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Team > Dr. Sarmite Kernchen

kernchen Dr. Sarmite Kernchen

Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Chair Animal Ecology I

Research assistant

Project: PAPILLONS – Plastic in Agricultural Production: Impacts, Life-cycles and LONg-term Sustainability

You can find more information on our Microplastic homepage or on the project homepage of PAPILLONS

It is becoming increasingly clear through current data that agricultural land is becoming hotspots of pollution by macro-, micro- and nanoplastics. Plastics enter the soil mainly through the use of biologically contaminated fertilisers (sewage sludge/compost), the application of plastic films (mulch films/silo films/greenhouses), irrigation with wastewater, runoff from roads and atmospheric deposition. However, what this means for soil functions and soil ecology has been insufficiently studied so far.

In the PAPILLONS research project, we are investigating the sources, behaviour and ecological impacts of micro- and nanoplastics in agricultural soils resulting from agricultural practices and the use of plastics.

The extent of plastic pollution of agricultural land at European level, the potential long-term impacts on soil ecosystems and the usability of soil for agricultural production are unknown. PAPILLONS is actively working to close this knowledge gap through surveys, monitoring and scientific experiments.

At the University of Bayreuth, we will use microplastic analyses to clarify the extent of contamination in a European comparison, elucidate the main sources of microplastic pollution in agricultural soils and also investigate how this new pollutant affects soil organisms such as ants and beetles.


Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Chair Animal Ecology I

Research topics:

  • Microplastic analysis by ATR-FTIR, µFTIR, Raman
  • Sampling and sample preparation for microplastic analysis
  • Method development for sample preparation
  • Microplastic sources and transport
  • Toxicological tests on terrestrial organisms

Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Chair Animal Ecology I



Anita Jemec Kokalj, Gabriela Kalčíková, Salla Selonen, Thijs Bosker, Damjana Drobne, Darina Dvorakova, Jakub Hofman, Rachel Hurley, Sarmite Kernchen, Christian Laforsch, Martin G. J. Löder, Sam van Loon, Paula E. Redondo-Hasselerharm, Vili Saartama, Klára Šmídová, Aristeidis S. Tsagkaris, Laura J. Zantis, Luca Nizzetto, Cornelis A. M. van Gestel: Strategy towards producing relevant and reliable data for the hazard assessment of micro- and nanoplastics in agricultural soils. In: TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 172 (2024). - .


Sarmite Kernchen, Martin G. J. Löder, Franziska Fischer, Dieter Fischer, Sonya Moses, Christoph Georgi, Anke Nölscher, Andreas Held, Christian Laforsch: Airborne microplastic concentrations and deposition across the Weser River catchment. In: Science of the Total Environment, 818 (2022). - .


Alberto Andrino, Georg Guggenberger, Sarmite Kernchen, Robert Mikutta, Leopold Sauheitl, Jens Boy: Production of Organic Acids by Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Their Contribution in the Mobilization of Phosphorus Bound to Iron Oxides. In: Frontiers in Plant Science, 12 (2021). - .


Giovanni Pastore, Klaus Kaiser, Sarmite Kernchen, Marie Spohn: Microbial release of apatite- and goethite-bound phosphate in acidic forest soils. In: Geoderma, 370 (2020). - .

Giovanni Pastore, Sarmite Kernchen, Marie Spohn: Microbial solubilization of silicon and phosphorus from bedrock in relation to abundance of phosphorus-solubilizing bacteria in temperate forest soils. In: Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 151 (2020). - .

Emanuel Brucker, Sarmite Kernchen, Marie Spohn: Release of phosphorus and silicon from minerals by soil microorganisms depends on the availability of organic carbon. In: Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 143 (2020). - .


Martin Brüggemann, Laurent Poulain, Andreas Held, Torsten Stelzer, Christoph Zuth, Stefanie Richters, Anke Mutzel, Dominik van Pinxteren, Yoshiteru Iinuma, Sarmite Katkevica, Renè Rabe, Hartmut Herrmann, Thorsten Hoffmann: Real-time detection of highly oxidized organosulfates and BSOA marker compounds during the F-BEACh 2014 field study. In: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 17 (2017). - S. 1453-1469.


Sarmite Katkevica, Pavlo Salun, Aigars Jirgensons: Synthesis of 5-substituted 3-mercapto-1,2,4-triazoles via Suzuki–Miyaura reaction. In: Tetrahedron Letters, 54 (2013). - S. 4524-4525.


Laura Amori, Sarmite Katkevica, Agostino Bruno, Barbara Campanini, Paolo Felici, Andrea Mozzarelli, Gabriele Costantino: Design and synthesis of trans-2-substituted-cyclopropane-1-carboxylic acids as the first non-natural small molecule inhibitors of O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase. In: MedChemComm, 3 (2012). - S. 1111-1116.


Sarmite Katkevica, A. Zicmanis, P. Mekss: Imidazolium and pyridinium salts–solvents influencing the rate and direction of the Fries, Beckmann, and Claisen rearrangements. In: Chemistry of Heterocyclic Compounds, 46 (2010). - S. 158-169.


Andris Zicmanis, Sarmite Katkevica, Peteris Mekss: Lewis acid-catalyzed Beckmann rearrangement of ketoximes in ionic liquids. In: Catalysis Communications, 10 (2009). - S. 614-619.


Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Chair Animal Ecology I

Dr. Sarmite Kernchen
Research assistant

Chair Animal Ecology I
Building B13, Room 0.04
University of Bayreuth
Universitätsstr. 30
95440 Bayreuth

Telefon: +49 (0) 921 55 2064
Fax: +49 (0) 921 55 2784

E-mail: sarmite.kernchen@uni-bayreuth.de

Webmaster: Univ.Prof.Dr. Christian Laforsch

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