Aquatic Microbial Ecology

Research group of Hans-Peter Grossart
Phytoplankton-Bacteria Interactions, Dolichospermum spec. from Lake Stechlin colonized by heterotrophic bacteria (DAPI staining, 1000x epifluorescence microscopy). | Bild: Hans-Peter Grossart / IGB

Phytoplankton-Bacteria Interactions, Dolichospermum spec. from Lake Stechlin colonized by heterotrophic bacteria (DAPI staining, 1000x epifluorescence microscopy). | Image: Hans-Peter Grossart / IGB

The MiBi working group, headed by Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Grossart, was established as a junior group in 2002 as part of Department 3 Experimental Limnology located at Lake Stechlin, NE Germany. Initially, the group has focused on the microbial and physiological characterisation of sinking aggregates and their ecological role in aquatic ecosystem. During the past years the scientific focus has widened, ranging from 1) genes (single cell genomics, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics), 2) organisms (archaea, bacteria, fungi), 3) biogeochemical processes (organic matter cycling, oxic methane production), 4) populations and communities (aquatic (parasitic) fungi, Actinobacteria, interactions between phytoplankton and bacteria) to 5) whole ecosystems (lakes, oceans, estuaries, rivers). A main task is to link patterns of biodiversity and processes at the microscale with those at the landscape or global scale. Methods used comprise OMICS tools, biogeochemical measures, traditional microbiological methods, microscopy and remote sensing during field-, mesocosm- and laboratory studies. The international MiBi research group represents a wide range of disciplines and expertise including biology, chemistry, physics and modelling.

Specific topics:

  • ecology and taxonomy of aquatic fungi
  • microbial diversity and function in respond to extreme weather events
  • functional and physical properties of sinking particles
  • origin and fate of methane in oxic waters
  • mechanisms and importance of algal-bacterial interactions
  • aquatic-terrestrial coupling and its effect on aquatic biodiversity
  • microplastic pollution


Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Grossart has established himself as an expert in the field of aquatic microbial ecology and aquatic biodiversity, amassing over 8000 citations, being awarded >6 million Euros in research funding, serving as editor and has published >200 publications. Since 2016 he has been serving as a board member-at-large of the Association for the Sciences of Oceanography and Limnology.


Mina Bizic

Eigene Stelle (DFG)
Research group
Aquatic Microbial Ecology

Solvig Pinnow

Research Technician
Research group
Aquatic Microbial Ecology

Doris Ilicic

Doctoral Student
Research group
Aquatic Microbial Ecology

Mo Yuanyuan

Guest Scientist
Research group
Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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