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Aeromicrobiology Research Group


Our Aim

The atmosphere plays a crucial role in regulating Earths’ climate and consequently for the sustainability of its biosphere. Despite the fact that the atmosphere is one of the most extreme environments on Earth, it is populated by large numbers of diverse microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi and microalgae. It is the aim of our research group to investigate how these organisms manage to survive in the atmosphere and to what extend they are involved in fundamental physical processes such as cloud and rain formation. Thus, in our research group we study the diversity and abundance of the microbial community, identify their key sources as well as the mechanism, by which they are transported into the atmosphere. We also investigate if they are metabolically active in the atmosphere and if so, what controls their activity. Some microbes can produce specific proteins that initiated freezing of cloud droplets close to 0oC. This step is often involved in rain formation and thus plays an important role for natural, agricultural and urban environments. Our research group studies these proteins both with respect to their evolutionary history and their general functions. It is our ambition that the insights that we obtain can be implement in weather and climate models and ultimately increase their reliability and predictive power.