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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Recent publications

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

Molecular Microbial 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

Molecular Microbial 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.
Article

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

News

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July 12, 2018

Researchers from Agroscope and Eawag have discovered that, under certain conditions, the herbicide glyphosate is rapidly degraded in Lake Greifen (Greifensee). The evidence strongly suggests that this is due to cyanobacteria using the substance as an alternative source of phosphorus. Read more

The Molecular Microbial Ecology group is involved in a new collaborative reserach project to investigate aquatic microbial ecosystems.

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