Mina Bizic

Eigene Stelle (DFG)
033082 69969

Alte Fischerhütte 2, OT Neuglobsow, 16775 Stechlin


Research Interests

I am an aquatic microbial ecologist conducting paradigm-breaking research with broad interdisciplinary interests ranging from the Global Oceanic Carbon Cycle, the Oxic Methane Paradox Microbial interactions and Succession of Microorganisms Colonizing Macroscopic Organic Aggregates in aquatic communities and ecosystems, Aquatic/terrestrial coupling and much more including a fascination with  Single "unit" studies such as individual cells or individual particles.

I enjoy working at the boundaries and interfaces of different scientific disciplines and I implement experimental tools development, bioinformatics, and advanced imaging in my research.

Currently my work is divided between studying the factors determining the Succession of Microorganisms Colonizing Macroscopic Organic Aggregates, as part of my own DFG project, and following up on my recent discovery of methane produced by phytoplankton during photosynthesis.


Molecular microbial ecology:

DNA and RNA work (extraction and purification,  amplification, mRNA enrichment etc.); Metagenomics; Metatranscriptomics; Single-cell genomics; Fingerprinting (DGGE, ARISA); Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH, CARD-FISH); Microscopy (Laser scanning confocal and epifluorescence).

Oxford Nanopore sequencing.

Analytical methods:

Multivariate statistics for ecological studies; Genomic and metagenomics analysis, using dedicated programs under Linux environment; Gene expression statistics (differential expression in transcriptomes); Automated microscopy for large data sets.

Cultivation work:

Enrichment of Cyanobacteria and algae from environmental samples; Maintenance of axenic Cyanobacterial cultures for experimental work; Standard isolation of marine and freshwater bacteria on solid media.


Gas-chromatography; Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometry (MIMS); Elemental CHN analysis; Total dissolved inorganic & organic carbon analysis; Sequential phosphorus fractionation analysis; O2, pH, H2S microsensors.

Population dynamics estimation in ichthyology:

Length-weight relationship; Growth; Mortality; Biomass estimation; Tools selectivity; MSY (maximum sustainable yield); Fish age determination and growth rates by otoliths.

Additional experience:

Underwater sampling (marine snow, cores); On-board sampling (lakes, sea).


Verbindungen in der Biodiversitätsforschung (BIBS)

BIBS is a BMBF project for biodiversity data collection and synthesis in Germany
Mark Gessner
Hans-Peter Grossart
(Abt. 2) Ökosystemforschung
(Abt. 3) Experimentelle Limnologie






Mina Bizic-Ionescu; Danny Ionescu

Crossing the freshwater/saline barrier: a phylogenetic analysis of bacteria inhabiting both freshwater and marine ecosystems

Aquatic microbial ecology and biogeochemistry /P. M. Glibert ; T. M. Kana (eds.). - Cham: Springer International Publ., 2016. - S. 35-44




Danny Ionescu; Christian Siebert; Luos Polerecky; Yaniv Y. Munwes; Christian Lott; Stefan Häusler; Mina Bizic-Ionescu; Christian Quast; Jörg Peplies; Frank Oliver Glöckner; Albam Ramette; Tino Rödiger; Thorsten Dittmar; Aharon Oren; Stefan Geyer; Hans-Joachim Stärk; Martin Sauter; Tobias Licha; Jonathan B. Laronne; Dirk de Beer

Microbial and chemical characterization of underwater fresh water springs in the Dead Sea

PLoS One. - 7(2012)6, e38319
Full Publication List


Günthel M., Klawonn I., Woodhouse J., Bižić M., Ionescu D., Ganzert L., Kümmel S., Nijenhuis I., Zoccarato L., Grossart H-P., Tang KW. (2020) Photosynthesis-driven methane production in oxic lake water as an important contributor to methane emission, Limnology and Oceanography in press DOI:10.1002/lno.11557.

Bižić#, M., Klintzsch#, T., Ionescu#, D., Hindiyeh, M., Y., Günthel, M., Muro-Pastor, A., M., Keppler, F., Grossart, H-P. (2020) Aquatic and terrestrial Cyanobacteria produce methane. Science Advances. 6, 3: eaax5343, doi:10.1126/sciadv.aax5343; # Authors contributed equally to the manuscript.

Schellenberg, J., Reichert, J., Hardt, M., Klingelhöfer, I., Morlock, G., Schubert, P., Bižić, M.,  Grossart, H-P., Kämpfer, P., Wilke, T., Glaeser, S.P. (2020) The Bacterial Microbiome of the Long-Term Aquarium Cultured High-Microbial Abundance Sponge Haliclona cnidata–Sustained Bioactivity Despite Community Shifts Under Detrimental. Frontiers in Marine Science. doi:10.3389/fmars.2020.00266

Fasching, C., Akotoye, C., Bižić, M., Fonvielle, J., Ionescu, D., Mathavarajah, S., Zoccarato, L., Walsh, D. A., Grossart, H-P., Xenopoulos, M. A. (2020) Linking stream microbial community function to dissolved organic matter and inorganic. Limnology and Oceanography 65, 2020, S71–S87.  https://doi.org/10.1002/lno.11356

Günthel, M., Donis, D., Kirillin, G., Ionescu, D., Bizic, M., McGinnis, D., F., Grossart, H-P., Tang, K. Contribution of oxic methane production to surface methane emission in lakes – local and global importance Nature Communications, 10, 5497 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41467-019-13320-0

Bižić-Ionescu, M., Ionescu, D.,& Grossart, H.-P. (2018) Organic particles: heterogeneous hubs for microbial interactions in aquatic ecosystems.  Front Microbiol. 2018; 9: 2569. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.02569

Ionescu, D., Bižić-Ionescu, M., De Maio, N., Cypionka, H. & Grossart, H.-P. (2017) Community-like genome in single cells of the sulfur bacterium Achromatium oxaliferum. Nat. Commun. 8, 455 doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00342-9.

Ionescu, D., Bižić-Ionescu, M., Khalili, A, Malekmohammadi, R., Morad M., R., de Beer, D., Grossart, H-P. (2015) A new tool for long-term studies of POM-bacteria interactions: overcoming the century-old Bottle Effect. Sci Rep 5, Article number: 14706 doi:10.1038/srep14706

Ionescu, D., Heim, C., Polerecky, L., Ramette, A., Haeusler, S., Bižić-Ionescu, M., Thiel, V., de Beer, D. (2015) Diversity of iron oxidizing and reducing bacteria in bioreactors set in the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory, Geomicrob., 32: 207-220

Bižić-Ionescu, M., Amann, R., Grossart, H-P. (2014) Massive Regime Shifts and High Activity of Heterotrophic Bacteria in an Ice-Covered Lake. PLoS ONE 9(11): e113611. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113611

Bižić-Ionescu, M., Zeder, M., Ionescu, D., Orlić, S., Fuchs, B. M., Grossart, H.-P. and Amann, R. (2014), Comparison of bacterial communities on limnic versus coastal marine particles reveals profound differences in colonization. Environmental Microbiology. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12466

Ionescu, D., Siebert, C., Polerecky, L., Munwes, Y.Y., Lott, C., Häusler, S., Bižić-Ionescu, M., Quast, C., Jörg Peplies, J., Glöckner, FO., Ramette, A., Rödiger, T., Dittmar, T., Oren, A., Geyer, S., Stärk, HS., Sauter, M., Licha, T., Laronne, B. J., de Beer, D. (2012) Microbial and chemical characterization of underwater fresh water springs in the Dead Sea. PloS One, 7(6):e38319

This paper was highlighted in 2011: Story was covered by National Geographic, CNN, BBC, and numerous “popular science” and general magazines and TV-stations worldwide.

Book Chapter

Bižić, M., Ionescu D (2019) The Methane Paradox, Bacteria In eLS, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (Ed.), In press

Ionescu, D. Bizic, M (2019) Giant Bacteria In eLS, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (Ed.), doi:10.1002/9780470015902.a0020371.pub2

Bižić -Ionescu, M., Ionescu, D., Gunthel, M., Tang, K.W., Grossart, H-P., (2018) New evidence for methane formation in oxic lake water, In: Stams, A.J.M.,  Sousa, D.Z., (ed), Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology Series. Biogenesis of Hydrocarbons, Springer International Publishing.

Bižić-Ionescu, M., Ionescu D. (2016) Crossing the border - The freshwater/salt saline barrier: A phylogenetic analysis of bacteria inhabiting both freshwater and marine ecosystems. In: Glibert, P.M., Kanna, T. (ed), Aquatic Microbial Ecology and Biogeochemistry: A Dual Perspective, Springer International Publishing, pp:35-44

DFG PROJECT (Eigene Stelle)

Determinants of Community Structure, Function and Succession of Microorganisms Colonizing Macroscopic Organic Aggregates

Duration: March 2019 - March 2022

I am conducting a temporal study on the degradation of macroscopic organic aggregates. I am specifically interested in heterogeneity between the activity and composition of microbial colonizers of individual aggregates and the drivers of microbial succession on these aggregates as they sink to the bottom of the lake or ocean. To study these in a controlled manner, I am using a flow through rolling tank designed by myself and colleagues to overcome the biasing effects of closed incubation systems.

Seite teilen