A toolbox to study subsurface microbial communities
Gerard Muyzer is Professor of Microbial Systems Ecology at the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. He has worked at several universities and different research institutions, including the prestigious Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany. His group is studying the structure, function and dynamics of microbial communities, and their role in biogeochemical cycles and application in biotechnological processes. For this, he is using a systems biology approach in which he combines experimental work, the use of state-of-the-art omics techniques, and mathematical modelling. He and his coworkers are mainly focusing on the microbial sulfur cycle, and in particular on sulfur bacteria that are present in natural ecosystems (e.g. soda lakes, stratified lakes, rhizosphere of seagrasses) as well as in man-made ecosystems, such as full-scale bioreactors removing toxic sulfur compounds from wastewater. In 2012 he obtained a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant to study the microbial diversity in soda lakes, and the molecular mechanisms by which bacteria adapt to the extreme halo-alkaline conditions in these lakes. For more information, see his website www.muyzer.eu and ORCID ID https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2422-0732.
Title of presentation:
Electromicrobiology: getting electrons into the subsurface
Prof. Dr. Ir. Korneel Rabaey (20/11/1977) obtained his PhD in 2005 at Ghent University, and is professor at the Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology (CMET), Department of Biotechnology at Ghent University. He is also honorary professor at The University of Queensland and one of the founders of CAPTURE (www.resourcerecovery.be). He currently leads a research team of 25 postdoctoral and doctoral researchers with a main research focus on the electrification of biotechnology. This implies the use of electricity as direct or indirect driver of biotechnological conversions. Examples are replacement of chemicals for wastewater treatment by electricity, the conversion of CO2 to organic products, bioremediation of groundwater, electricity driven sanitation of septage in India, and so on. His research spans from basic science to technology development and on site implementation. He has authored over 180 peer reviewed articles within this area. As a special interest, he works on the interface between arts and science, working with several artists to create microbiology based artworks. He was a founding member of the International Society for Microbial Electrochemistry and Technology (ISMET), and its President from 2013 – 2015. Since 2018 he is fellow of the International Water Association. He is incoming Executive Editor in Chief of Environmental Science & Ecotechnology.
Ian Head is Professor of Environmental Microbiology in the School Natural and environmental sciences at Newcastle University, UK. Working with petroleum geochemists and environmental engineers he has formulated principles that explain the widespread occurrence of biodegraded oil in petroleum reservoirs. His work is inherently multi-disciplinary and collaboration with Earth scientists (Steve Larter in the University of Calgary and Martin Jones in Newcastle) firmly places his research in a global context. He collaborates closely with colleagues in the petroleum industry where his most recent research has explored the development of microbial communities in petroleum reservoirs on production timescales and working with Casey Hubert in Calgary and others he has extended his research into the realms of reservoir souring and corrosion. He was awarded the International Society for Microbial Ecology’s Young Investigators award in 2004 and was elected a member of the European Academy of Microbiology in 2011, elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology in 2014 and elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2016. He has served on numerous international advisory committees and is currently the Editor in Chief of The ISME Journal the highest-ranking non-review journal in the fields of Microbiology and Ecology.
I competed my PhD in microbiology at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand in 2014. My research focused on the fate and behaviour of enteric viruses in groundwater. After finishing my studies, I was involved in various project that uses viral metagenomics approaches to identify viruses in various ecosystems. Since 2015, I have been working at the Bangor University, on the Viraqua Project (www.viraqua.uk) and at the Shellfish Centre (www.shellfish.wales). My primary research interest is the ecology and survival of viruses in the aquatic environment with a special interest in the fate of enteric viruses. I focus on the recovery of enteric viruses in the aquatic environment in order to quantify infectious viruses, understand viral ecology, describe novel and emerging strains and model viral transport in the environment.
Topics: Environmental Adaption, Diversity, and Functionality of Ecology; Emerging issues
Good luck or good connections? How microbial communities assemble in the subsurface
Since 2014 Full professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany and head of the Biofilm Centre.
Scientific director at the IWW, water research center in Mülheim, Germany.
2007-2014 Full professor at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in parallel to my institute director position at the Helmholtz Zentrum München.
2003-2014 Director of the Institute for Groundwater Ecology at the Helmholtz Center Munich, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany. The institute employed ca. 60 people working in 6 groups on aquifer ecosystem services.
2001-2003 Assistant professor for Geomicrobiology at the Chair for Environmental Mineralogy (Prof. Haderlein) and faculty member at the Center for Applied Geosciences, University of Tübingen, Germany.
1996-2000 Senior scientist at University of Konstanz, Germany in the Microbial Ecology group with Prof. Bernhard Schink. Topic of the work was anaerobic degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons with the following focus.
1993-1995 Postdoc at the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology EAWAG, Dübendorf, Switzerland with Dr. Jan Roelof van der Meer. Objective of the work was to develop novel molecular tools for detection of specific microorganisms and their degradation activity in the environment.
1990-1993 PhD at the ETH-Zürich, Switzerland in the Institute for Molecular Biology and Biophysics with Prof. Zuber. Title of the thesis: Isolation, characterization and structural analysis of the light-harvesting B880-antenna complex of Rhodopseudomonas marina.
1985-1990 Study of biology at University of Konstanz. Master thesis at the department for Microbial Genetics with Prof. Winfried Boos. Title of the work: Characterisation of a periplasmatic maltose-inducible enzyme of Yersinia enterocolitica.
2015 ERC-Advanced grant for studying ecosystem assembly.
Exploring new scientific frontiers beneath the ocean
Fumio Inagaki is a principal senior scientist and the director of the mantle drilling promotion office, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC). His research interests are geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry of the ocean, with special focus on the deep subseafloor biosphere. He uses scientific ocean drilling and the state-of-the-art transdisciplinary approaches to the limits to deep microbial life, ecosystem functionality in biogeochemical carbon cycles, co-evolution of life and Earth, and planetary habitability and its sustainability on Earth and beyond. He was awarded the Taira Prize by the American Geophysical Union, the Cozzarelli Prize by the National Academy of Science, and the Copernicus Medal by the Copernicus Gesellschaft e.V..
Formation and functioning of groundwater microbiomes
Kirsten Küsel studied Geoecology with a focus on hydrology, geochemistry and soil science before she entered the fascinating field of environmental microbiology. During her postdoc time she focused on diversity, function and adaptation strategies of anaerobic bacteria at oxic-anoxic gradients in soils, freshwater and marine sediments. In 2004 she became Professor for Limnology and later Full Professor for Aquatic Geomicrobiology at University of Jena which allows her to combine the fields of microbiology and geoscience. She is also a founding Director of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, a research centre with the mission to establish the scientific basis for the sustainable management of our planet´s biodiversity.
Opening the black box of alpine karst spring water microbiology
Andreas Farnleitner holds a full professorship in the field of microbial diagnostics in water and health at the Karl Landsteiner University for Health Sciences in Krems jointly together with the TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology). He is also Co-head of the Interuniversity Cooperation Centre for Water and Health (www.waterandhealth) and faculty professor at the Vienna Doctoral Programme on Water Resource Systems (www.waterresources.at). He is focusing on the development, evaluation and application of new concepts for microbial water quality investigations, monitoring and management of water resources (drinking, bathing, irrigation). For the last 15 years, a special field of interest has been the microbial water quality of alpine karst springs, as these water resources are of crucial importance for the water supply at many alpine regions.
Development of new pathogen surrogates and synthetic DNA tracers for water applications
Dr Liping Pang is a Science Leader at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research, New Zealand. Her expertise is on the experimental investigations and modelling of contaminant transport in subsurface media, in particular on subsurface microbial transport.
In recent years she has initiated multidisciplinary research in developing a new class of surrogates using biomolecule-modified particles for mimicking pathogen transport and removal in porous media. She is currently leading research into the development of mimics to study Legionella in plumbing systems, protozoan and virus removal from water filtration systems, and the development of synthetic DNA tracers to track water contamination.