Environmental Microbiology

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Ulrich Szewzyk - Retired since October 2023

Research Interests

  • Microbial ecology of natural and technical systems.
  • Biofilms and other spatially structured and heterogeneous systems.
  • Activity and physiological adaptation of microorganisms under various conditions (starvation, stress, predation, symbiosis).
  • Consortia of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and their physiological and metabolic interactions.
  • Interaction of microorganisms with invertebrate hosts.
  • Associations and interactions of bacteria and fungi.
  • Metabolism of anaerobic and aerobic microorganisms (degradation potential, biosynthesis of secondary metabolites).

Curriculum vitae


  • Date of birth: 1957 in Mengen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 1977-1982 Studies of biology at the University of Tübingen, Germany
  • 1983 Diploma thesis at the chair of "Microbial Ecology" (Prof. Dr. N. Pfennig) at the University of Konstanz, Germany.
    • Subject: "Anaerobic degradation of phenol and hydroquinone"
  • 1984-1987 Dissertation at the chair of "Microbial Ecology" (Prof. Dr. N. Pfennig), University of Konstanz, Germany.
    • Subject: "Assessment of the behavior of anaerobic bacteria at surfaces"
  • 1988-1990 Post-doc at the chair of Prof. Kjelleberg, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 1990-1994 Scientific supervisor of the research project „Microbial ecology of drinking water“ at Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 1993 Lecturer (General and marine microbiology) at University Gothenburg, Sweden.
    • Subject of audition lecture: "Microbial degradation of recalcitrant molecules"
  • since 1994Full professor at the TU Berlin



  • ASM (American Scociety of Microbiology)
  • VAAM (German Association of General and Applied Microbiology)
  • BMS (British Microbiological Society)
  • IWA (International Water Association)
  • ISME (International Society of Microbial Ecology)

Publication of books:

  • Investigation of Biofilms, Flemming H.-C., Griebe T., Szewzyk U. (eds). Technomic, Lancaster 2000.
  • Wasser: Chemie, Mikrobiologie und nachhaltige Nutzung, Grohmann A.N., Jekel M., Grohmann A., Szewzyk R. und Szewzyk U., Gruyter, 2011.