MPI for Marine Microbiology
Main Research Interests
How do microbial activities change the environment, and how does a changing environment influence the evolution of microbes and their activities?
The system of these intertwining processes is of interest in many respects, for example, regarding the role of microbes in the major nutrient cycles, and the particular role of the functional genes therein.
My research takes interest in the following questions:
- How are microbial properties and activities reflected in their genomes and transcriptomes?
- How can the investigation of their DNA and RNA help us understand the role of microbes in the processes resulting in changes of the environment on a local and global scale?
- Can „marker genes“ for particular microbial activities be identified in habitats of complex microbial communities, and if yes, how are they best employed as suitable tools for further environmental and biotechnological research?
- How does human impact affect microbial activity and thus influence marine habitats on local and global scale?
Combining the research resources provided by the MPI, AWI and the CeBiTec, these questions are addressed by a variety of approaches. In my work at the CeBiTec in Bielefeld I focus on the analysis of microbial metagenomes and transcriptomes derived from high throughput sequencing, for example with regard to the interpretation of the detected „gene patterns“ associated with functional traits. I am also interested in how to determine and describe microbial diversity from high throughput sequencing data, and how this technology affects the general view we have on microbial ecology.