Value Statement

We research the chemodynamics and microbial ecology of contaminant biotransformation for improved environmental (bio-)technology in natural and built environments.

Research Topics

Process-based description of the biotransformation and chemodynamics of organic contaminants in natural and built environments including:

  1. Ecology and bioavailability of contaminant biotransformation: Chemodynamics and microbial (bacterial/ phage) dispersal ecology for improved biotransformation and nutrient cycling .
  2. Mycosphere ecology (mycoremediation): ecology of contaminant biotransformation in the mycosphere; mycoremediation based on bacterial activation and dispersal by fungi (‘fungal highways’).
  3. Prediction of soil microbial pesticide degradation potential at field scale: Combining proximal and remote sensing techniques with microbial activity analysis.
  4. Electrokinetics and electro-bioremediation: Use of electrokinetic approaches for the clean-up of contaminated matrices and water.

The many faces of the Bioavailability Group
The many faces of the Bioavailability Group on a sunny day in June 2022


Dr. Marie Uksa


Jana Reichenbach
Birgit Würz


Magdalena Friedrich \ RWTH Aachen
Mihai-Cristian Grimm \ Babeș-Bolyai University

Guest Scientists

Washington Logrono
Nelson Khan \ University of Nairobi

  • Characterization of physico-chemical surfaces properties of bacteria and fungal mycelia (contact angle, surface charge, biosurfactant production)
  • GC-based stable isotope approaches for the assessment of substrate bioavailability to single cells and microbial communities
  • Quantification of bacterial chemotaxis, degradation kinetics and deposition rates to surfaces
  • Computer-based visualisation and quantification of bacterial motility and dispersal
  • Chemical analytical techniques and laboratory model-systems permitting for full control of experimental variables and bioavailable substrate fluxes
  • Electrokinetic and fungus-based dispersal of bacteria and chemicals in porous media

  • 2021-2027: Tapping nature’s potential for sustainable production and a healthy environment – towards a waste-minimized sustainable bioeconomy: TapNature
  • 2021-2025: Phages as vectors and indicators of biological information in the Earth‘s Critical Zone: Deutsche Forschungs Gemeinschaft - Collaborative Research Centre AquaDiva (CRC AquaDiva (AquaDiva): AquaDiva
  • 2022-2026: Fungi as drivres of pesticide biodegradation and water retention in soil.
  • 2020-2024: Electric field effects on sorption and microbial degradation of waterborne (urban) contaminants
  • 2016-2022: Role of compost derived fungi for the colonization of the rhizosphere of table grapes by plant beneficial bacteria (Universidad de La Frontera; Prof. Milko A. Jorquera, Temuco, Chile)
  • 2019-2022: Explorando el rol de los hongos en la dispersión de rizobacterias en praderas establecidos en la Patagonia Chilena (MEC80180048), partner: Universidad de la Frontera, Temuco, Chile.
  • 2019-2022: Elucidating biomarkers and functions of bacterial-fungal interactions during the degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons at changing environmental conditions (Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Pau, France) (FungDeg).


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