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Working group Environmental Microbiology

We investigate the diversity 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:

Microplastics in marine habitats

Vibrio in marine habitats

Microbial diversity and functions at unusual habitats

Innovative monitoring in aquatic microbiology




Recently published papers:


Oberbeckmann, S., Labrenz, M. (2020). Marine microbial assemblages on microplastics: diversity, adaptation, and role in degradation. Annual Review of Marine Science:


Möller, L., Kreikemeyer, B., Luo, Z-H., Jost, G., Labrenz, M. (2020) Impact of coastal aquaculture operation systems in Hainan island (China) on the relative abundance and community structure of Vibrio in adjacent coastal systems. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 233: 106542,


Janßen, R., Skeff, W., Werner, J., Wirth, M.A., Kreikemeyer, B., Schulz-Bull, D., Labrenz, M. (2019) A Glyphosate Pulse to Brackish Long-Term Microcosms Has a Greater Impact on the Microbial Diversity and Abundance of Planktonic Than of Biofilm Assemblages. Frontiers in Marine Science 6: 758,