Dr. Katharina Kitzinger


Department of Biogeochemistry

MPI for Marine Microbiology
Celsiusstr. 1
D-28359 Bremen




+49 421 2028-6550

Dr. Katharina Kitzinger

Research Interests

My research focuses on marine nitrification, the oxidation of ammonia via nitrite to nitrate. In the ocean, these two processes are balanced, and the most abundant form of bioavailable N is nitrate, the end product of nitrification. Two microbial groups are responsible for marine nitrification - the ammonia oxidizers and nitrite oxidizers. While ammonia oxidizers are among the most abundant organisms on Earth, nitrite oxidizers are rare.

I combine bulk biogeochemical rate measurements with single cell analyses and molecular techniques to study how metabolic versatility and the use of simple organic N compounds contributes to the ecological success of marine ammonia oxidizers. Additionally, I investigate the factors that lead to the discrepancy in abundance between ammonia and nitrite oxidizers.


nitrifier metabolic versatility
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