We are teaching courses in General Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology, Geomicrobiology and Molecular Ecology and offer lab courses and field trips in Geomicrobiology. Detailed information can be found here.
The development of the biosphere is closely linked to earth’s evolution, geochemical conditions and surface processes. The geomicrobiology course gives an introduction into the basics of biological processes and the diversity of organisms with focus on the interaction between the biosphere and the geosphere.
- Molecular fundamentals of life
- Geomicrobiological processes
- Biogeochemical cycles
- Microbial ecology
- The physiology and evolution of the prokaryotes
- Fundamentals of biogeochemistry
- Fundamentals in molecular biology
- Identification and localization of microorganisms (DNA extraction, PCR, gel electrophoresis, DNA sequencing, development of primer and molecular probes, FISH, quantitative PCR)
- Molecular biological fingerprints (DGGE, T-RFLP, ARISA, SARST)
- Diversity and properties of microbial communities
- The concept of species and speciation
- Structure and functions of microbial ecosystems (e.g. soils, sediments, deep sea, deep biosphere, rocks, extreme habitats, the human body)
- General environmental microbiology and geomicrobiology
- Microbial degradation of pollutants, bioaccumulation
- Redox zonation, thermodynamics
- Monod and Michaelis-Menten kinetics
- Microbe-mineral interactions
- Biogeochemical cycles
- Deep biosphere
During the lab course basic geomicrobiological and molecular biology techniques will be taught (first week) and applied during a research project (second week).
- Cultivation and microscopic characterization of microorganisms
- Quantification of microbial activities
- Investigation of microbial mineral (trans)formation
- Molecular biological methods (DNA extraction, PCR, DGGE)
- Active participation in a current research project of the Geomicrobiology research group
The field trip focuses on the geomicrobiology and subsurface geochemistry in high mountain habitats and in cold water mineral springs.
- Iron dominated microbial habitats in former mine shafts
- Low temperature geochemistry in mineral iron and sulfur springs
- Hydrologic changes in glacier retreat areas
- Nutrient fertilization and biogeochemical cycling on high altitude aquatic ecosystems
- Soil formation in glacier flood plains
- Initial colonization by microorganisms
- Mineral water formation
Here are some video impressions from the field trip.