study of Asian Ants, where I participate in the editorial board of the international journal ‘Asian Myrmecology’.
  • I was a board member and acting president of the German Language Branch of SETAC and organised the SETAC GLB 2006 and the 2011 annual conference in Landau and run the module on landscape effects in its postgraduate course on Ecotoxicology.
  • I am a board member of the biodiversity council of the Vosges du Nord- Pfälzerwald Transfrontier UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Selected publications

Follow me on ResearchGate

for a paper request please contact Dr. Carsten Brühl

Manuel E. Ortiz Santaliestra, Joao P. Maia, Andrés Egea-Serrano, Carsten A. Brühl, Isabel Lopes (2017) Biological relevance of the magnitude of effects (considering mortality, sublethal and reproductive effects) observed in studies with amphibians and reptiles in view of population level impacts on amphibians and reptiles. EFSA Supporting Publications 14(7). 151 pp. doi:10.2903/sp.efsa.2017.EN-1251.

Heloise Gibb, Rob R. Dunn, Nathan J. Sanders, Blair F. Grossman,Manoli Photakis,Silvia Abril, Donat Agosti, Alan N. Andersen, Elena Angulo, Inge Armbrecht, Xavier Arnan,Fabricio B. Baccaro, Tom R. Bishop, Raphaël Boulay, Carsten Brühl, Cristina Castracani, Xim Cerda, Israel Del Toro, Thibaut Delsinne, Mireia Diaz, David A. Donoso, Aaron M. Ellison, Martha L. Enriquez, Tom M. Fayle, Donald H. FeenerJr.,Brian L. Fisher, Robert N. Fisher, Matthew C. Fitzpatrick, Crisanto Gómez,  Nicholas J. Gotelli, Aaron Gove, Donato A. Grasso, Sarah Groc, Benoit Guenard, Nihara Gunawardene, Brian Heterick, Benjamin Hoffmann, Milan Janda, Clinton Jenkins, Michael Kaspari, Petr Klimes, Lori Lach, Thomas Laeger, John Lattke, Maurice Leponce, Jean-Philippe Lessard, John Longino, Andrea Lucky, Sarah H. Luke, Jonathan Majer, Terrence P. McGlynn, Sean Menke, Dirk Mezger, Alessandra Mori, Jimmy Moses, Thinandavha Caswell Munyai, Renata Pacheco, Omid Paknia, Jessica Pearce-Duvet, Martin Pfeiffer, Stacy M. Philpott, Julian Resasco, Javier Retana, Rogerio R. Silva, Magdalena D. Sorger, Jorge Souza, Andrew Suarez, Melanie Tista, Heraldo L. Vasconcelos, Merav Vonshak, Michael D. Weiser, Michelle Yates, and Catherine L. Parr. (2017). A global database of ant species abundances. Ecology, 98(3), 883-884.

Patrick P. Lenhardt, Carsten A. Brühl, Christoph Leeb, Kathrin Theissinger (2017) Amphibian population genetics in agricultural landscapes: Do non-visible barriers in viniculture drive the population structuring of the European common frog (Rana temporaria)? PeerJ. DOI 10.7717/peerj.3520.

Alberto Masoni, Filippo Frizzi, Carsten A. Brühl, Niccolò Zocchi, Enrico Palchetti, Guido Chelazzi & Giacomo Santini (2017). Management matters: A comparison of ant assemblages in organic and conventional vineyards. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 246, 175-183.

Norman Wagner & Carsten A. Brühl (2017) The Use of Terrestrial Life-stages of European Amphibians in Toxicological Studies, 143-162. In: Marcelo L. Larramendy (Ed.) Issues in Toxicology No. 32: Ecotoxicology and Genotoxicology: Non-traditional Terrestrial Models. The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Melanie Hahn, Carsten A. Brühl & Peter Stahlschmidt (2016) Nocturnal insects in different crops and the potential food provision for bat species. Mainzer naturwissenschaftliches Archiv, 53, 5-20.

Fabian Baier, Edith Gruber, Carsten Brühl, Thomas Hein, Elisabeth Bondar-Kunze, Marina Ivankovic, Bernhard Spangl, and Johann Zaller (2016) Non-target effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on Common toads (Amphibia) and associated algae are altered by temperature: implications of climate change. PeerJ, 4:e2641 DOI:10.7717/peerj.2641

Philipp Uhl, Lea Franke, Christina Rehberg, Claudia Wollmann, Peter Stahlschmidt, Lukas Jeker & Carsten A. Brühl (2016) Interspecific sensitivity of bees towards dimethoate and implications for environmental risk assessment. Scientific Reports, 6:34439, DOI: 10.1038/srep34439.

Annette Aldrich, Marion Junghans, Caroline Aeberli, Carsten A. Brühl, Franz Streissl & Benedikt R. Schmidt (2016) Amphibians and Plant-Protection Products – What Research and Action Is Needed? Environmental Science Europe, 28: 17. DOI 10.1186/s12302-016-0085-6

Annette Aldrich, Marion Junghans, Caroline Aeberli, Carsten A. Brühl, Franz Streissl & Benedikt R. Schmidt (2016) Amphibien und Pflanzenschutzmittel –Forschungs- und Handlungsbedarf. Aqua + Gas No 4, 14-20.

Melanie Hahn & Carsten A. Brühl (2016) The secret pollinators - an overview of moth pollination in natural and agricultural habitats with a focus on Europe and North America. Arthropod-Plant Interactions. DOI 10.1007/s11829-016-9414-3.

Carsten A. Brühl, Annika Alscher, Melanie Hahn, Gert Berger, Claudia Bethwell, Frieder Graef, Thomas Schmidt, Brigitte Weber (2015) Protection of Biodiversity in the Risk Assessment and Risk Management of Pesticides (Plant Protection Products & Biocides) with a Focus on Arthropods, Soil Organisms and Amphibians. Federal Environment Agency (Germany), TEXTE 76/2015. ISSN 1862-4804. http://www.umweltbundesamt.de/publikationen/protection-of-terrestrial-non-target-plant-species, 259 pp.

Ralf Schulz, Mirco Bundschuh, René Gergs, Carsten A. Brühl, Dörte Diehl, Martin H. Entling, Lorenz Fahse, Oliver Frör, Hermann F. Jungkunst, Andreas Lorke, Ralf B. Schäfer, Gabriele E. Schaumann, Klaus Schwenk (2015) Review on environmental alterations propagating from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems. Science of the Total Environment, 538, 246–261.

Melanie Hahn, Annalena Schotthöfer, Juliane Schmitz, Lea A. Franke & Carsten A. Brühl (2015) The effects of agrochemicals on Lepidoptera, with a focus on moths, and their pollination service in field margin habitats. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 207 (1) 153–162.

Sarah Kathrin Elser, Nguyen Hong Chung, Carsten A. Brühl (2015) Reintroduction of the ‘Critically Endangered’ Delacour’s langur (Trachypithecus delacouri) in Van Long Nature Reserve, Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam. Vietnamese Journal of Primatology,

Juliane Schmitz, Peter Stahlschmidt & Carsten A. Brühl (2015) Assessing the risk of herbicides to terrestrial non-target plants using higher-tier studies. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment. DOI:10.1080/10807039.2015.1017880.

Juliane Schmitz, Peter Stahlschmidt, Carsten A. Brühl (2015) Protection of terrestrial non-target plant species in the regulation of environmental risks of pesticides. Federal Environment Agency (Germany), TEXTE 20/2015. ISSN 1862-4804. http://www.umweltbundesamt.de/publikationen/protection-of-terrestrial-non-target-plant-species

Patrick P. Lenhardt, Carsten A. Brühl & Gert Berger (2015) Temporal coincidence of adult amphibians and pesticide applications on arable fields during spring migration. Basic and Applied Ecology. (online early)

      Melanie Hahn, Martin Geisthardt & Carsten A. Brühl (2014) Herbicides and caterpillars – Are there herbicide effects on host plant quality? Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, online-early.

      Juliane Schmitz, Melanie Hahn & Carsten A. Brühl (2014) Agrochemicals in field margins – An experimental field study to assess the impacts of herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizer on the plant community. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 193, 60-69.

      Norman Wagner, Dennis Rödder, Carsten A. Brühl, Michael Veith, Patrick P. Lenhardt & Stefan Lötters (2014) Evaluating the risk of pesticide exposure for amphibian species listed in Annex II of the European Union Habitats Directive. Biological Conservation 176 64–70.

      Juliane Schmitz, Karoline Schäfer & Carsten A. Brühl (2014) Agrochemicals in field margins - Field evaluation of plant reproduction effects. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 189, 82–91.
      Melanie Hahn, Patrick P. Lenhardt & Carsten A. Brühl (2014) Characterization of field margins in intensified agro-ecosystems – why narrow margins should matter in terrestrial pesticide risk assessment and management. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. DOI 10.1002/ieam.1535

      Klaus Swarowsky, Carsten A. Brühl & Peter Stahlschmidt (2013) The importance of field margins and meadows for land snails in the agricultural landscape. Mainzer naturwissenschaftliches Archiv 50, 291-300.

      Patrick P. Lenhardt, Kathrin Theissinger, Ralf Schäfer & Carsten A. Brühl (2013) An expert-based landscape permeability model for assessing the impact of agricultural management on amphibian migration. Basic and Applied Ecology 14, 442–451.

      Juliane Schmitz, Karoline Schäfer & Carsten A. Brühl (2013) Agrochemicals in field margins – Assessing the impacts of herbicides and fertilizer on the common buttercup Ranunculus acris. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 1124-1131.

      Carsten A. Brühl, Thomas Schmidt, Silvia Pieper, Annika Alscher (2013) Terrestrial pesticide exposure of amphibians: An underestimated cause of global decline? Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep01135 (open access)

      Peter Stahlschmidt & Carsten A. Brühl (2012) Bats at risk? – Bat activity and residue analysis of food items following insecticide applications in an apple orchard. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 31(7), 1556-1563. DOI: 10.1002/etc.1834

      Peter Stahlschmidt & Carsten A. Brühl (2012) Bats as bioindicator species – The need of a standardized method for acoustic bat activity surveys. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 3, 503-508. DOI: 10.1111/j.2041-210X.2012.00188.x .

      Peter Stahlschmidt, Achim Pätzold, Lisa Ressl, Ralf Schulz & Carsten A. Brühl (2012) Constructed wetlands support bats in agricultural landscapes. Basic and Applied Ecology 13, 196–203.

      Rebecca Bundschuh, Juliane Schmitz, Mirco Bundschuh, Carsten A. Brühl (2012) Does drift of insecticide adversely affect grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Saltatoria) in field margins? A case study combining laboratory acute toxicity. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Vol. 31 (8), 1874–1879, DOI: 10.1002/etc.1895 .

      Carsten A. Brühl, Paul Neumann, Saskia Aldershof, Dave Bohan, Kevin Brown, Marco Candolfi, Flavia Geiger, Natalie Kovalkovičová, Christine Kula, Karin Nienstedt, Susana Pestanudo, Jörg Roembke,

      Thomas Schmidt, Chris Topping and Peter van Vliet (2012) Recovery. 41-44. In: Anne Alix, Frank Bakker, Katie Barrett, Carsten A. Brühl, Mike Coulson, Simon Hoy, Jean Pierre Jansen, Paul Jepson, Gavin Lewis, Paul Neumann, Dirk Süßenbach, Peter van Vliet (Eds.) ESCORT 3 - Linking Non-Target Arthropod Testing and Risk Assessment with Protection Goals 1- 151. CRC SETAC Press.

      Carsten A. Brühl, Silvia Pieper and Brigitte Weber (2011) Amphibians at risk? - Susceptibility of terrestrial amphibian life stages to pesticides. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Vol. 30, No. 11, 2465–2472. DOI: 10.1002/etc.650 .

      Clinton N. Jenkins, Nathan J. Sanders, Alan N. Andersen, Xavier Arnan, Carsten A. Brühl, Xim Cerda, Aaron M. Ellison, Brian L. Fisher, Matthew C. Fitzpatrick, Nicholas J. Gotelli, Aaron D. Gove, Benoit Guénard, John E. Lattke, Jean-Philippe Lessard, Terrence P. McGlynn, Sean B Menke, Catherine L. Parr, Stacy M. Philpott , Heraldo L. Vasconcelos, Michael D. Weiser & Robert R. Dunn (2011) Global diversity in light of climate change: the case of ants. Diversity and Distributions. 1-11. DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00770.x

      Christin Schütz, Gert Berger, Brigitte Weber & Carsten Brühl (2011) Wirkung von Pflanzenschutzmitteln auf Amphibien, 219-230. In: Gert Berger, Holger Pfeffer & Thomas Kalettka (Eds.) Amphibienschutz in kleingewässerreichen Ackerbaugebieten. Verlag Natur und Text, Rangsdorf (384 pp).

      William F. Laurance, D. Carolina Useche, Luke P. Shoo, Sebastian K. Herzog, Michael Kessler, Federico Escobar, Gunnar Brehm, Jan C. Axmacher, I. Ching Chen, Lucrecia Arellano Gámez, Peter Hietz, Konrad Fiedler, Tomasz Pyrcz, Jan Wolf, Christopher L. Merkord, Catherine Cardelus, Andrew R. Marshall, Claudine Ah-Peng, Gregory H. Aplet, M. del Coro Arizmendi, William J. Baker, John Barone, Carsten A. Brühl, Rainer W. Bussmann, Daniele Cicuzza, Gerald Eilu, Mario E. Favila, Andreas Hempz, Claudia Hempz, Jürgen Homeier, Johanna Hurtado, Jill Jankowski, Gustavo Kattán, Jürgen Kluge, Thorsten Krömer, David C. Lees, Marcus Lehnert, John T. Longino, Jon Lovett, Patrick H. Martin, Bruce D. Patterson, Richard G. Pearson, Kelvin S.-H. Peh, Barbara Richardson, Michael Richardson, Michael Samways, Feyera Senbeta, Thomas B. Smith, Tim Utteridge, James E. Watkins, Rohan Wilson, Stephen E. Williams & Chris D. Thomas (2011) Global warming, elevational ranges and the vulnerability of tropical biota. Biological Conservation 144, 548–557. DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.10.010

      Carsten A. Brühl, Bernd Guckenmus, Markus Ebeling & Ralf Barfknecht (2011) Exposure reduction of seed treatments through dehusking behaviour of the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus). Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 18, 31-37. DOI 10.1007/s11356-010-0351-x

      Carsten A. Brühl & Thomas Eltz (2010) Fuelling the crisis: Species loss of ground-dwelling forest ants in oil palm plantations in Sabah, Malaysia (Borneo). Biodiversity & Conservation. 19:519–529. DOI 10.1007/s10531-009-9596-4

      Robert R. Dunn, Donat Agosti, Alan N. Andersen, Xavier Arnan, Carsten A. Bruhl, Xim Cerda, Aaron M. Ellison, Brian L. Fisher, Matthew C. Fitzpatrick, Heloise Gibb, Nicholas J. Gotelli, Aaron D. Gove, Benoit Guenard, Milan Janda, Michael E. Kaspari, Edward J. Laurent, Jean-Philippe Lessard, John T. Longino, Jonathan D. Majer, Sean B. Menke, Terrence P. McGlynn, Catherine L. Parr, Stacy M. Philpott, Martin Pfeiffer, Javier Retana, Andrew V. Suarez, Heraldo L. Vasconcelos, Michael D. Weiser, Nathan J. Sanders (2009) Climatic Drivers of Hemispheric Asymmetry in Global Patterns of Ant Species Richness. Ecology Letters 12, 324-333.

      Finn Danielsen, Hendrien Beukema, Neil D. Burgess, Faizal Parish, Carsten A. Brühl, Paul F. Donald, Daniel Murdiyarso, Ben Phalan, Lucas Reijnders, Matthew J. Struebig & Emily B. Fitzherbert (2009) Biofuel Plantations on Forested Lands: Double Jeopardy for Biodiversity and Climate. Conservation Biology 23 (2), 348-358.

      Emily B. Fitzherbert, Matthew J. Struebig, Alexandra Morel, Finn Danielsen, Carsten A. Brühl, Paul F. Donald & Ben Phalan (2008). How will oil palm expansion affect biodiversity? Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 23, 538-545.

      Tobias O. Bickel, Carsten A. Brühl, Jürgen R. Gadau, Bert Hölldobler & K. Eduard Linsenmair (2006) Influence of habitat fragmentation on the genetic variability in leaf litter ant populations in tropical rainforests of Sabah, Borneo. Biodiversity and Conservation, 15, 157-175.
      Carsten A. Brühl, Renja Ohliger, Agnes Sporer, Henner Hollert und Ralf Schulz (2006): 11. Jahrestagung der SETAC-GLB in Landau - Umweltwissenschaften: Umweltchemie und Ökotoxikologie im Kontext (3.–5. September 2006 in Landau, Pfalz) Umweltwissenschaften und Schadstofforschung - Zeitschrift für Umwelchemie und Ökotoxikologie 18, 289-291.

      Armin P. Moczek, Carsten A. Brühl & Frank T. Krell (2004) Linear and threshold-dependent expression of secondary sexual traits in the same individual: insights from a horned beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 83, 473-480.

      Thomas Eltz, Carsten A. Brühl, Zamri Imiyabir & K. Eduard Linsenmair (2003) Nesting and nest trees of stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) in lowland dipterocarp forests in Sabah, Malaysia, with implications for forest management. Forest Ecology and Management 172: 301-313.

      Carsten A. Brühl & Frank T. Krell (2003) Finding a rare resource: Bornean Scarabaeoidea (Coleoptera) attracted by defensive secretions of Diplopoda. The Coleopterists Bulletin, 57 (1): 51-55.

      Carsten A. Brühl, Thomas Eltz & K. Eduard Linsenmair (2003) Size does matter -Fragmentation of tropical rain forests in Sabah Malaysia and the effects on the leaf litter ant community. Biodiversity and Conservation, 12: 1371-1389.

      Thomas Eltz, Carsten A. Brühl, Sander Van der Kaars & K. Eduard Linsenmair (2002) Determinants of stingless bee nest density in lowland dipterocarp forests of Sabah, Malaysia. Oecologia, 131 (1), 27-34..

      Carsten A. Brühl (2001) Leaf litter ant communities in tropical lowland rain forests in Sabah, Malaysia: effects of forest disturbance and fragmentation. Ph. D. thesis, Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Würzburg. 160 pp.

      K. Eduard Linsenmair & Carsten A. Brühl (2001) Luxury or necessity: on some aspects of the functional significance of biodiversity. Contributions to Global Change Research, German National Committee on Global Change Research, Bonn. 67-79.

      Carsten A. Brühl, Maryati Mohamed & K. Eduard Linsenmair (1999) Altitudinal distribution of leaf litter ants along a transect in primary forests on Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 15, 265-277.

      Matja Gogala, Yong Hoi-Sen & Carsten A. Brühl (1998) Maternal care in Pygoplatys bugs (Heteroptera: Tesseratomidae). European Journal of Entomology, 95, 311-315.

      Carsten A. Brühl, Gunik Gunsalam & K. Eduard Linsenmair(1998) Stratification of ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in a primary rain forest in Sabah, Borneo. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 14, 285-297.

      Carsten A. Brühl (1997) Flightless insects: a test case for historical relationships of African mountains. Journal of Biogeography, 24, 233-250.

      Carsten A. Brühl (1996) Ameisenzönosen in einem Primärwaldgradienten am Mount Kinabalu, Borneo: Höhenverbreitung und Stratifizierung. Diploma thesis, Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Würzburg. 136 pp.

        Contact Details

        Dr. Carsten Brühl
        Institute of Environmental Sciences
        University of Koblenz-Landau
        Fortstrasse 7, Room CI 101a
        76829 Landau Germany
        Phone: 0049-6341-280-31310
        Fax: 0049-6341-280-31326

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