Dr. Bärbel Kiesel


Dr. Bärbel Kiesel

Department of Environmental Microbiology
Working Group Microbial Interaction Ecology
Helmholtz Centre for
Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany

Phone +49 341 235-1327

Bärbel Kiesel

CV / Scientific Career


Diploma in Biology, University of Greifswald


PhD, University of Leipzig;
subject: 'Bacteriophages for Acetobacter methanolicus: Risk factors for technical processes and carriers for genetic information'


Scientist at the Institute of Technical Chemistry of the Academy of Science of the GDR, Leipzig


Scientist at the Institute of Biotechnology of the Academy of Science of the GDR, Leipzig

since 1992

Senior scientist at the Department of Environmental Microbiology at the UFZ Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle

Research interests

My background is an education in microbiology and a specialisation in virology. This led to my today research interest lying in microbial ecology. The focus is directed on structural and functional diversity of microbial communities in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, the habitats of interest are especially contaminated aquifers and soils. The topics I'm working on are:

  • The influence of anthropogenic disturbances on microbial communities
  • Plasmid mediated gene transfer as a source of adaptation and a sink of resistance
  • Bacteriophages as antagonists in food webs and marker systems for host identification

Co-operations / Projects

Seasonal changes in microbial community composition in BTEX contaminated aquifers and wetlands
Description of complex microbial communities using molecular marker techniques and Flow Cytometry (collaboration with AG Flow Cytometry; Dept. ISOBIO)

Bacteriophages as targets for retrospective bacterial host identification
(collaboration with AG Flow Cytometry; Dr. Kleinsteuber; Dept. ISOBIO)

SAFIRA II: Compartment change
Project duration: 2006 - 2013
UFZ project

Species interactions, ecosystem functioning and stability
Horizontal gene transfer and bacteriophage activities as driving forces in community adaptation

SAFIRA II: Compartment change
Project duration: 2006 - 2013
UFZ project

Horizontal gene transfer of antibiotic and metal resistances from pathogenic to environmental bacteria released from wastewater treatment plants
Assessing the effectiveness of sanitation capacities of small wastewater treatment plants
Calculating the risk potential (increasing antibiotic tolerances) of the outflow microbial community after contacting several toxicants

HIGRADE project (Serena Caucci)
Project duration: 2008-2011
Partner: TU Dresden (Prof. Berendonk); BDZ Leipzig (Dr. Stich); UFZ (Dr. Möder)