Dr. Niculina Musat

Contact / Addess:


Phone +49 (0) 341 235 4656
Fax +49 (0) 341 235 450822

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstrasse 15
04318 Leipzig

Dr. Niculina Musat

Curriculum Vitae

Since April 2012 Scientific Head of the Single Cell - NanoSIMS unit
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ
Department of Isotope Biogeochemistry
2008 - 2012 Scientist
Max-Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany
2006 - 2008 Post-Doctoral Fellow
Max-Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany.
Ph.D. in Biology
University of Bremen and Max-Planck Institute, Bremen, Germany
Apr. - Dec.
Research Assistant, National Institute for Research and Development in Physics and Nuclear Engineering, ‘Horia-Hulubei’, Romania
2000 - 2001 Research Assistant
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Biology (half-time job)
2000 - 2001 Biologist
Shigella – Pseudomonas Department, Cantacuzino Institute, Bucharest, Romania
M. Sc. in Microbiology and Microbial Genetics
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Biology, Romania
B.Sc. in Biology
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Biology, Romania

Field of Expertise

  • Microbial Molecular Ecology
  • Nano-scale Secondary Ion mass Spectrometry (nanoSIMS) applications in microbiology field
  • Single cell analyses using fluorescence microscopy e.g. FISH, CARD-FISH and other techniques such as Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Laser dissection microscopy (LMD)
  • Stable isotope labeling of biological samples

Main Research Interests

  • Development of novel methods to study single microbial cells in the environment using single cell techniques e.g., nanoSIMS, AFM, LMD and correlative microscopy
  • Linking metabolic activity to genetic identity of microorganisms in environmental samples
  • Microbial nitrogen, carbon and sulfur cycling in the oxygen-deficient terrestrial environments
  • Quantifying the function of uncultivated, yet novel microorganisms, in their natural habitat


  • Alonso, C., Musat, N., Kuypers, M.M.M., Amann, R., (2012):
    HISH–SIMS analysis of bacterial uptake of algal-derived carbon in the Río de la Plata estuary
    Syst. Appl. Microbiol. 35 (8), 541 - 548
    full text (url)
  • Bader, M., Müller, K., Foerstendorf, H., Drobot, B., Schmidt, M., Musat, N., Swanson, J.S., Reed, D.T., Stumpf, T., Cherkouk, A., (2017):
    Multistage bioassociation of uranium onto an extremely halophilic archaeon revealed by a unique combination of spectroscopic and microscopic techniques
    J. Hazard. Mater. 327 , 225 - 232
    full text (url)
  • Bader, M., Rossberg, A., Steudtner, R., Drobot, B., Großmann, K., Schmidt, M., Musat, N., Stumpf, T., Ikeda-Ohno, A., Cherkouk, A., (2018):
    Impact of Haloarchaea on speciation of uranium—A multispectroscopic approach
    Environ. Sci. Technol. 52 (12), 12895 - 12904
    full text (url)
  • Cassarini, C., Bhattarai, S., Rene, E.R., Vogt, C., Musat, N., Esposito, G., Lens, P.N.L., (2018):
    Enrichment of anaerobic methanotrophs in biotrickling filters using different sulfur compounds as electron acceptor
    Environ. Eng. Sci.
    full text (url)
  • Jaekel, U., Musat, N., Adam, B., Kuypers, M., Grundmann, O., Musat, F., (2013):
    Anaerobic degradation of propane and butane by sulfate-reducing bacteria enriched from marine hydrocarbon cold seeps
    ISME J. 7 (5), 885 - 895
    full text (url)
  • Jiang, H., Kilburn, M.R., Decelle, J., Musat, N., (2016):
    NanoSIMS chemical imaging combined with correlative microscopy for biological sample analysis
    Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 41 , 130 - 135
    full text (url)
  • Krupke, A., Musat, N., LaRoche, J., Mohr, W., Fuchs, B.M., Amann, R.I., Kuypers, M.M.M., Foster, R.A., (2013):
    In situ identification and N2 and C fixation rates of uncultivated cyanobacteria populations
    Syst. Appl. Microbiol. 36 (4), 259 - 271
    full text (url)
  • McNichol, J., Stryhanyuk, H., Sylva, S.P., Thomas, F., Musat, N., Seewald, J.S., Sievert, S.M., (2018):
    Primary productivity below the seafloor at deep-sea hot springs
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 115 (26), 6756 - 6761
    full text (url)
  • Musat, F., Musat, N., (2017):
    Measuring the impact of hydrocarbons on rates of nitrogen fixation
    In: McGenity, T.J., Timmis, K.N., Nogales, B., (eds.)
    Hydrocarbon and lipid microbiology protocols. Activities and phenotypes
    Springer Protocols Handbooks
    Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, p. 81 - 97
    full text (url)
  • Musat, N., Musat, F., Weber, P.K., Pett-Ridge, J., (2016):
    Tracking microbial interactions with NanoSIMS
    Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 41 , 114 - 121
    final draft (pdf)
  • Musat, N., Stryhanyuk, H., Bombach, P., Adrian, L., Audinot, J.-N., Richnow, H.H., (2014):
    The effect of FISH and CARD-FISH on the isotopic composition of 13C- and 15N-labeled Pseudomonas putida cells measured by nanoSIMS
    Syst. Appl. Microbiol. 37 (4), 267 - 276
    full text (url)
  • Rotaru, A.-E., Calabrese, F., Stryhanyuk, H., Musat, F., Shrestha, P.M., Weber, H.S., Snoeyenbos-West, O.L.O., Hall, P.O.J., Richnow, H.H., Musat, N., Thamdrup, B., (2018):
    Conductive particles enable syntrophic acetate oxidation between Geobacter and Methanosarcina from coastal sediments
    mBio 9 (3), e00226-18
    full text (url)
  • Saatz, J., Stryhanyuk, H., Vetterlein, D., Musat, N., Otto, M., Reemtsma, T., Richnow, H.H., Daus, B., (2016):
    Location and speciation of gadolinium and yttrium in roots of Zea mays by LA-ICP-MS and ToF-SIMS
    Environ. Pollut. 216 , 245 - 252
    full text (url)
  • Schkolnik, G., Schmidt, M., Mazza, M.G., Harnisch, F., Musat, N., (2015):
    In situ analysis of a silver nanoparticle-precipitating Shewanella biofilm by surface enhanced confocal Raman microscopy
    PLOS One 10 (12), e0145871
    full text (url)
  • Sheik, A.R., Brussaard, C.P.D., Lavik, G., Foster, R.A., Musat, N., Adam, B., Kuypers, M.M.M., (2013):
    Viral infection of Phaeocystis globosa impedes release of chitinous star-like structures: quantification using single cell approaches
    Environ. Microbiol. 15 (5), 1441 - 1451
    full text (url)
  • Sheik, A.R., Brussaard, C.P.D., Lavik, G., Lam, P., Musat, N., Krupke, A., Littmann, S., Strous, M., Kuypers, M.M.M., (2014):
    Responses of the coastal bacterial community to viral infection of the algae Phaeocystis globosa
    ISME J. 8 (1), 212 - 225
    full text (url)
  • Stryhanyuk, H., Calabrese, F., Kümmel, S., Musat, F., Richnow, H.-H., Musat, N., (2018):
    Calculation of single cell assimilation rates from SIP-nanoSIMS-derived isotope ratios: a comprehensive approach
    Front. Microbiol. 9 , art. 2342
    full text (url)
  • Stryhanyuk, H., Musat, N., Richnow, H.-H., (2015):
    Quantitative imaging of microbial-mediated biochemical processes with secondary ion mass spectrometry
    In: Daus, B., Bings, N., Leopold, K., Otto, M., Panne, U., Welz, U., Wennrich, R., (eds.)
    Canas ’15. Colloquium Analytische Atomspektroskopie, 8.–11. März 2015, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung – UFZ Leipzig. Colloquium Analytical Atomic Spectroscopy, 8–11 March, 2015, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ Leipzig
    Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung - UFZ, Leipzig, p. 59
  • Svedén, J.B., Adam, B., Walve, J., Nahar, N., Musat, N., Lavik, G., Whitehouse, M.J., Kuypers, M.M.M., Ploug, H., (2015):
    High cell-specific rates of nitrogen and carbon fixation by the cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon sp. at low temperatures in the Baltic Sea
    FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 91 (12), fiv131
    full text (url)
  • Thompson, A.W., Foster, R.A., Krupke, A., Carter, B.J., Musat, N., Vaulot, D., Kuypers, M.M.M., Zehr, J.P., (2012):
    Unicellular cyanobacterium symbiotic with a single-celled eukaryotic alga
    Science 337 (6101), 1546 - 1550
    full text (url)
  • Worrich, A., Stryhanyuk, H., Musat, N., König, S., Banitz, T., Centler, F., Frank, K., Thullner, M., Harms, H., Richnow, H.-H., Miltner, A., Kästner, M., Wick, L.Y., (2017):
    Mycelium-mediated transfer of water and nutrients stimulates bacterial activity in dry and oligotrophic environments
    Nat. Commun. 8 , art. 15472
    full text (url)
  • Zimmermann, M., Escrig, S., Hübschmann, T., Kirf, M.K., Brand, A., Inglis, R.F., Musat, N., Müller, S., Meibom, A., Ackermann, M., Schreiber, F., (2015):
    Phenotypic heterogeneity in metabolic traits among single cells of a rare bacterial species in its natural environment quantified with a combination of flow cell sorting and NanoSIMS
    Front. Microbiol. 6 , art. 243
    full text (url)


M.Sc. thesis: “Comparative analyses of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains isolated from clinical products and natural environments.” University of Bucharest, Romania (February 2001)
Ph.D thesis: “Molecular characterization of symbiotic associations between chemoautotrophic sulphur-oxidizing microorganisms and nematodes in shallow marine sediments”. University of Bremen and Max-Planck Institute, Bremen, Germany (PhD defence, June 2006).