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University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE)

Founded 1654, University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) is one of the largest public university in Germany with more than 42,000 students in 244 different study courses. The UDE currently employs 5,706 people, of which 499 are appointed as professors and the academic staff is currently 3,647 employees, distributed over 12 departments. The total revenue of the university is 471 M€, whereas 117.7 M€ are expenditures of third-part funds.


Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology

The EMB (Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology)is a department of the Faculty of Chemistry and the core subject of the Bachelor's/Master's degree course in Water Science. With the research groups of Prof. Bettina Siebers (appointed in 2008) and Prof. Rainer Meckenstock (2014) and Prof. Alexander Probst (2018), the EMB has developed into a competence centre for environmental microbiology in recent years.


Group for Aquatic Microbial Ecology

The Group for Aquatic Microbial Ecology (GAME) is part of the EMB and was established in late 2017 by Alexander Probst. GAME has a strong focus on understanding subsurface and aquatic microbial ecosystems. The Group utilizes mainly bioinformatics and microscopy methods that use metagenomics for hypothesis generation.


UDE, represented by Dr. Alexander Probst and Dr. André R. Soares will drive the completion of WP4, which aims at processing raw environmental sequencing data (metagenomes) generated from sediment samples collected in WP1. Upon the completion of WP2, Dr. André R. Soares will make use of high-end bioinformatics software and code developed by the GAME to recover bacterial, archaeal and viral metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs). This will not only contribute greatly to the current understanding of the structure, composition and function of the hydrocarbon seep microbiome, but also provide insights into which of these MAGs are specific to hydrocarbon seeps. With this, it will be possible to infer the roles and effects indigenous microbes have in hydrocarbon biogeochemistry that will also be relevant for other similar environments across the globe.


Dr. Alexander J. Probst

Principal Investigator

Dr. André R. Soares

Postdoctoral Researcher and UDE Project Manager