Life on Earth would not be possible without a continuous recycling of the chemical elements. These essential biogeochemical cycles are mainly catalysed by microorganisms, which are ubiquitous in all ecoystems and reach an enormous diversity and abundance. The key research area "Micobial Ecology and Ecosystems" examines the diversity and function of these microorganisms. It characterises the biogeochemical transformations in natural and anthropogenic ecosystems driven by microbial activities. As all life relies on microbial processes, this knowledge is essential to understand the biology of our planet and the consequences of perturbations induced by human activities.
Speakers: Gerhard Herndl, Michael Wagner