Temporary administration

PD Dr. Bert Engelen


Information not publicly available due to data protection reasons.

Former group leader

Prof. Dr. Heribert Cypionka

Microbiological garden 


Grundlagen der Mikrobiologie

Welcome to the Paleomicrobiology Group

The former head of the working group, Prof. Dr. Heribert Cypionka, has retired on October 1st 2018. The focus of his scientific work was the physiology of anaerobic bacteria and the activity of bacteria and archaea within the so-called deep biosphere beneath the seafloor. Until a successor of Professor Cypionka is found, the working group will temporarily be administrated by PD Dr. Bert Engelen. In the future, the research field will be continued, designated as "Benthic Microbiology". The application for the new professorship is open until January 15th, 2019.


Current research:

  • Distribution, diversity and metabolic potential of benthic representatives of the Roseobacter group
  • Composition and activity of bacterial communities along the freshwater outflow of a subterranean estuary
  • Influence of viruses on the composition of organic molecules and microbial communities in marine sediments

Key publications:

  • Pohlner M, Degenhardt J, von Hoyningen-Huene AJE, Wemheuer B, Erlmann N, Schnetger B, Badewien TH, Engelen B (2017) The biogeographical distribution of benthic Roseobacter group members along a Pacific transect is structured by nutrient availability within the sediments and primary production in different oceanic provinces. Front Microbiol 8:2550
  • Engelhardt T, Kallmeyer J, Cypionka H, Engelen B (2014) High virus-to-cell ratios indicate on-going production of viruses in deep subsurface sediments. ISME J 8:1503–1509.
  • Fichtel K, Logemann J, Fichtel J, Rullkötter J, Cypionka H, Engelen B (2015) Temperature and pressure adaptation of a sulfate reducer from the deep subsurface. Front Microbiol, 6:1078
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