He has been there since the first day and has shaped the fate of the institute for 26 years. Together with our founding director, Prof. Dr. Bo Barker Jørgensen, Friedrich Widdel founded the Bremen Max Planck Institute in 1992. Since then it has grown strongly to now more than 200 employees from 30 nations. Yesterday, on August 29, 2018, the microbiologist retired from his work at our institute with a social gathering for all members of the institute and a reunion with friends, colleagues and companions.
In addition to his directorate at the Max Planck Institute in Bremen, Friedrich Widdel was also Professor of Microbiology in the Biology/Chemistry Faculty at the University of Bremen. His research focuses on the growth, metabolic capabilities and chemical impacts of microorganisms from naturally oxygen-free habitats, for example in the seabed. A special emphasis of his work lies on the anaerobic degradation of long-lived substances such as hydrocarbons and the physiology of sulfate-reducing bacteria.
"Our institute owes so much to Friedrich Widdel", says Prof. Dr. Nicole Dubilier, managing director of the institute. "So we are very pleased that he will still be a part of our institute and keep an office as an emeritus director."