Prof. Dr. Thomas Maskow


PD Dr. Thomas Maskow

Department of Microbial Biotechnology
Working Group Ecothermodynamics / Biocalorimetry
Helmholtz Centre for
Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany

Phone +49 341 6025-1328

Thomas Maskow

CV / Scientific Career


Diploma in Theoretical and Physical Chemistry,
TU Leuna-Merseburg


PhD, University of Halle-Wittenberg;
Subject: 'Thermodynamics of complex multicomponent mixtures'


Head of the analytical division of the engineering consultants 'R. Meyer Laboranalysen Umwelttechnik GmbH'


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

since 2001

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


Guest researcher at the Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth (University of Wales Aberystwyth College Research Fund)


Guest researcher at the Laboratoire de Genie Chimique et Biologique (LGCB), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (founded by EPFL)


Habilitation at the Technical University Dresden ' Thermodynamic Characterization and Calorimetric Control of Microorganisms in Transient Growth States '.

2006 - 2009

Election in the ' Scientific and Technical Council ' of the Helmholtz Centre of Environmental Research UFZ

2007 - 2009

Guest researcher for one month per year at China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, Hubei province, P.R. China (founded by DAAD/CSC)

2010 - 2012

Chair person of the ISBC (International Society for Biological Calorimetry)

14 June 2018

 Awarded with the Lavoisier medal by the International Society for Biological Calorimetry (ISBC)

Research interests

I am highly interested in a quantitative understanding of bioconversions in natural and technical systems. This is a basic prerequisite to develop a sustainable chemistry and to clean up polluted sites. Irreversible thermodynamics is for that purpose though particularly valuable but surprisingly seldom used. Thus, I develop both biothermodynamic models and new real time analytical tools for analysis and control of complex biological systems. The field of applications of such models and tools comprises the adaptation of microbes to hostile environments, food webs in ecosystems, new concepts for bioenergy generation and optimization of technical biosynthesizes. The consideration of heterogeneous systems (e.g. biofilms, subsurface processes) or the inclusion of light (e.g. photosynthesis) and electrical energy (e.g. microbial fuel cells) in biothermodynamic considerations are challenges for the future.

Current research

  • Linking energy and matter balances in complex soil systems
  • Biotechnological processes for recycling of microplastics
  • Biothermodynamic models for complex networks in metabolism (system biology) as well as in ecosystems
  • Role of bacteriophages and predatory bacteria in ecosystems (from an bioenergetic perspective)
  • Biological effects of nanoparticles
  • Research on new control strategies for bioprocesses basing on physical signals which reflects metabolic changes in statu nascendi,e.g. calorimetry, impedance spectroscopy and redox processe

Lecture course

Bioprocess technology, BA Riesa, University of cooperative education

Biophysics and biophysical chemistry; study course: Bioprocess engineering (WS), Dresden University of Technology

Innovative potential of white biotechnology; (System biology, Biothermodynamics, Extremophiles); branch of study: Biology and Biochemistry (SS), Leipzig University

Recent publications

2024 (5)

2023 (4)

2022 (4)

2021 (4)

2020 (8)

Complete list of publications