Helmut Bürgmann

Dr. Helmut Bürgmann

Microbial Ecology

Department Surface Waters Research & Management

About Me

Head of the Surface Waters - Research and Management department and the Microbial Ecology research group.

Research interests
Dissemination and evolution of antimicrobial resistance in the aquatic environment.
Microbial nitrogen, carbon, and sulfur cycling.
Structure - function relationships in microbial communities.
Linking gene expression to biochemical processes in environmental microbial communities.
Microbial interaction with ecosystem processes on various scales.

Recent research grants
2018 Fate of antibiotic resistance in post-ozonation biofilter treatment. H. Bürgmann. FOEN contract # 00.519.PZ/R114-1489 (64 kCHF)
2016 Swiss River Resistome. H. Bürgmann. National Research Program NFP72 “Antimicrobial Resistance” project (479 kCHF)
2016 Advanced understanding of autotrophic nitrogen removal and associated N2O emissions in mixed nitritation-anammox systems through combined stable ISOtopic and MOLecular constraints (ISOMOL). M. Lehmann (U. Basel), H. Bürgmann, A. Joss, J. Mohn. Swiss National Science Foundation SINERGIA grant (1.484 kCHF)
2016 The regulation of nitrogen turnover in lakes. B. Müller, H. Bürgmann. Swiss National Science Foundation grant (450 kCHF)
2015 Antimicrobial resistance in Swiss drinking water sources and drinking water. SVGW / FOWA: Forschungs, Enwicklungs- und Förderungsfonds der Schweizer Wasserversorgungsbranche. H. Bürgmann (30 kCHF) 
2015 Understanding resistance gene flow during passage of wastewater treatment (RESIST-Flow). H. Bürgmann, A. Johnson, C. McArdell. Eawag Discretionary Funds project (176 kCHF)
2015 Understanding the diversity of aerobic methane oxidizing bacteria in lacustrine oxyclines using community ecology and trait-based modeling (MOBtrait). H. Bürgmann, A. Brandt (460 kCHF) 

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Wastewater is a source of antibiotic resistant bacteria. We study their dissemination in the aquatic environment, and strategies to remove them.
Niches and traits of methanotroph bacteria in stratified lakes are studied with the ultimate goal to improve process models.
We study the ecological stability of anammox biofilms, which are responsible for the autotrophic Nitrogen removal in mixed nitritation-anammox systems.
How is nitrate removed from lakes?

The Cycle of Nitrogen in Lakes

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Curriculum Vitae

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Ju, F.; Beck, K.; Yin, X.; Maccagnan, A.; McArdell, C. S.; Singer, H. P.; Johnson, D. R.; Zhang, T.; Bürgmann, H. (2019) Wastewater treatment plant resistomes are shaped by bacterial composition, genetic exchange, and upregulated expression in the effluent microbiomes, ISME Journal, 13(2), 346-360, doi:10.1038/s41396-018-0277-8, Institutional Repository
Bürgmann, H.; Frigon, D.; Gaze, W.; Manaia, C.; Pruden, A.; Singer, A. C.; Smets, B.; Zhang, T. (2018) Water and sanitation: an essential battlefront in the war on antimicrobial resistance, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 94(9), fiy101 (14 pp.), doi:10.1093/femsec/fiy101, Institutional Repository
Vikesland, P. J.; Pruden, A.; Alvarez, P. J. J.; Aga, D. S.; Buergmann, H.; Li, X.; Manaia, C. M.; Nambi, I. M.; Wigginton, K. R.; Zhang, T.; Zhu, Y.-G. (2017) Towards a comprehensive strategy to mitigate dissemination of environmental sources of antibiotic resistance, Environmental Science and Technology, 51(22), 13061-13069, doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b03623, Institutional Repository
Sommer, T.; Danza, F.; Berg, J.; Sengupta, A.; Constantinescu, G.; Tokyay, T.; Bürgmann, H.; Dressler, Y.; Sepúlveda Steiner, O.; Schubert, C. J.; Tonolla, M.; Wüest, A. (2017) Bacteria-induced mixing in natural waters, Geophysical Research Letters, 44(18), 9424-9432, doi:10.1002/2017GL074868, Institutional Repository
Czekalski, N.; von Gunten, U.; Bürgmann, H. (2016) Antibiotikaresistenzen im Wasserkreislauf. Ein Überblick über die Situation in der Schweiz, Aqua & Gas, 96(9), 72-80, Institutional Repository
Berendonk, T. U.; Manaia, C. M.; Merlin, C.; Fatta-Kassinos, D.; Cytryn, E.; Walsh, F.; Bürgmann, H.; Sørum, H.; Norström, M.; Pons, M.-N.; Kreuzinger, N.; Huovinen, P.; Stefani, S.; Schwartz, T.; Kisand, V.; Baquero, F.; Martinez, J. L. (2015) Tackling antibiotic resistance: the environmental framework, Nature Reviews Microbiology, 13(5), 310-317, doi:10.1038/nrmicro3439, Institutional Repository
Czekalski, N.; Sigdel, R.; Birtel, J.; Matthews, B.; Bürgmann, H. (2015) Does human activity impact the natural antibiotic resistance background? Abundance of antibiotic resistance genes in 21 Swiss lakes, Environment International, 81, 45-55, doi:10.1016/j.envint.2015.04.005, Institutional Repository
Czekalski, N.; Díez, E. G.; Bürgmann, H. (2014) Wastewater as a point source of antibiotic-resistance genes in the sediment of a freshwater lake, ISME Journal, 8(7), 1381-1390, doi:10.1038/ismej.2014.8, Institutional Repository
Freimann, R.; Bürgmann, H.; Findlay, S. E. G.; Robinson, C. T. (2013) Bacterial structures and ecosystem functions in glaciated floodplains: contemporary states and potential future shifts, ISME Journal, 7(12), 2361-2373, doi:10.1038/ismej.2013.114, Institutional Repository
Köllner, K. E.; Carstens, D.; Schubert, C. J.; Zeyer, J.; Bürgmann, H. (2013) Impact of particulate organic matter composition and degradation state on the vertical structure of particle-associated and planktonic lacustrine bacteria, Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 69(1), 81-92, doi:10.3354/ame01623, Institutional Repository
Köllner, K. E.; Carstens, D.; Keller, E.; Vazquez, F.; Schubert, C. J.; Zeyer, J.; Bürgmann, H. (2012) Bacterial chitin hydrolysis in two lakes with contrasting trophic statuses, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 78(3), 695-704, doi:10.1128/AEM.06330-11, Institutional Repository
Pasche, N.; Schmid, M.; Vazquez, F.; Schubert, C. J.; Wüest, A.; Kessler, J. D.; Pack, M. A.; Reeburgh, W. S.; Bürgmann, H. (2011) Methane sources and sinks in Lake Kivu, Journal of Geophysical Research G: Biogeosciences, 116(G3), G03006 (16 pp.), doi:10.1029/2011JG001690, Institutional Repository

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Phone: +41 58 765 2165
Fax: +41 58 765 2168
Address: Eawag
Seestrasse 79
6047 Kastanienbaum
Office: SL B20

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Expert of

bacterioplankton, microbes, surface water

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Research Focus

Microbial Ecology of Freshwaters

Resistance and Resilience of microbial communities

Antimicrobial resistance in environmental bacteria

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