Teaching Philosophy

For me, the responsibility of a teacher and mentor is to trigger and support students’ curiosity and thirst for knowledge. Thus, providing the broad societal significance and impact of a topic serves as a motivation for its study. As a student myself, I was most successful at learning when I was actively involved in the classroom and also in cutting-edge research questions. Thus, I emphasize active participation through in-class discussion and small group exercises. I enjoy motivating students to learn more about our environment and have them participate in the lab.

In order to prepare better for teaching I participated in the Stanford Postdoc Teaching Certificate. This certificate is based on building and improving one’s teaching skills, practicing new teaching techniques, and reflecting on one’s experiences for further improvement. Two thirds of the certificate are dedicated to teaching preparation and training and the remainder to teaching itself. I have taken some very illuminating classes specific for teaching undergraduate and graduate students in STEM fields. In the course Science and Engineering Course Design, I was able to design a course I would love to have the chance to teach at the upper undergraduate/lower graduate level: Optimizing Plant-Microbe Interaction for Sustainable Agriculture.

Hands-on introduction to greenhouse work.

Teaching Experience

Stanford Teaching Certificate for Postdocs obtained in March 2018.

Lectures taught:

  • Module Soil Biology in the course Science of Soils (EARTHSYS 155, ESS 155) @ Stanford
  • Module Plant-Microbe-Soil Interactions in the course Science of Soils (EARTHSYS 155, ESS 155)@ Stanford
  • Module Root Exudation and Nutrient Acquisition in the Crop and Soil Science Department @ North Carolina State University
  • Module Microbiological Applications and Agricultural Management in the Soil and Crop Science Department @ Colorado State University
  • Module Plant Effects on Soil Chemistry in the course Soil Chemistry (ESS 256)@ Stanford

Summer students working on their research projects: growing rice in rhizotrons.

Supervised Students:

  • 3 Master students, 3 Bachelor students, 4 Scientific Practice students, 1 Guest researcher @ Tübingen
  • 6 Summer interns @ Stanford
Teaching Assistant:
  • Geomicrobiological field excursion to the Engadin, Switzerland, followed by a lab course 2013
  • Geomicrobiological field excursion to the Engadin, Switzerland, 2008
  • German conversation @ Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, 2004-2005
Environmental Education:
  • ~50 environmental guided tours through Rondevlei Preserve, South Africa
  • ~15 3-day environmental education camps, Zeekovlei, South Africa

Ultimate Frisbee Coach:

  • University of Tuebingen – beginner classes, 2009-2011
  • University of Tuebingen – advanced classes, 2009-2012
  • SV03 Club Tuebingen, division Ultimate Frisbee – competitive classes, 2010-2013