Matthias Rillig is Professor of Plant Ecology at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany and Director of the Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research. His research themes include ecological synthesis (e.g. using meta-analytical techniques), the biodiversity of soil aggregation (particularly the role of mycorrhizal and saprobic fungi and their interactions with other soil biota), biodiversity and community ecology of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (using methods of molecular ecology), soil biota effects on plants and plant communities, trait-based approaches in fungi, and global change biology including work on microplastics in soil. His ground breaking work on the application of ecological principles to soil, in particular how joint impacts of multiple factors of global change influence soil processes and biodiversity, has gained him internationally acclaim. He has recently been elected as member of the German National Academy of Sciences, the Leopoldina.