Dr. Guido Bonthond


ICBM Terramare
Schleusenstraße 1
26382 Wilhelmshaven

+49 4421 944 218




Dr. Guido Bonthond

I am interested in the biogeography of microbial life. While we need to zoom-in with powerful microscopes to see microbes, they are distributed around the globe and impact ecosystems at large spatial and temporal scales. Besides zooming-in with microscopes, I therefore like to ‘zoom-out’, to uncover microbial patterns at large scales (or macroecological scales) and better understand the processes giving rise to these patterns, as well as the consequences they have on hosts and ecosystems.

I am a biologist by training with an emphasis on microbial ecology. My research focusses on the marine realm and targets holobionts (primarily seaweeds) and marine sediments. I combine field studies and experimental approaches and utilize molecular tools and statistical modelling.


Seaweeds as model holobionts to study host-microbe interactions
During my doctoral research, I studied microbiota associated with the seaweed Gracilaria vermiculophylla, an invasive species that spread around the northern hemisphere. Besides evaluating how its microbiota vary across the northern hemispere, we also simulated invasions in the lab to learn how microbiota change when their hosting organism is translocated to a new envrionment, and how this influences the chances of an introduced host to survive an introduction event and may become a succesful invader.

Unraveling the drivers of benthic microbial biogeography
Since August 2020, I am a postdoc in the Umbio group at the ICBM. Besides continuing research on seaweed holobionts, I study microbiota in marine sediments. Specifically, I evaluate how the benthic microbial biogeography of the North Sea is shaped by environmental variables such as sediment characteristics and temperature and in particular whether microbial biogeography is affected by bottom trawling, which is a destructive fishing practice. This postdoc is conducted within the joint research project MGF North Sea, which is part of the German Marine Research Alliance.

Academic information

Dr Natural Sciences (2017 - 2020)
Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel (CAU), Kiel, Germany

MSc Biological Sciences (2013 - 2016)
University of Amsterdam (UvA), Amsterdam, the Netherlands

BSc Biology (2009 - 2012)
Utrecht University (UU), Utrecht, the Netherlands


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