Steffen Kümmel

Contact / Address


Phone +49 (0) 341 235 1360
Fax +49 (0) 341 235 1443

Department Isotope Biogeochemistry
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstraße 15,
04318 Leipzig, Germany

Steffen Kümmel

Curriculum Vitae

From November 2010 PhD-Student at the Department Isotope Biogeochemistry
2008 – 2010 Master of Science in Biochemistry; University of Leipzig, Germany
2005 – 2008 Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry; University of Leipzig, Germany


Investigation of the anaerobic biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are widespread in various ecosystems and are pollutants of great concern due to their potential toxicity. In general PAHs are released into the environment by processes such as accidental discharges during the transport and disposal of petroleum products. Because of their hydrophobic nature, most PAHs bind to particulates in soil and sediments.

Microbial degradation represents the major mechanism responsible for the ecological recovery of PAH-contaminated sites. So far reports on the isolation and physiology of anaerobic PAH degraders are scare. As a part of the European project MAGICPAH (“Molecular Approaches and MetaGenomic Investigations for optimizing Clean-up of PAH contaminated sites”), my project focusses on the characterization of microbial communities which can degrade polycyclic aromatic compounds under anoxic conditions. To determine the potential for degradation of these communities and to elucidate their degradation pathways stable isotope techniques are used. Additional molecular analysis will be applied to obtain further insights into the degradation pathways of PAHs.

I'm supervised by Dr. Carsten Vogt and Dr. Petra Bombach.

Further information about MAGICPAH:

Publications & other contributions

  • Poster presentation at: Annual Conference of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM) in Tübingen; March 18–21, 2012
  • Oral and Poster presentation at: Joint European Stable Isotope Users Group Meeting 2012 (JESIUM 2012) in Leipzig; Sept 2-7, 2012