Christian von Sperber

Chercheur régulier
Biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus in soils

Assistant Professor
Department of Geography
McGill University
845 Sherbrooke St W
Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 0B9

Page départementale  | Environmental Biogeochemistry Lab 

  • Senior Scientist, Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Bonn, Germany (2016 - 2018)
  • Postdoc, Department of Biology, Stanford University, USA (2014 - 2016)
  • PhD, Department of Environmental Science, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2014)

My research focuses on the biogeochemistry of phosphorus and nitrogen in terrestrial ecosystems, with a special emphasis on soils. I am particularly interested in understanding how biogeochemical processes in soils change along environmental gradients. For this purpose, I often use stable isotopes as a tool to characterize and trace such processes, both, in controlled laboratory settings and in environmental systems.

You can download all my bibliography in the BibTeX, BibTeX-CSV or EndNote format.

Book chapters

Edited books, special journal editions and proceedings

Peer-reviewed articles

  1. De Sena, A., Madramootoo, C.A., Whalen, J.K., von Sperber, C. (2022) Nucleic acids are a major pool of hydrolyzable organic phosphorus in arable organic soils of Southern Ontario, Canada. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 58(1):7-16
  2. Bauke, S.L., Schnepf, A., von Sperber, C., Orlowski, N., Lewandowski, H., Selzner, T., Tamburini, F., Amelung, W. (2021) Tracing uptake and translocation of phosphorus in wheat using oxygen isotopes and mathematical modelling. New Phytologist, 230(5):1883-1895
  3. Weihrauch, C., Weber, C.J., von Sperber, C. (2021) A Soilscape Network Approach (SNAp) to investigate subsurface phosphorus translocation along slopes. Science of the Total Environment, 784
  4. Grenon, G., Singh, B., de Sena, A., Madramootoo, C.A., von Sperber, C., Goyal, M.K., Zhang, T. (2021) Phosphorus fate, transport and management on subsurface drained agricultural organic soils: A review. Environmental Research Letters, 16(1)
  5. Wang, Y., Bauke, S.L., von Sperber, C., Tamburini, F., Guigue, J., Winkler, P., Kaiser, K., Honermeier, B., Amelung, W. (2021) Soil phosphorus cycling is modified by carbon and nitrogen fertilization in a long-term field experiment. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 184(2):282-293
  6. Wang, Y., Moradi, G., Klumpp, E., von Sperber, C., Tamburini, F., Ritter, B., Fuentes, B., Amelung, W., Bol, R. (2021) Phosphate oxygen isotope fingerprints of past biological activity in the Atacama Desert. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 311:1-11
  7. Rodionov, A., Bauke, S.L., von Sperber, C., Hoeschen, C., Kandeler, E., Kruse, J., Lewandowski, H., Marhan, S., Mueller, C.W., Simon, M. et al. (2020) Biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus in subsoils of temperate forest ecosystems. Biogeochemistry, 150(3):313-328
  8. Meredith, L.K., Ogee, J., Boye, K., Singer, E., Wingate, L., von Sperber, C., Sengupta, A., Whelan, M., Pang, E., Keiluweit, M. et al. (2019) Soil exchange rates of COS and CO 18 O differ with the diversity of microbial communities and their carbonic anhydrase enzymes. ISME Journal, 13(2):290-300
  9. Helfenstein, J., Tamburini, F., von Sperber, C., Massey, M.S., Pistocchi, C., Chadwick, O.A., Vitousek, P.M., Kretzschmar, R., Frossard, E. (2018) Combining spectroscopic and isotopic techniques gives a dynamic view of phosphorus cycling in soil. Nature Communications, 9(1)
  10. Bauke, S.L., von Sperber, C., Tamburini, F., Gocke, M.I., Honermeier, B., Schweitzer, K., Baumecker, M., Don, A., Sandhage-Hofmann, A., Amelung, W. (2018) Subsoil phosphorus is affected by fertilization regime in long-term agricultural experimental trials. European Journal of Soil Science, 69(1):103-112
  11. von Sperber, C., Stallforth, R., Du Preez, C., Amelung, W. (2017) Changes in soil phosphorus pools during prolonged arable cropping in semiarid grasslands. European Journal of Soil Science, 68(4):462-471
  12. von Sperber, C., Chadwick, O.A., Casciotti, K.L., Peay, K.G., Francis, C.A., Kim, A.E., Vitousek, P.M. (2017) Controls of nitrogen cycling evaluated along a well-characterized climate gradient. Ecology, 98(4):1117-1129
  13. von Sperber, C., Lewandowski, H., Tamburini, F., Bernasconi, S.M., Amelung, W., Frossard, E. (2017) Kinetics of enzyme-catalysed oxygen isotope exchange between phosphate and water revealed by Raman spectroscopy. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, 48(3):368-373
  14. Peay, K.G., von Sperber, C., Cardarelli, E., Toju, H., Francis, C.A., Chadwick, O.A., Vitousek, P.M. (2017) Convergence and contrast in the community structure of Bacteria, Fungi and Archaea along a tropical elevation-climate gradient. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 93(5)
  15. Bauke, S.L., von Sperber, C., Siebers, N., Tamburini, F., Amelung, W. (2017) Biopore effects on phosphorus biogeochemistry in subsoils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 111:157-165
  16. von Sperber, C., Weiler, M., Bruggemann, N. (2015) The effect of soil moisture, soil particle size, litter layer and carbonic anhydrase on the oxygen isotopic composition of soil-released CO2. European Journal of Soil Science, 66(3):566-576
  17. von Sperber, C., Tamburini, F., Brunner, B., Bernasconi, S.M., Frossard, E. (2015) The oxygen isotope composition of phosphate released from phytic acid by the activity of wheat and Aspergillus Niger phytase. Biogeosciences, 12(13):4175-4184
  18. von Sperber, C., Kries, H., Tamburini, F., Bernasconi, S.M., Frossard, E. (2014) The effect of phosphomonoesterases on the oxygen isotope composition of phosphate. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 125:519-527
  19. Tamburini, F., Pfahler, V., von Sperber, C., Frossard, E., Bernasconi, S.M. (2014) Oxygen isotopes for unraveling phosphorus transformations in the soil-plant system: A review. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 78(1):38-46

Articles published in proceedings

Scientific reports, manuals and others

Theses, dissertations and essays

Supervised theses, dissertations and essays

Non peer-reviewed articles

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