New honorary professor of geomicrobiology at the Department of Bioscience

Dr Andreas Kappler – Professor of Geomicrobiology at the University of Tübingen, Germany – has been appointed honorary professor at the Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University.

2015.12.15 | Christina Troelsen

Professor Andreas Kappler, University of Tübingen, Germany, has been appointed honorary professor at the Department of Bioscience. (Private photo)

Andreas Kappler completed his MSc in Chemistry in 1997 at the University of Constance, Germany. He then studied microbiology at the same university and completed a PhD in Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology in 2000. He subsequently took up a postdoctoral position at the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (Eawag) in Zurich, Switzerland, and at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, USA.

Dr Kappler was awarded an Emmy Noether Fellowship 2004–2008 by the German Research Foundation (DFG), and this enabled him to set up a research group at the Department of Geosciences, University of Tübingen, where he has worked ever since. In 2008, he was appointed professor at the same university, financed by the German Donors’ Association (Stifterverband) and, in 2014, he was appointed to a tenured position as Professor of Geomicrobiology. The European Research Council (ERC) awarded him a prestigious ERC Starting Grant in 2012.

Dr Kappler is currently head of a large and very active young research group that consists of four postdoctoral scholars and fifteen PhD students. The main focus of his current research includes the biogeochemistry, ecology and physiology of iron-metabolising microorganisms in aqueous environments. He and his group use culture-based and molecular biological methods to study the diversity and activity of these microorganisms. Their work also includes biogeochemical processes in the water column and in sediments – in both lakes and the sea – and the role played by the most important geomicrobiological processes as regards climate change. The group uses an interdisciplinary approach in all these studies, which range from physiological studies of bacterial cultures to DNA/RNA-based techniques and advanced, high-resolution chemical-analytical techniques.

Dr Kappler has visited the Department of Bioscience in Aarhus many times in recent years – either as a speaker at seminars or in connection with his students’ fieldwork – and has established good scientific collaboration. One of Dr Kappler’s PhD students is currently carrying out fieldwork co-supervised by Professor Bo Barker Jørgensen, Aarhus University. The work is being done in the marine environments around Aarhus, and some of the laboratory work also takes place at Aarhus University. A member of Dr Kappler’s group will start work as a postdoctoral scholar in Aarhus next year, and more collaborative projects have been planned, including research into the Arctic sea bed.

Dr Kappler is giving an inaugural lecture on 7 January 2016 at 15.15 in Lecture Theatre F, building 1534, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade. Read more here.

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