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AG Geomicrobiology:

We are interested in metabolic pathways and elemental fluxes in microorganisms and microbial communities. Our research focusses on the largest brackish water systems worldwide – the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. Special emphasis is put on the questions how microorganisms gain their energy demands in these ecosystems and how this influences the elemental fluxes.

Research Topics:

Sulphide oxydising bacteria: Their distribution in the Baltic Sea sediments and identification of environmental conditions favouring the presence of Beggiatoa and/or Desulfobulbaceae (cable) bacteria, which are two groups of bacteria with similar, and quite unique, metabolic strategies i.e.: Sulphide oxidation when oxygen and sulphide are spatially separated or sulphide oxidation using nitrate as electron acceptor.

Associations between cyanobacteria and heterotrophic organisms: Why is an associated lifestyle beneficial for the organisms? Who supplies nutrients for whom in the associations?

Cultivation, enrichment and isolation of bacteria from the redoxcline of the Black Sea. Research on anaerobic manganese- and sulfur-dependent metabolic processes.

Occurrence and distribution of polyphosphate storing microorganisms in the redox-zone of stratified systems. Quantitative and relative measurements of bacterial polyphosphates in the nanomolar range.






Master students:

  • Niklas Wegerich
  • Maximilian Koch


SECOS – The Service of Sediment in German Coastal Seas



Bacterial communities in Baltic Sea Sediments (linking bacterial ecology and physiology)