Department Environmental Microbiology

Environmental Microbiology

Our research focuses on microbial life and activities in the environment. We strive to understand the basic rules and principles that govern the functioning of microbes and microbial communities, and then apply those principles to solve pressing applied problems.

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Pathogens and Human Health: Article about the risk factors for contamination of E. coli in soil, drinking water and handwashing water and on the hands of the residents in urban Harare, Simbabwe. Article

Microbial Systems Ecology: Article about "bacterial memory" - the question whether individual bacterial cells can store information about the conditions that they encountered in the recent past, and use this information to better cope with environmental fluctuations. Article

Microbial Systems Ecology: Article about the importance of bacterial individuality: limitations in the external supply of nutrients leads to metabolic differences between individual cells, and this allows populations of bacteria to cope with environmental fluctuations. Article

Drinking Water Microbiology: A paper showing the influence of pipe material composition with respect to biofilm quantity and composition, with specific focus on flexible shower hoses.

Microbial community assembly: Article about the "division of metabolic labor". Addresses the question of why different steps of metabolic pathways are sometimes distributed among different microbial genotypes. Article

Umik Seminars


August 15, 2019

Swiss groundwater contains numerous pesticide degradation products. This has been discovered by an extensive screening by Eawag and ETH Zurich. The transformation products (metabolites) originate predominantly from pesticides from agriculture. Read more

Open position

Tenure-track Group Leader in Environmental Microbiology

We are seeking excellent scientists with a strong track record to establish an innovative, independent research program with a clear vision to advance the field of microbiology of natural or engineered aquatic systems.

Open position