The Ruff Lab investigates the ecology and ecophysiology of microbial communities. We are interested in the metabolisms, mutualistic interactions, and exchanged metabolites that enable the coexistence of microbial populations, the colonization of unfavorable habitats and the emergence of novel community functions. Currently, we focus on
- microorganisms degrading polymeric organic matter in hydrothermal sediments
- microorganisms forming phototrophic blooms in estuarine ecosystems
- microorganisms dwelling in groundwater aquifers and other subsurface ecosystems
To obtain broad insights into such food webs we are using a combination of in situ and in vitro methods including batch- and continuous cultivation, multi-omics, microscopy and biogeochemistry. Take a look at our research projects, meet our lab members and succumb to the wonders of the microcosmos.