Environmental Microbiology

Research Profile

Our Department is involved in both research and teaching in various areas of environmental microbiology. We study the ecology of microbiomes in natural, technical, and medical systems. We count with an extended strain collection of iron- and manganese-oxidizing bacteria. Currently, we are trying to understand the role of microorganisms in pollutant degradation and how to control undesired microbial growth in different environments such as drinking water systems and in household devices. To this end, we analyze isolates, mixed communities, and environmental samples, using classical microbiology as well as analytical and molecular methods. We have established various types of biofilm reactors to study biofilm from tap water, groundwater, and river ecosystems.

We offer projects in UTIL and PIW, an excursion to the Odertal National Park, lectures and practical courses to TUS students in biology, system ecology, hygiene and environmental microbiology and more specific courses on microbial diversity, microbial degradation processes, biotechnological applications of phages, scientific photography and services courses on microscopy of food products for the program of food chemistry.

Our research group is organized in four broad themes:

  • Microbial community structures in aquatic systems, with a special focus on biofilm communities
  • Diversity and physiology of iron- and manganese-oxidizing bacteria
  • Microbially-mediated pollutant degradation
  • Development of strategies for the use of phages as biocontrol agents


Cooperation partners:

We are part of the DFG UWI research school and cooperate with partners of the TU Berlin and external institutes such as the ATB, BAM, Charité, BWB, UBA, UFZ and SCELSE (Singapore).



Chair of Environmental Microbiology


+49 30 314 73460

+49 30 314 73673

Office BH 6-1
Building Bergbau Hütten Neubau
Address Ernst-Reuter-Platz 1
10587 Berlin