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Hendrik Schäfer's research

Microorganisms carry out a wide range of processes in the biosphere, their metabolic activities turn the wheels of the major biogeochemical cycles. Our research contributes to identifying the microorganisms and metabolic pathways that underpin such biological transformations in marine and terrestrial environments.

A particular focus is on microbial cycling of atmospheric trace gases and their precursors (e.g. dimethylsulfide, dimethylsulfoxide, methanethiol, dimethylsulfoniopropionate, methane, CO, and methyl halides), but we are also studying microbial communities involved in degradation of aromatic compounds.

Experimental approaches include cultivation, microbial physiology, protein purification, genetics, genomics, transriptomics and proteomics of model organisms as well as studying the structure and function of microbial communities using taxonomic and functional genetic markers, stable isotope probing, meta-omics approaches and single cell genomics.

Microbial cycling of organosulfur compounds
Degradation of atmospheric pollutants in the phyllosphere
Methyl halide degrading bacteria