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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 research projects and studies click here.


Developments in research, current collaboration with other scientists and institutions and media coverage of scientific findings can be found on the ecotox-blog.


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 in the Ecotoxicology department 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. My habilitation summarises my recent research under the title "Agricultural landscapes, their biodiversity and impacts of pesticides".


  • Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecology
  • Terrestrial Ecotoxicology (clip)
  • Methods in Ecotoxicology & Good Laboratory Practice (clip)
  • Community Ecology


Selected publications

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  • Elena Adams, Christoph Leeb & Carsten A. Brühl. (2021). Pesticide exposure affects reproductive capacity of common toads (Bufo bufo) in a viticultural landscape. Ecotoxicology, 1-11. Pdf.


  • Carsten A. Brühl, & Johann G. Zaller (2020). Rückgang der biologischen Vielfalt: inwiefern ist eine unzureichende Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung von Pestiziden mitverantwortlich? Mitteilungsblatt Umweltchemie und Ökotoxikologie, 26, 1-7. Pdf.
  • Carsten A. Brühl, Laurence Després, Oliver Frör, Chandrashekhar D. Patil, Brigitte Poulin, Guillaume Tetreau & Stefanie Allgeier (2020). Environmental and socioeconomic effects of mosquito control in Europe using the biocide Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti). Science of The Total Environment, 724, 137800. Pdf
  • Elena Adams Verena Gerstle & Carsten A. Brühl (2020). Dermal fungicide exposure at realistic field rates induces lethal and sublethal effects on juvenile European common frogs (Rana temporaria). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Pdf
  • Elena Adams & Carsten A. Brühl (2020) Fungicide Exposure Induces Sensitivity Differences in Aquatic Life Stages of European Common Frogs (Rana temporaria). Journal of Herpetology, 54, 331-336. Pdf.
  • Christoph Leeb, Sara Kolbenschlag, Aurelia Laubscher, Elena Adams, E., Brühl, Carsten A. Brühl & K. Theissinger (2020). Avoidance behavior of juvenile common toads (Bufo bufo) in response to surface contamination by different pesticides. Plos one, 15(11), e0242720. Pdf.
  • Christoph Leeb, Carsten A. Brühl & K. Theissinger (2020) Potential pesticide exposure during the post-breeding migration of the common toad (Bufo bufo) in a vineyard dominated landscape. Science of the Total Environment, 706. Pdf.
  • Katrin Böhning-Gaese, Alexandra Maria Klein, Wolfgang Wägele, Carsten A. Brühl, Jens Dauber, Michaela Fenske, Annette Freibauer, Bärbel Gerowit, Andreas Krüß, Sebastian Lakner, Anne-Christine Mupepele, Tobias Plieninger & Thomas Potthast (2020) Biodiversität und Management von Agrarlandschaften – Umfassendes Handeln ist jetzt wichtig. Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften Leopoldina, Halle (Saale), ISBN: 978-3-8047-4065-5. 80 pp. Pdf
  • Urs Niggli, Judith Riedel, Carsten A. Brühl, Matthias Liess, Ralf Schulz, Rolf Altenburger, Bernward Märländer, Wolfgang Bokelmann, Jürgen Heß, Annette Reineke & Bärbel Gerowitt (2020) Pflanzenschutz und Biodiversität in Agrarökosystemen. Berichte über Landwirtschaft - Zeitschrift für Agrarpolitik und Landwirtschaft, 89 (1), 1-39. ISSN 2196-5099. Pdf.


  • Carsten A. Brühl, & Johann G. Zaller (2019). Biodiversity decline as a consequence of an inadequate environmental risk assessment of pesticides. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 7, 177. Pdf.
  • Johann G. Zaller & Carsten A. Brühl (2019). Non-Target effects of pesticides on organisms inhabiting agroecosystems. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 7, 75. Pdf.
  • Carsten A. Brühl (2019). Agricultural landscapes, their biodiversity and impacts of pesticides. Habilitation thesis, University Koblenz-Landau, 152 pp. Pdf.
  • Philipp Uhl & Carsten A. Brühl. (2019) The impact of pesticides on flower-visiting insects in Europe: A review with regard to risk assessment. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 38, 2355-2370. Pdf.
  • Stefanie Allgeier, Oliver Frör & Carsten Brühl (2019) Entwicklung eines naturschutzkonformen Konzeptes zur Stechmückenbekämpfung am Oberrhein. DBU - The German Federal Environmental Foundation. Final report, 85 pages. Pdf.
  • Stefanie Allgeier, Anna Friedrich, Carsten A. Brühl (2019) Mosquito control based on Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) interrupts artificial wetland food chains. Science of the Total Environment, 686, 1173–1184.
  • Kathrin Theissinger, Nina Röder, Stafanie Allgeier, Arne J. Beermann, Carsten A. Brühl, Anna Friedrich, Susanne Michiels & Klaus Schwenk (2019). Mosquito control actions affect chironomid diversity in temporary wetlands of the Upper Rhine Valley. Molecular ecology, 1-17. Pdf.
  • Philipp Uhl, Osarobo Awanbor, Robert S. Schulz, & Carsten A. Brühl. (2019). Is Osmia bicornis an adequate regulatory surrogate? Comparing its acute contact sensitivity to Apis mellifera. PloS one, 14 (8), e0201081. Pdf.
  • Renja Bereswill, Kevin Krichbaum, Michael Meller, Kristina Schmidt, Michael Meller, Carsten A. Brühl, Philipp Uhl & Christopher John Topping (2019) Protection of wild pollinators in the pesticide risk assessment and management. Federal Environment Agency (Germany), TEXTE 282 pp. Pdf.
  • Jochen P. Zubrod, Mirco Bundschuh, Gertie Arts, Carsten A. Brühl, Gwenal Imfeld, Anja Knäbel, Sylvain Payraudeau, Jes J. Rasmussen, Jason Rohr, Andreas Scharmüller, Kelly Smalling, Sebastian Stehle, Ralf Schulz & Ralf B. Schäfer (2019). Fungicides: An Overlooked Pesticide Class? Environmental Sciences and Technology, 50, 3347-3365. Pdf.
  • Stefanie Allgeier, Anna Kästel & Carsten A. Brühl (2019). Adverse effects of mosquito control using Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis: Reduced chironomid abundances in mesocosm, semi-field and field studies. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 169, 786-796.


  • Hermann Hötker, Carsten Brühl, Constanze Buhk & Rainer Oppermann (2018) Biodiversitätsflächen zur Minderung der Umweltauswirkungen von Pflanzenschutzmitteln: Anforderungen an Kompensationsmaßnahmen im Risikomanagement. Federal Environment Agency (Germany), TEXTE, 63 pages. Pdf.
  • Katrin Böhning-Gaese, Helge Bruelheide, Carsten Brühl, Jens Dauber, Michaela Fenske, Annette Freibauer, Bärbel Gerowitt, Alexandra-Maria Klein, Andreas Krüß, Sebastian Lakner, Tobias Plieninger, Thomas Potthast, Sabine Schlacke, Ralf Seppelt, Wolfgang Wägele & Wolfgang Weisser (Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften Leopoldina) (2018): Artenrückgang in der Agrarlandschaft: Was wissen wir und was können wir tun? Halle (Saale). 28 pages. Pdf.
  • Carsten A. Brühl (2018) Pestizide und ihre Auswirkungen auf die terrestrische Fauna und Flora. Naturschutz und Biologische Vielfalt 164. 31-41. In Mareike Vischer-Leopold et al. Natura 2000 und Artenschutz in der Agrarlandschaft. Münster (Landwirtschaftsverlag). 253 pp.
  • Stefanie Allgeier, Bianca Frombold, Valentin Mingo & Carsten A. Brühl (2018) European common frog Rana temporaria (Anura: Ranidae) larvae show subcellular responses under field-relevant Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti) exposure levels. Environmental Research. 162, 271-279. Pdf.


  • Anna Kästel, Stefanie Allgeier & Carsten A. Brühl (2017) Decreasing Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis sensitivity of Chironomus riparius larvae with age indicates potential environmental risk for mosquito control. Scientific reports 7, Article 13565, 1-7. Pdf.
  • Peter Stahlschmidt, Melanie Hahn & Carsten A. Brühl (2017) Nocturnal risks - High bat activity in the agricultural landscape indicates potential pesticide exposure. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 5, Article 62, 1-9. Pdf.
  • 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. Pdf.
  • 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. 3520. Pdf.
  • 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. Pdf.
  • Melanie Hahn, Carsten A. Brühl & Peter Stahlschmidt (2017) Nocturnal insects in different crops and the potential food provision for bat species. Mainzer naturwissenschaftliches Archiv, 53, 5-20. Pdf.


  • Fabian Baier, Edith Gruber, Carsten A. 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 2641. Pdf.
  • 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. Pdf.
  • 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, 10, 21–28. Pdf.


  • 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, 259 pages. Pdf.
  • 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. Pdf.
  • 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. 21 (8), 2137-2154.
  • 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 16, 54–63.
  • 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, 148 pages. Pdf.


  • Melanie Hahn, Martin Geisthardt & Carsten A. Brühl (2014) Effects of herbicide-treated host plants on the development of Marmestra brassicae L. caterpillars. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 33, 2633–2638. Pdf.
  • 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. Pdf.
  • 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. Pdf.
  • 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. 207, 153-162. Pdf.
  • 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 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.
  • Carsten A. Brühl, Thomas Schmidt, Silvia Pieper, Annika Alscher (2013) Terrestrial pesticide exposure of amphibians: An underestimated cause of global decline? Scientific Reports, 3: 1135. Pdf.
  • 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, 32, 1124-1131. Pdf.
  • William F. Laurance, D. Carolina Useche, Julio Rendeiro, Margareta Kalka, CoreyJ. A. Bradshaw, Sean P. Sloan ... Carsten A. Brühl .... (215 Co-authors) (2012) Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas. Nature 489, 290-294. Pdf.
  • 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, 1556-1563. Pdf.
  • 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.
  • 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. Pdf.
  • 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 testing with field monitoring data. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 31, 1874–1879. Pdf.
  • Carsten A. Brühl, Silvia Pieper and Brigitte Weber (2011) Amphibians at risk? - Susceptibility of terrestrial amphibian life stages to pesticides. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 30, 2465–2472. Pdf.
  • 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, 17, 1-11. Pdf.
  • 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. Pdf.
  • 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. Pdf.
  • 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. Pdf.
  • Robert R. Dunn, Donat Agosti, Alan N. Andersen, Xavier Arnan, Carsten A. Brühl, 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. Pdf.
  • 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, 348-358. Pdf.
  • 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. Pdf.
  • 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. Arthropod Diversity and Conservation, 15, 157-175. Pdf.
  • Carsten A. Brühl, Thomas Eltz & K. Eduard Linsenmair (2003) Size does matter–effects of tropical rainforest fragmentation on the leaf litter ant community in Sabah, Malaysia. Biodiversity and Conservation, 12, 1371-1389. Pdf.
  • 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. Pdf.
  • 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. Pdf.
  • Matja Gogala, Yong Hoi-Sen & Carsten A. Brühl (1998) Maternal care in Pygoplatys bugs (Heteroptera: Tesseratomidae). European Journal of Entomology, 95, 311-315. Pdf.
  • 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. Pdf.
  • Carsten A. Brühl (1997) Flightless insects: a test case for historical relationships of African mountains. Journal of Biogeography, 24, 233-250. Pdf.
  • Carsten A. Brühl (1996) Ameisenzönosen in einem Primärwaldgradienten am Mount Kinabalu, Borneo: Höhenverbreitung und Stratifizierung. Diploma thesis, Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Würzburg. 136 pp.
  • Carsten A. Brühl (1993) Überblick über Geographie, Geologie, Klima und Vegetationsformationen der Insel São Tomé (Golf von Guinea). Faunistische Abhandlungen des Museums für Tierkunde, Dresden, 19, 5-16.


    Contact Details

    Dr. Carsten Brühl 

    iES Landau
    Building I, room 4.05


    Fortstrasse 7,  76829 Landau Germany

    Phone: 0049-6341-280-31310
    Fax:      0049-6341-280-31326

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