EU FP7 Project EnviGuard

The international EnviGuard consortium consists of 21 partners, who aim to develop an in-situ measurement device for man-made chemical contaminants and biohazards (i.e. microorganisms and toxins from biological sources) which are currently hard to measure. The device to be developed under the project would be used as an early warning system for the European aquaculture sector and as an environmental monitoring tool to assess the Good Environmental Status (GES) of the sea. In this project we led a work package that delivered a prototype of a fully automated nucleic biosensor for the enumeration of toxic algae such as Pseudnitzschia sp., or different species of the genus Alexandrium sp.

FRAM (Frontiers in Arctic Marine Monitoring)

The development of a standardized molecular observation strategy for marine eukaryotic microbes is tightly linked and directly contributes to the establishment of the FRAM microbial observatory that aims to monitor and understand how ongoing environmental changes affect Arctic marine prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial communities and how these changes will alter their role in global element cycling. Within FRAM our group carries out all research related to the development, evaluation and standardization of molecular methods for surveillance of eukaryotic microbes at different scales and from different marine environments.  


The work of our group is well embedded in the group Plankton Ecology and Biogeochemistry in a Changing Arctic Ocean (PEBCAO) at the AWI that investigates biogeochemical parameters in the water column of the Arctic Ocean on a regular basis to better understand the impact of a variable environment on ecological processes in the Arctic ocean.

ICES Working Group on Plankton and Microbial Ecology

The ICES Working Group on Phytoplankton and Microbial Ecology (WGPME) provides reviews and advice on the sampling methods and diversity issues of phytoplankton and other planktonic microbes. Our group contributes to the aims of this ICES working group by having a key role in the effort of the group to evaluate the potential, challenges and benefits of an integration of molecular methods in routine long term observation of eukaryotic marine microbes. E.g. in October 2017 we were involved in the organization of the symposium: High Throughput Methods for Application in Marine Biodiversity Time Series: Addressing their Challenges to fulfil their Promises.