Environmental Microbiology

Microbial pollutant transformation

In our research, we investigate the interaction of microorganisms with different types of pollutants, ranging from low-molecular-weight substances such as pharmaceuticals and cyanotoxins to high-molecular-weight compounds such as plastics. We analyze which transformation products are formed during these processes and how they might affect the environment. Moreover, we try to understand the biochemical mechanisms that govern microbial-mediated transformation processes. Together, this will contribute to a better understanding of the fate of substances in the presence of specific microbial groups such as manganese-oxidizing bacteria or denitrifying microorganisms. Currently, we focus mostly on microbial-mediated pollutant removal in aquatic natural and technical freshwater systems such as lakes and the effluent of wastewater treatment plants. We use this knowledge in group-internal cooperation projects as part of the COMphage project, in TU-internal cooperations, e.g., with the chair of the Applied Biochemistry, the Chair of Environmental Process Engineering, or the  Chair of Soil Science, and in TU-external cooperation with the lake remediation company Wassmann within the Schäfersee-project , the Berliner Wasserbetriebe, the Department of Environmental Biotechnology of the UFZ or the UBA.

In this context, we offer the lecture on pollutant degradationin the winter semester (Fridays from 12:15 to 01:45 p.m. room: BH-N 103) and the practical course Microbial degradation processes and their applicationas a 2-week block in the summer semester break. Within UTIL we also offer each year a project on microbial transformation processes for undergraduates. In addition, master's and bachelor's theses on the subject of microbial pollutant transformation can be prepared in our group (see link to offers).