2. Institute
  3. Departments and Groups
  4. Department of Biogeochemistry
  5. Microsensor Group


The Microsensor Group studies the functioning of microbial communities in sediments, microbial mats and biofilms with high spatial resolution techniques. With needle shaped microsensors and planar optodes dynamics of substrates are monitored with a spatial resolution of microns and a time resolution of seconds. The microsensors have a tip size of ca 5 micron, thus the measurements reflect the undisturbed situation. Quantitative microautoradiography (ß-imaging) has the high spatial, but not the temporal resolution. Main topics are the regulation of oxygen, sulfur and carbon cycles by the main microbial processes.

Study objects are:
· Microbial mats
· Deep-sea sediments
· Porous sandy intertidal plates
· Corals and foraminifera
· Fresh- and seawater biofilms

The processes investigated are:
· Photosynthesis
· Calcification
· Sulfate reduction
· Sulfide oxidation
· Nitrification
· Denitrification

Mass transfer phenomena are considered as regulating factor for process rates, e.g. advection by bioventilation, currents and tides.

The research is partially technology driven, and new sensors and sensing techniques are actively developed.