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Environmental MicrobiologyCurrent Projects

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Current Projects

PrePat (Prediction of pathogen transport in groundwater)

Development and application of non-pathogens and extracellular DNA for predicting transport and attenuation of pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes in groundwater (PrePaT). Water-borne diseases are of emerging concern even more so with challenges due to climate change, based on both, droughts and floods. Globally estimated 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water which suffers from faecal contamination and every year 2–5 million people die from waterborne diseases. The situation is even more strained by decades of misuse and over-consumption of antibiotics that has exerted enormous selective pressure on bacterial communities, driving the evolution of antibiotic resistances. more to: PrePat (Prediction of pathogen transport in groundwater)

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UWI Urban Water Interfaces (DFG research training group 2032)

The aim of this thesis is to study the potential of both defined and natural biofilm communities to degrade (recalcitrant) pollutants such as paracetamol, diclofenac, carbamazepine and iodinated contrast media of urban water systems. more to: UWI Urban Water Interfaces (DFG research training group 2032)

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Investigation of biofilm and malodour formation in commercial washing machines

Washing machines are an indispensable part of most households. When used regularly, these machines are exposed to large quantities of microorganisms from drinking water and laundry. Some of the organisms introduced into the machine while washing can attach themselves to parts of the machine and colonize them. The formation of biofilms can lead to far-reaching problems. more to: Investigation of biofilm and malodour formation in commercial washing machines

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Microbial transformation processes

Within this research project we analyse how microorganisms influence the fate of pollutants from anthopogenic and natural origin. We study the interaction of microorganisms with various types of pollutants ranging from low-molecular weight substances such as pharmaceuticals to high-molecular weight compounds such as plastic materials and try to elucidate their transformation pathways. more to: Microbial transformation processes

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Phage Research

Bacteriophages, or in short phages, are viruses that specifically infect bacteria. Phages are extremely simple organisms, composed of a nucleic acid containing the genetic information, and a protective protein shell (capsid). Despite its simplicity, they have been extremely useful for understanding the fundamental principles of molecular biology. more to: Phage Research

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Microbial communities in biogas plants

Biogas reactors contain microbial communities, including Archaea, Bacteria and, Phages, which are responsible for biogas production. The focus of this research is specifically on microbial processes in semi-continuous biogas reactors. more to: Microbial communities in biogas plants

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Experimental studies of the effects of thermal energy storage in an aquifer (Geo-En)

The aim of the project is to use highly efficient geothermal energy by means of the "Integral Probe Type II" and to develop an innovative process for its operation and thus to achieve a fundamental leap in performance. more to: Experimental studies of the effects of thermal energy storage in an aquifer (Geo-En)

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Development of a molecular biology-driven Online-Toximeter

In this project, in cooperation with the LAR GmbH, a new type of highly sensitive yet robust Online-Toximeter is developed for low-cost environmental monitoring of water quality. more to: Development of a molecular biology-driven Online-Toximeter

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Iron Bacteria / Well Clogging

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The project WellMa is a cooperation project with different partners out of research and industry. Aim of the project is to explore the processes and influencing variables of well clogging. Especially geological and hydrochemical, as well as the structural and operational conditions are of interest. more to: Iron Bacteria / Well Clogging

BIOLogy and Mars EXperiment (BIOMEX)

The stability of biogenic organic compounds and the potential of organisms to survive under Mars and space conditions are subjects of the "BIOlogy and Mars EXperiment" (BIOMEX). The project has two scientific objectives: 1. Definition of biosignatures: database development based on Raman analysis data of exposed samples. 2. Resistance capability of organisms and biomolecules against conditions of space and the martian surface; these date shall contribute to clarification if transport of life in space is possible (theory of Lithopanspermia) and if life could exist on Mars. more to: BIOLogy and Mars EXperiment (BIOMEX)

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