direkt zum Inhalt springen

direkt zum Hauptnavigationsmenü

Sie sind hier

TU Berlin

Page Content

Dr. Thomas Nehls


TU Berlin
FG Ecohydrology and Landscape Evaluation
Institute of Ecology
Building BH-N, Room 822
E-Mail: thomas.nehls(at the)tu-berlin.de
Telefon: +49 (0)30 314-73539
Fax: +49 (0)30 314-23309




- Head of the Soil Hydrology Lab

- Head of Center for Innovation and Science on Building Greening (CIBG)

- Head of the EU project Vertical Green 2.0





CV, Research, Teaching, Publications


  • since 2016 Senior scientist and lecturer, head of laboratory Chair for ecohydrology and landscape evaluation of the TU Berlin
  • 2008 - 2017 Scientist and lecturer, head of the soil physics laboratory Chair for soil conservation of the TU Berlin
  • 2007 Dr. rer. nat., Technische Universitaet Berlin, title: ”Water and Heavy Metal Fluxes in Paved Urban Soils“
  • 2002-2008 DFG - scholar in Research Training Group on urban ecosystems and PhD Student and lecturer at the chair for soil conservation of the  TU Berlin
  • 1996–2002 Study of geoecology at the university of Bayreuth, Germany; title of the diploma thesis: ”Fertility Improvement of a Terra Firme Oxisol in Central Amazonia by Charcoal Application"

research stays in Israel, Brazil, China, France



Development of integrated, functional building greenery to close the water, energy and nutrient cycles in and between cities and their surroundings

  • Investigation of the water, energy and material balance of building greening, monitoring and modeling
  • Productive building greening: food & beverages
  • Implementation strategies for productive greening of buildings
  • Development of technical innovations to increase sustainability

Development of process-based models for the description of water and matter balances of anthropogenic and urban soils

  • Observation & Measurement, Modeling, Optimization
  • Development and validation of measurement techniques and instrumentation

Anthropogenic and urban soils, construction of functional plant substrates

  • Investigation of urban soils
  • Strategies for the use of technogenic substrates
  • Characterization, modeling, simulation







since 2010

  • Dealing with Environmental Resources in Urban Regions (3 SWS), Seminar on a self-developed, unique scientific question from urban ecosystem sciences, scientific writing, scientific presentation, MA UES
  • Urban soils: lecture, excursions and seminar on urban soils (4SWS); Development and presentation of a scientific poster on a topic connected to anthropogenic or urban soils, MA UES
  • Building Greening – Chances and Challenges (3 SWS), Seminar on the international Autumn School on Building Greening, open for all studies, 2017
  • Project: Urban soils - urban green infrastructures, incl. 3 weeks Summerschool and Exkursion "Natural and anthropogenic soil landscapes in Eurpoean Russia: From sea to sea" (www.3Mugis.org); BA ÖkUp: lecture, excursions, field practice, laboratory practice on contaminations in soils used for urban horticulture, BA ÖkUp, 2018-19
  • Project: Strategies for the development of sustainable cities - Copenhagen, Berlin (2 x 4 SWS); student-oriented project on urban agriculture, mobility, climate mitigation, rainwater management, and social sustainability in Copenhagen and Berlin, MA UES, 2017-18
  • City 2030 – The example Stendal (2x4 SWS); student-oriented project, Future perspectives for a medium-scale German city, the example of Stendal, incl. field work and excursions, MA UES, 2015-16
  • Project: Vertcial green for healthy cities (2 x 4 SWS); all aspects of building greening, incl. own measurements and presentation of results on a international congress, BA LaPla, 2013-14
  • Project workshop: Greening from containers (4 x 2 SWS); interdisciplinary, practice-oriented course on urban greening, all stiudies , BA, MA), 2011-13



  • Organizing the Conference of the IUSS WG on Soils of Urban, Industrial, Traffic, Mining and Military Areas - SUITMA 11, in Berlin 2021
  • Guest Editor für Journal of Soils and Sediments, Special Issue 2019 Soils of Urban, Industrial, Traffic, Mining and Military Areas
  • Reviewer for the journals: Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, Vadose Zone Journal, Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition (Japan), Geoderma, Journal of Soils and Sediments, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening; Ecological Engineering; Journal of Sustainable Development, Science of the Total Environment,
  • teaching in didactic trainings
  • member of the Rat für Nachhaltigkeit der TU Berlin (council for sustainability at the TU Berlin)



Most of the articles are available from the personal page in researchgate.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Hoffmann, K.A., Šuklje, T., Kozamernik, J., Nehls, T. (2021) Modelling the cooling energy saving potential of facade greening in summer for a set of building typologies in mid-latitudes. Energy and Buildings, 238, doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2021.110816.

Paton, E., Vogel, J., Kluge, B., Nehls, T., (2021) Extent, trend and extremes of droughts in urban areas. Hydrologie und Wasserbewirtschaftung. 65 (1): 5-16. DOI: 10.5675/HyWa_2021.1_1

Vasenev, VI, Slukovskaya, MV, Cheng, Z, Nehls, T. et al. (2021) Anthropogenic soils and landscapes of European Russia: Summer school from sea to sea - A didactic prototype. J. Environ. Qual. 50: 63– 77. doi.org/10.1002/jeq2.20132

Ulrich, S., Willaredt, M., Nehls, T., van Schaik, L. (2020) Do earthworms (D. veneta) influence plant-available water in technogenic soil-like substrate from bricks and compost? Journal of Soils and Sediments. DOI: 10.1007/s11368-020-02772-3

Pearlmutter, D., Theochari, D., Nehls, T., Pinho, P. et al. (2020) Enhancing the circular economy with nature-based solutions in the built urban environment: green building materials, systems and sites. Blue-Green Systems 2 (1): 46–72. doi.org/10.2166/bgs.2019.928

Nehls, T., Peters, A., Kraus, F., Rim, Y.-N. (2020) Water dynamics at the urban soil-atmosphere interface-rainwater storage in paved surfaces and its dependence on rain event characteristics. Journal of Soils and Sediments. DOI: 10.1007/s11368-020-02762-5  

Willaredt, M. and Nehls, T. (2020) Investigation of water retention functions of artificial soil-like substrates for a range of mixing ratios of two components. Journal of Soils and Sediments. DOI: 10.1007/s11368-020-02727-8

Vidal-Beaudet, L., Rokia, S., Nehls, T. and Schwartz, C. (2018) Aggregation and availability of phosphorus in a Technosol constructed from urban wastes. J Soils Sediments 18, 456–466 (2018). doi.org/10.1007/s11368-016-1469-3

Hoelscher, M.-T., Kern, M.A., Wessolek, G. and Nehls, T. (2018) A new consistent sap flow baseline-correction approach using nocturnal water vapour pressure deficits and its application for climbing plant transpiration measurements in urban settings. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 248: 169-176, DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2017.09.014

Flores, E., Abel, S. and Nehls, T. (2018) Water retention characteristics of coarse porous materials to construct purpose-designed plant growing media. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, DOI: 10.1080/00380768.2018.1447293

Peters, A., Nehls, T. and G. Wessolek (2016) Technical note: Improving the AWAT filter with interpolation schemes for advanced processing of high resolution data Hydrology and Earth System Science Discussions, hess-2016-51

A. Krause, T. Nehls, E. George, and M. Kaupenjohann (2016) Organic wastes from bioenergy and ecological sanitation as soil fertility improver: a field experiment in a tropical Andosol. SOIL, 2, 147 -162, doi:10.5194/soil-2-147-2016

Hoelscher, M.-T., Nehls, T., Jaenicke, B. and Wessolek, G. (2016) Quantifying cooling effects of facade greening: shading, transpiration and insulation. Energy and Buildings, 114, 283–290

Buchin, O, Hoelscher, M.-T., Meier, F., Nehls, T. and Ziegler, F. (2016) Evaluation of the health-risk reduction potential of countermeasures to urban heat islands. Energy and Buildings, 114: 27–37

Kim, H.-S., Kim, K.-R., Yang, J.E., Ok, Y.S., Owens, G. e, Nehls, T., Wessolek, G. Kim, K.-H. (in Press) Effect of biochar on reclaimed tidal land soil properties and maize (Zea mays L.) response. Chemosphere, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.06.041

Abel, S., Peters, A., Nehls, T. and Wessolek, G. (2015) Lysimeter study on long-term release of sulfate from rubble-composed soils. Soil Science. 180(4/5):175-181

Nehls, T, Menzel, M, Wessolek, G. (2015) Depression storage capacities of different ideal pavements as quantified by a terrestrial laser scanning based method. Water Science and Technology (WST-EM141036)

Nehls, T. Schwartz, C., Kye-Hoon Kim, J., Kaupenjohann, M., Wessolek, G., Morel, J.-L. (2014) Letter to the editors: Phyto-P-Mining - secondary urban green recycles phosphorus from soils constructed of urban wastes. Journal of Soil and Sediments, DOI 10.1007/s11368-014-1023-0

Abel, S., Nehls, T., Mekiffer, B. Wessolek, G. (2014) Heavy Metals and Benzo[a]pyrene in Rubble Soils. Journal of Soils and Sediments, DOI 10.1007/s11368-014-0959-4

Abel, S., Nehls, T. Mekiffer, B., Wessolek, G., Mathes, M., Thieme, J. (2014) Pools of sulfur in rubble soils. Journal of Soils and Sediments, DOI 10.1007/s11368-014-1014-1

Roder Green, A., Putschew, A and Nehls, T. (2014) Littered cigarette butts as a source of nicotine in urban waters. Journal of Hydrology 519: 3466–3474

Gessner, M.O., Hinkelmann, R., Nützmann, G., Jekel, M., Singer, G., Lewandowski, J., Nehls, T., Barjenbruch, M. (2014) Urban Water Interfaces, Journal of Hydrology , doi: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.04.021

Rokia, S., Séré, G., Schwartz, C. Deeb, M., Fournier,F., Nehls, T., Damas, O., Vidal-Beaudet, L. (2014): Modelling agronomic properties of Technosols constructed with urban wastes. Waste Management, doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2013.12.016

Peters, A., Nehls, T., Schonsky, H. and Wessolek, G. (2014): Separating precipitation and evapotranspiration from noise - a new filter routine for lysimeter measurements. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 18, 1189-1198.

Nehls, T., Rokia, S., Mekiffer, B., Schwartz, C. and Wessolek, G. (2013): Contribution of bricks to urban soil properties. Journal of Soils and Sediments. DOI 10.1007/s11368-012-0559-0.

Nehls, T., Rim, Y.N. and Wessolek, G., (2011): Technical note on measuring run-off dynamics from pavements using a new device: the weighable tipping bucket. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 15(5): 1379-1386.

Nehls, T. and Shaw, R. (2010): Black Carbon in Soils - Relevance, Analysis, Distribution. Soils Science Society of America. Soil Survey Horizons, 51(3): 79-84.

Nehls, T., Sokolowska, Z., Hajnos, M., Jozefaciuk, G. and Wessolek, G. (2008): Filter properties of seam material of paved urban soils. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 12, 691-702.

Steiner, C., Teixeira, W.G., Lehmann, J., Nehls, T., de Macêdo, J.L.V., Blum, W.E.H. and Zech, W. (2007): Long term effects of manure, charcoal and mineral fertilization on crop production and fertility on a highly weathered Central Amazonian upland soil. Plant and Soil DOI: 10.1007/s11104-007-9193-9.

Nehls, T., Sokolowska, Z., Hajnos, M., Jozefaciuk, G. and Wessolek, G. (2006): Pore-system characteristics of pavement seam materials of urban sites. Journal of plant nutrition and soil science, 169,16-24.

Lehmann J, da Silva Jr. JP, Steiner C, Nehls T, Zech W and Glaser B (2003): Nutrient availability and leaching in an archaeological Anthrosol and a Ferralsol of the Central Amazon basin: fertilizer, manure and charcoal amendments. Plant and Soil 249: 343-357.



Book chapters

K.-H.J. Kim, T. Nehls, C. Schwartz, J.L. Morel (2017) Urban soils as phosphorus reservoir in Ed.: Maxine J. Levin; Kye-Hoon John Kim; Jean Louis Morel; Wolfgang Burghardt; Przemyslaw Charzynski; Richard K. Shaw; IUSS Working Group SUITMA: Soils within Cities. Global approaches to their sustainable management - composition, properties, and functions of soils of the urban environment. Schweizerbart Science publishers, Stuttgart, Germany

Nehls, T., Jiang, Y., Dennehy, C., Zhan, X., Beesley, L. (2015) From Waste to Value: Urban Agriculture Enables Cycling of Resources in Cities. in F. Lohrberg, L. Licka, L.Scazzozi and A.Timpe: Urban Agriculture Europe, Jovis, Berlin. ISBN 978-3-86859-371-6

DWA Arbeitsgruppe GB-6.8 „Diffuse Stoffeinträge in Gewässer aus urbanen Nutzungen“ (in press) Diffuse Stoffeinträge in Gewässer - Siedlungs- und Verkehrsflächen - in: Im Klartext, Reihe der DWA

Putschew, A., Roder Green A.L., Nehls, T. (2015) Giftige Kippen - Zigaretten als Quelle für Nikotin im urbanen Wasserkreislauf in: HighChem hautnah - Aktuelles aus der Wasserchemie, Gesellschaft deutscher Chemiker GDCh, S. 45-46, ISBN 978-3-936028-92-8

Nehls, T. and Wessolek, G. (2011): Urban soils, Functions. In: Jan Glinski, Jozef Horabik, Jerzy Lipiec, Encyclopedia of Agrophysics. Springer Verlag. Stuttgart

Wessolek, G., Kluge, B., Toland, A., Nehls, T., Klingelmann, E., Rim, Y.-N., Mekiffer, B.  and Trinks, S. (2011): Urban Soils in the Vadose Zone. in: Endlicher, W.(ed) Perspectives in Urban Ecology. Springer Verlag. Stuttgart, ISBN-10: 3642446086

Nehls, T. (2011): Aspekte guter Seminargestaltung. in: Monika Rummler: Crashkurs Hochschuldidaktik. Beltz Verlag, Weinheim, S 77-90. ISBN-10: 3407365012

Wessolek, G., Kluge, B. und Nehls, T. (2010): Bodenüberformung und Versiegelung

Nehls, T., Kluge, B. und Wessolek, G. (2010): Entsiegelungspotenziale und Entsiegelung von Böden. alle in: Blume, H.P., Horn, R. und Thiele-Bruhn, S.: Handbuch des Bodenschutzes, 4. Auflage, Wiley-VCH Verlag,

Nehls, T. (2010) Ungenutztes Flächenpotenzial für die Fassadenbegrünung am Beispiel Berlins. In: Bauwerksbegrünung. Verlag Kuberski. Stuttgart. S.74-75.


Other scientific publications (selection)

Schmal, P., Nehls, T. (2017) Biomass production of facade greening proven energy positive – an LCA. World Green Infrastructure Congress 2017, Berlin, June 2017, Poster

Nehls, T. Hölscher, M. (2016) Begrünte Begrünte Fassaden – begrünte Stadt. Symposium & Ausstellung "Essbare Fassade", Koblenz, 07.06. 2016 (invited talk)

Nehls, T., Hoelscher, M.-T., Wessolek, G. (2015) Functions of vertical green in urban areas. Attica Training School on Biodiversity in urban areas, Athen, November 2015, (invited talk)

Nehls, T., Roder Green, A., Putschew, A. (2015) Littered cigarette butts as a source for Nicotine in urban waters, IWA Dipcon, 17th IWA International Conference on Diffuse Pollution and Eutrophication, 13–18 September 2015, Berlin, Germany

Hoelscher, M.-T., Nehls, T., Jaenicke, B., Walikewitz, N., Wessolek, G. (2014) Quantification of Cooling Processes by Facade Greening: Shading, Insulation and Transpiration. Third International Conference on Countermeasures to Urban Heat Island, Venice, Italy, October 13-15, 2014, IC2UHI 116

Petsch, T., Rummel, N. Seyffert, S., Ohl, S., Dehnhardt, A., Nehls, T. (2014) Biomass production in the city - vertical green as a source of bioenergy? 20th International Symposium on Society and Research Management (ISSRM), Hannover, Germany, June 9-13, 2014.

Nehls, T, Rokia, S., Schwartz, C., Mekiffer, B., Wessolek, G.,(2014) Contribution of bricks to urban soil properties. 20th World Congress of Soil Science, Jeju, Korea, June 8- 13, 2014, (Poster-Award)

Nehls, T. (2014) Positive Wirkungen von vertikalem Grün und ungenutzte Flächenpotenziale für begrünte Wände im Bestand. Bautec, Internationale Fachmesse für Bauen und Gebäudetechnik, Forum Grünbau Berlin, 19.02.2014 Berlin

Nehls, T. (2010): Urban soils - Paved but still functioning. The Commemorative International Symposium for the 50th Anniversary of Korean Society for Applied Biological Chemistry, 2010 August 25-27, 2010, Gyeongju, Korea, (invited talk)

Rim, Y.-N., Litz, N., Nehls, T., Trinks, S. and Wessolek, G. (2010): Studying water budget of paved urban sites using weighable lysimeters. Ecotrons and Lysimeters, 2010 March 29-31, Nancy, France. Vortrag

Nehls, T., Rokia, S., Mekiffer, B. and Wessolek, G. (2010): Rooting the Rubble - Nutrient Storage of Bricks in Urban Soils. EGU General Assembly, 2010 May 2-7, Vienna, Austria, Geophysical Research Abstracts, 12: EGU2010-8282.

Rim,Y.-N., Litz, N., Nehls, T., Trinks, S. and Wessolek, G. (2010) Studying water budget of paved urban sites using weighable lysimeter. 19th World Congress of Soil Science, Brisbane, Australia, August 1-6, www.iuss.org/19th%20WCSS/Symposium/pdf/2267.pdf

Nehls, T. (2009) Black carbon in urban soils. The Fifth International Conference on Soils of Urban, Industrial, Traffic, Mining, and Military Areas Suitma, New York City, USA, September 21-25, 2009 (invited talk)

Wessolek, G., Kluge, B., Nehls, T. und Kocher, B. (2009): Aspekte zum Wasserhaushalt und Stofftransport urbaner Flächen. Korrespondenz Wasserwirtschaft, 2(4): 205-210.

Nehls, T.; Wessolek, G. (2008): Paved urban soils as sources and sinks for heavy metals. European Geosciences Union, Geophysical Research Abstracts 9: EGU2008-A-08021.

Shaw, Richard K.; Azzolina, Nick; Skorobogatov, Y.; Nehls, T.; Reinhardt, L. P., 2008: Soil properties in the urban core of New York City. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 40, No. 6, p. 272

Otto, M., Blume, F. and Nehls, T. (2007): Conservation of Peruvian Terraces through Intensification and Diversification - The Role of German Students in the Process. Proceedings of Deutscher Tropentag, October 9 - 11, 2007, Witzenhausen, Germany.

T. Nehls, S. Brodowski and G. Wessolek (2007) Heavy Metals and Black Carbon in Paved Urban Soils - The Importance of Open Soil Surfaces in Urban Areas. In: Hartmut Kenneweg (ed) Planning the urban environment: 2nd International Congress on Environmental Planning and Management - Visions, Implementations, Results; August 5th-10th 2007, Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin, S. 427-437 (ISBN: 978-3-7983-2049-9)

Nehls, T.; Hartstock, S.; Stoffregen, H.; Wessolek, G. (2007) Stability of preferential flow paths in paved urban soils. European Geosciences Union, Geophysical Research Abstracts 9: EGU2007-A-09824, Poster.

Nehls, T, Stoffregen, H., Klingelmann, E., Wessolek, G. (2006): Importance of seam material of paved urban soils for water- and element balances in urban areas - heavy metals and glyphosate. Jahrestagung der Kommission I der DBG, November 17 - 18, 2006, Leipzig.

Nehls, T., Sokolowska, Z., Hajnos, M., Jozefaciuk, G., Wessolek, G. (2005): Characterization of seam material of paved urban soils. Monitoring and Modelling the properties of soil as porous medium: the role of soil use. International Conference, Lublin, Poland, February 13-16, 2005, (invited talk)

Nehls, T., Stoffregen, H., Scherer, D. and Wessolek, G. (2005) Preferential flow patterns in paved urban soils. The third International Conference on Soils of Urban, Industrial, Traffic, Mining, and Military Areas Suitma, Cairo, Egypt (Poster Award)

Zusatzinformationen / Extras

Quick Access:

Schnellnavigation zur Seite über Nummerneingabe

Auxiliary Functions

FG Ecohydrology and Landscape Evaluation
Sekr. BH 8-1
Ernst-Reuter-Platz 1
10587 Berlin