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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  PD Dr. Matthias Labrenz




Recently published papers:


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


Enders, K., Käppler, A., Biniasch, O., Feldens, P., Stollberg, N., Lange, X., Fischer, D., Eichhorn, K.-J., Pollehne, F., Oberbeckmann, S., and Matthias Labrenz (2019). Tracing microplastics in aquatic environments based on sediment analogies. Scientific Reports - Nature 9: 15207, doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-50508-2


Janßen, R., Zabel, J., von Lukas, U., Labrenz, M. (2019) An artificial neural network and Random Forest identify glyphosate-impacted brackish communities based on 16S rRNA amplicon MiSeq read counts. Marine Pollution Bulletin 149: 110530,