The Max-Planck-Institute for Marine Microbiology employs over 130 full time academic and about 70 non-academic staff. The Institute investigates the role, variety and characteristics of microorganisms that occur in aquatic environments, i.e. the sea, and which are responsible in a decisive way for geochemical processes. A focus of the research lies on marine sediments, which are sites of particularly intense and varied microbial processes. For the measurement of compounds at the surface and inside the sediment high spatial resolution analytical techniques are applied.