Welcome to the Microbial Oceanography Lab at the University of Vienna

Marine microbes are uniquely important to life and form the major pillars of the biosphere. Their unique metabolisms allow marine microbes to carry out many steps of the biogeochemical cycles that other organisms are unable to complete.

Microbial oceanography focuses on deciphering the metabolic activity of Bacteria and Archaea thriving in the open ocean and relating their community composition to the biogeochemical fluxes in the water masses. This requires an interdisciplinary approach linking microbial and molecular ecology to biogeochemistry and to large scale water mass transport studied in physical oceanography.

Find us on Social Media

Our main focus is the microbial oceanography of the deep ocean where the prokaryotic activity is relatively low compared to the euphotic zone. The deep ocean comprises about 70% of the total ocean volume and hence deep-water microbes mediate a substantial fraction of the biogeochemical cycles with thus far unknown metabolic pathways. We develop and improve available methods in molecular biology and biogeochemistry to make them usable in the most oligotrophic parts of the ocean. Then the information from biology and biogeochemistry is linked for a better understanding of how the microbial community might work in the dark ocean.



we present there basic information about the role of the ocean for our life to the general public and present some instruments used in ocean research....


We welcome Federico Baltar joining the Microbial Oceanography working group by 1 August.


There we have it! Another Master student from our department has been granted her title!


Congratulations to Kristin Bergauer on her PhD thesis defense “Hetero and chemoautotrophic substrate utilisation in marine prokaryotic communities” on...


Tinkara Tinta received a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellowship and will start working in the Microbial Oceanography group on the project...


In the ocean, plastics release copious amounts of dissolved organic carbon which is stimulating bacterioplankton activity, a new study of the...


Video Testimonials

Maria Pinto, PhD Student

Chie Amano, PostDoc

Federico Baltar, Assistant Professor