Prof. Dr. Antonis Chatzinotas

Our group and the UFZ welcome applications, students and collaborators regardless of nationality, religion, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, or disability status. We believe in diverse perspectives and experiences, and thus want to create an environment that helps to find a wide range of potential solutions for scientific questions, but also for society in general.


Prof. Dr. Antonis Chatzinotas
Group Leader Microbial Interaction Ecology

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

Phone +49 341 235-1324


since 01/2020  Full Professor Microbial Interaction Ecology, Leipzig University

since 11/2007  Group Leader Microbial Systems Ecology, UFZ (new name from January 2020 on: Microbial Interaction Ecology)

2004 - 2007      Scientist, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ

1999-2004        Post-Doc, EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland

1996 - 2000      PhD student, ETHZ Zürich, Switzerland (group Prof. J Zeyer)

11/12 1995        Research visit to the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

1989 - 1995      Studies in Biology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany (Diploma Thesis in group Prof. A. Hartmann, Helmholtz Zentrum München)

Research interests

My team and I aim to understand the diversity of microbes (bacteria, protists) and viruses in natural and engineered ecosystems and to explore the role of their interactions for community compostion, the genetic and functional landscape and biogeochemical cycling.

We ask questions like... do viral and microbial communities respond to environmental change and human activities?
...what are the ecological and biogeochemical consequences of virus-host, predator-prey or bacterial interactions?
...can we use ecology theory, as well as viruses and other microbial predators to better manage microbial systems, nutrient cycling and functions?

In the course of the COVID19-pandemic we shifted some of our capacities towards the monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater as an early warning system for the stread of SARS-CoV-2 in a population.

Selected recent publications:

Microbial and viral diversity

Guerra et al. (2021): Tracking, targeting, and conserving soil biodiversity. Science, 371: 239-241
Kallies et al. (2019): Evaluation of sequencing library preparation protocols for viral metagenomic analsis form pristine aquifer groundwaters. Viruses 11 (6), 484
Cohen et al (2019): Bacteria and microeukaryotes are differently segregated in sympatric wastewater microhabitats. Environmental Microbiology 21: 1757-1770

Microbial ecology and interactions in the context of environmental biotechnology

Vasileiadis et al (2022): Nutritional inter-dependencies and a carbazoledioxygenase are key elements of a bacterial consortium relying on a Sphingomonas for the degradation of the fungicide thiabendazole. Environmental Microbiology (DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.16116)

Cohen et al. (2021). Community and single cell analyses reveal complex predatory interactions between bacteria in high diversity systems. Nature communications, 12(1), 1-13.

Ecology of interactions

You et al. (2022) Phage co-transport with hyphal-riding bacteria fuels bacterial invasion in a water-unsaturated microbial model system. The ISME Journal 16.5: 1275-1283.
Voigt et al. (2021) Phage strategies facilitate bacterial coexistence under environmental variability. PeerJ 9: e12194.

Karakoç et al. (2020): Diversity and coexistence are influenced by time-dependent species interactions in a predator-prey system. Ecology Letters 23:983-993

Ongoing research cooperations

Working Group Microbial Interaction Ecology