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Working group Environmental Microbiology

We investigate the importance and function of microorganisms or microbial communities in aquatic ecosystems, especially in the Baltic Sea. Of special interest are microorganisms or communities exhibiting unusual characteristics or special social relevance like potential pathogenic bacteria in aquatic ecosystems.  

We use approaches based on cultivation as well as cultivation independend methods. One of our main aims is the development of new innovative instruments allowing automatic analysis of microbial parameters at offshore stations, in order to reach a higher spatial and temporal resolution of microbial communities and accordant activities. In consequence, we develop new in situ sampling and incubation techniques, especially useful for further handling by molecular techniques.  

Our main research topics are:

Microbial diversity and functions at unusual habitats      contact  PD Dr. Matthias Labrenz
Innovative instruments for aquatic microbiology   contact  PD Dr. Matthias Labrenz
Microplastics in marine habitats   contact  Dr. Sonja Oberbeckmann
Vibrios and its phages in marine habitats   contact  Günter Jost




Just published papers:


Rogge, A., Vogts, A., Voss, M., Jürgens, K., Jost, G., & Labrenz, M. (2017): Success of chemolithoautotrophic SUP05 and Sulfurimonas GD17 cells in pelagic Baltic Sea redox zones is facilitated by their lifestyles as K- and r-strategists. Environ. Microbiol. 19: 2495-2506.


Köstner, N., Scharnreitner, L., Jürgens, K., Labrenz, M., Herndl, G. J., & Winter, C. (2017): High viral abundance as a consequence of low viral decay in the Baltic Sea redoxcline. PLoS ONE 12: e0178467.