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Working Group "Microbial Ecology"

January 2017

We are investigating the structure and function of microbial communities and microbially mediated biogeochemical processes in aquatic systems, with particular focus on the Baltic Sea.

Our general goals are:

  • to elucidate general spatial and temporal patterns in microbial diversity and to understand the udnerlying regulating forces
  • to identify key players for specific processes and understand their adaptation and physiology
  •  to link the analysis of community structure with particular functions, relevant at the ecosystem scale

This is done mainly by field studies during cruises on research vessels and by shipboard experiments but also with the help of laboratory experiments with isolated organisms.

Besides ecosystem-related research projects we study mechanisms of microbial interactions and adaptations and also use microorganisms as model systems to infer general ecological questions.

The scope of our research encompasses a whole range of microorganisms from "viruses" to prokaryotes and microbial eukaryotes (protists).

Within the IOW we are responsible for running the molecular laboratory and to maintain and establish state-of-the-art molecular techniques for community analysis, species identification and functional gene analysis. Although these techniques are at present mainly used for microbiological research, the methodology can also be applied for other groups of organisms (e.g., metazoans).

News

New Publications:

 

Herlemann, D.P.R., Manecki, M., Dittmar, T., Jürgens, K. (2017): Limited decomposition of terrigenous dissolved organic matter in the Baltic Sea: Role of abiotic and biotic factors. Environ.Microbiol. 19: 3098-3117.