Microbial ecology to manage processes in environmental remediation and biotechnology

From Single Cells to Microbial Communities

We are a microbial ecology lab. Our interdisciplinary research interests combine environmental biotechnology, engineering, biogeochemistry, and molecular biology. Through our research we gain insights into the ‘lifestyle’ of microorganisms by linking the quantification of microbiological processes to the in situ activity and dynamics of microbial populations at various temporal and spatial scales in natural and engineered environments. Research topics comprise fundamental and applied studies such as removing nutrients and contaminants from wastewater, mine drainage, and agricultural runoff. Thereby we strive to develop new bio-based processes to capture valuable products from waste streams (e.g. energy carriers, nutrients, and metals).


New article in Nature Communications


We were part of an international team of researchers addressing the question why soil amendment with certain biochars can increase nutrient retention and stimulate overall soil fertility. The results of this study have now been published in Nature Communications. Findings from our work might aid in the development of slow release carbon-fertilizer carriers to mitigate the effects of nutrient leaching and soil degradation of modern industrial agriculture.

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New publication in Scientific Reports

"Soil biochar amendment affects the diversity of nosZ transcripts: Implications for N2O formation"

Johannes Harter, Mohamed El-Hadidi, Daniel H. Huson, Andreas Kappler & Sebastian Behrens



BD Influx cell sorter installed

Our new high speed fluorescence activated cell sorter (FACS) is finally up and running!

BD Influx

The flexible flow cytometry platform is equipped to meet a wide range of applications in applied and environmental microbiology.