Research focuses

Our main research interests are to understand (i) regulation of nitrogen metabolism on the molecular level in Prokarya (Bacteria and Archaea), (ii) the marine nitrogen cycle, (iii) the interaction of Archaea with the human innate immune system and biofilm formation on living and non-living surfaces. Aiming to identify novel enzymes and drugs from marine environments we are further mining for novel genes by metagenomic approaches for potential biotechnological and medical use. The department provides an interactive and interdisciplinary working environment, in which we work on different scientific questions and aspects in close collaboration with other institutes in Kiel and Germany applying sophisticated and state-of-the-art technologies. Our teaching activities include Bachelor moduls (e.g. physiology and regulation in microorganisms, genetics and molecular techniques) and Master moduls (e.g. microbial diversity studies, microbial stress response and biotechnological aspects using state-of-the-art methods). Within the integrated school of ocean science (ISOS) we train Phd students interdisciplinary in several molecular aspects of marine sciences. Our department is a member of the Excellence Cluster Future Ocean / Kiel Marine Science, SFB1182 Origin and Function of Metaorganisms, SPP2002 Small Proteins in Prokaryotes, an Unexplored World, SPP2141 Beyond Defence (CRISPR-Cas) and SFB754 on Climate - Biogeochemistry Interactions in the Tropical Ocean.