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Dr Michaela A. Mausz

Michaela A. Mausz


Michaela A. Mausz, Dr.

School of Life Sciences
Gibbet Hill Campus
The University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK

Phone: +44 (0) 24-7652 2697


Postdoc 2, University of Warwick, UK (since 2017)

Postdoc 1, University of Warwick, UK (2014-2017)

Dr. rer. nat., Bioorganic analytics, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, GER (2010-2014)

Mag. rer. nat., Ecology/Marine biology, University of Vienna, AUT (2002-2008)

Project - Postdoc 2

Transmembrane transport and nutrient uptake

within the Project: Ecophysiology of membrane lipid remodelling in marine bacteria (EcoLipid)

Project description

The dominant lipid species found in membranes of many different organisms including bacteria seem to be phosphorus-containing lipids, so-called phospholipids. It has long been established that phosphorus (P) limitation in phytoplankton triggers changes in the lipid membrane, where phospholipids get substituted for non-P containing lipids, predominantly sulfolipids. This mechanism constitutes an adaptive advantage under oligotrophic conditions. Recent studies showed that heterotrophic marine bacteria such as Candidatus Pelagibacter ubique (SAR11) or members of the Roseobacter clade are also capable of restructuring their lipid membranes when P gets scarce. However, so far, the physiological consequences of this process in response to nutrient limitation are yet unknown.

My role in this project is to determine whether substitution of phospholipids by other P-free lipids affects the activity of transmembrane transporter. Further, I investigate consequences of modifications in membrane lipid composition on bacterial nutrient uptake.

Project - Postdoc 1

Biogeochemical cycling of N-osmolytes in the surface ocean

Project description

Osmolytes such as dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), choline or glycine betaine (GBT) enable marine organisms to cope better with the stressful conditions found in oceanic ecosystems. Consequently, these compounds accumulate inside their cells. Upon their occasional release into the environment, osmolytes can constitute an important nutrient source for many members of the marine microbial community. Present knowledge of osmolyte biogeochemical cycling, however, is solely focused on the sulphur-containing DMSP, thereby overlooking nitrogen-containing osmolytes such as choline or GBT. Thus, we set out to shed light on the seasonal cycling of these N-osmolytes in surface marine waters.

My part in this project is to explore metabolic processes involved in N-osmolyte degradation using Ruegeria pomeroyi, a dominant marine Alphaproteobacterium, as a model organisms. Further, I analyse microbial uptake and respiration in natural surface seawater from Station L4 of the Western Channel ObservatoryLink opens in a new window, and determine members of the microbial community that are able to metabolise N-osmolytes. This project is part of an UK Natural Environment Research Council grant on N-osmolytesLink opens in a new window.

My research interest is focused on interactions between different organisms or organisms and viruses in the marine environment as well as their involvement in feedback mechanisms to the environment.


Find a summery of the N-osmolyte research project on YouTubeLink opens in a new window featuring Dr. Ruth Airs from Plymouth Marine LaboratoryLink opens in a new window and myself.

Journal publications

More recent publicationsLink opens in a new window

Other publications:

  • Mausz MA, Segovia M, Larsen A, Berger SA, Egge JK, Pohnert G. (2020). High CO2 concentration and iron availability determine the metabolic inventory in an Emiliania huxleyi-dominated phytoplankton community. Environ. Microbiol. 22: 3863-3882. ViewLink opens in a new window

  • Mausz MA, Chen Y. (2019). Microbiology and ecology of methylated amine metabolism in marine ecosystems. Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 33: 133-148. ViewLink opens in a new window

  • Paul C, Mausz MA, Pohnert G (2013) A co-culturing/metabolomics approach to investigate chemically mediated interactions of planktonic organisms reveals influence of bacteria on diatom metabolism. Metabolomics 9: 349-359. ViewLink opens in a new window
  • Paul C, Reunamo A, Lindehoff E, Bergkvist J, Mausz MA, Larsson H, Richter H, Wängberg SÅ, Leskinen P, Båmstedt U, Pohnert G (2012) Diatom derived polyunsaturated aldehydes do not structure the planktonic microbial community in a mesocosm study. Marine Drugs 10, 775-792. ViewLink opens in a new window

Find me on:

The University of Warwick - Life Sciences homepageLink opens in a new window

ResearchGateLink opens in a new window


Google Scholar ProfileLink opens in a new window

Orcid logo opens in a new window

Find a link to a book for which I have recently contributed to a chapter.