Microbial Nitrogen Cycling - From Single Cells to Ecosystems (Graduate Program)
Understanding the contribution of microorganisms to ecosystem processes remains one of the most compelling challenges in ecology and requires a high degree of interdisciplinary research. Ten faculty members from three departments have designed a joint PhD program with highly integrated, interdisciplinary and international education, training and research, dedicated to creating knowledge and expertise in both microbial ecology and ecosystems research in the area of microbial nitrogen cycling. My group is researching into the role of microbial groups in N turnover at a very fine phylogenetic resolution and covering microorganisms of all domains of life (archaea, bacteria and fungi) by Chip-SIP (isotope array approach with NanoSIMS). Our work will focus on the question which soil microbial taxa are mainly involved in the decomposition of high molecular weight organic N (e.g. chitin, peptidoglycan, protein, humus) and thus play a key role in terrestrial N cycling, and whether there are differences in the uptake and utilization of easily assimilable N forms (e.g. amino acids, amino sugars, ammonium or nitrate) in various microbial taxa, i.e. if there are different microbial N utilization strategies.
Link to external webpage: Graduate Program Microbial N Cycling
The Graduate Program is funded by the FWF - Austrian Science Fund