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Microsensor Group


Group leader

Dr. Dirk de Beer

MPI for Marine Microbiology
Celsiusstr. 1
D-28359 Bremen




+49 421 2028-8040

Dr. Dirk de Beer

We stud­y mi­cro­bial eco­logy in a wide range of en­vir­on­ments: seep sys­tems, deep-sea and coastal sed­i­ments, coral reefs, an­oxic lakes, mi­cro­bial mats, an­imal-as­so­ci­ated mi­crobes and more. The re­search is highly di­verse, encompassing themes of pho­to­syn­thesis, ni­tro­gen and sul­fur cyc­ling, cal­ci­fic­a­tion, hab­itat map­ping, ecosystem productivity and cell physiology.

Most themes in­volve the study of the func­tion­ing of in­tact mi­cro­bial com­munit­ies with non-in­vas­ive meth­ods that al­low as dir­ect an ob­ser­va­tion as pos­sible. To this end, we develop, construct and use microsensors for laboratory and in-situ measurements. These tiny sensors, typically made of extruded glass, have tip sizes in the order of 5-50 μm and can rapidly measure chemical fluxes caused by cells.These microsensors are also applied towards measuring ecosystem fluxes with the eddy covariance technique. We also develop and use several imaging technologies to non-invasively map the function and describe the structure of habitats. The technologies we employ are hyperspectral imaging, planar optode imaging and beta radiation imaging. Naturally, we combine these non-invasive studies with laboratory analyses such as photopigment and gas chromatography, isotopic incubations. nutrient analyses, etc.

To­gether with the MPI work­shops, we con­tinu­ously strive to de­velop novel meth­ods, and ap­ply them in our re­search. We col­lab­or­ate widely with other in­sti­tutes and with groups within the in­sti­tute to share know­ledge and ideas.

More details are available in the project and technology pages.

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