Research Group of Aquatic Microbiology (IBED-AMB)
Aquatic Microbiology studies the ecology of micro-organisms in aquatic environments. Aquatic micro-organisms include viruses, bacteria, phytoplankton, fungi, and zooplankton. Research spans a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from the molecular biology and physiology towards the population dynamics and ecosystem ecology of aquatic micro-organisms.
Aquatic Microbiology at the University of Amsterdam focuses on phytoplankton. Phytoplankton species are microscopically small plants that wander through the water columns of freshwater and marine ecosystems. Though invisible for the naked eye, phytoplankton species are key players. Population densities typically range from 1,000 to 1.000,000 individuals per milliliter of surface water. Phytoplankton is responsible for ca. 40% of the photosynthetic carbon fixation on planet Earth, and provides the basis of the food web in nearly all aquatic ecosystems.
Aquatic Microbiology has both fundamental and applied aspects. Fundamental research focuses on unraveling of the molecular, physiological, and ecological properties of phytoplankton species. Applied aspects are generally a spin-off of fundamental research, with applications in biotechnology, water management, nature conservation, and global change studies.
Read an interview with Aquatic Microbiologist Jolanda Verspagen