Our planet is populated by an immense number of microorganisms. Their activities are essential for the global cycling of elements and the functioning and health of ecosystems and organisms – from plants to humans. In addition, we depend on the activities and products of microorganisms in a multitude of industrial processes including water treatment, energy production, food production and biotechnology.
At Department of Biology, we study the mechanistic details of microbial processes in natural and engineered environments and the biology of the microorganisms that drive them. Such knowledge is fundamental for understanding how element cycles respond to perturbation like climate change and how to manipulate engineered environments to control a given process like e.g. promoting nitrogen removal during wastewater treatment or limiting sulfide production in sewer and oil field systems.
Our research spans all biological levels from single organisms to communities and single ecosystems to global element cycles.