The dark ocean, i.e. the ocean in water depth without photoautotrophic production, is one of the largest ecosystems on Earth. Yet, our knowledge of this virus and microbe dominated ecosystem is still sparse. It is often said that we know more about the surface of the moon than about the deep sea; this is even more appropriate for the water column. Recent findings have resulted in a refinement of the role of ecosystem functions in the dark ocean such as the assessment of a significant role of viral lysis mediated carbon flow in deep sea systems. Metagenomic analysis have shown the dominance of genes associated with particle associated life styles for prokaryotes. Indeed, it has been documented for the deep-sea that large, in situ produced organic aggregates are prominent. Particle-associated life styles of prokaryotes could also explain the infectivity paradox, i.e. the finding that viral abundances and infection of prokaryotes is high in the deep-sea, although the low host density is low. The applications of new and more traditional techniques allows us now to apply an eco-system biology approach to understand the diversity and functioning of the dark ocean.
Marine microbial ecology
Ecology of marine bacteriophages
Molecular tools in microbial ecology
Effects of aerosols on the diversity and functioning of marine food webs
Scientific education and research positions:
• Research Scientist. CNRS-CR1. Laboratoire d’Océanographique de Villefranche. Start: January, 2002.
• Scientific collaborator (postdoc). EU project AIRWIN. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, The Netherlands. 2000-2001.
• European Union-visiting scientist (TMR grant). National Research Center for Biotechnology, AG Microbial Ecology, Germany. 1998-2000
• Scientific collaborator (postdoc). National Research Center for Biotechnology, AG Microbial Ecology, Germany. 1996-1998.
• Scientific collaborator (postdoc). University of Texas at Austin, Marine Science Institute, USA. 1994-1996.
• Dr. rer. nat., Zoology. 1994. University of Vienna, Austria.
• Mag. rer. nat., Biology. 1991. University of Vienna, Austria.