"Most life forms on our planet are microbial in nature, and the vast majority of this existing microbial diversity remains poorly characterized. By exploring the microbial world using new genomics and cultivation approaches we aim to obtain a better understanding about the diversity, ecological interactions and evolution of the microbial world that surrounds us."
Within the working group of Microbial Evolution (MicEvo) we focus on exploring and characterizing the microbial diversity that exists on our planet. To do this, we employ a variety of approaches, including cultivation-independent methods (e.g. metagenomics, comparative genomics, phylogenomics), but also novel cultivation-dependent methods (e.g. high-throughput cultivation and ecophysiology techniques). We are interested in relatively understudied branches in the Tree of Life, such as various archaeal lineages (e.g. Asgard and TACK archaea), but we also focus on various bacterial lineages (such as Alphaproteobacteria and Chlamydiae). Furthermore, we study how various microorganisms interact in microbial communities via symbiotic interactions. Of particular interest is an ancient symbiosis, between an ancient Asgard archaeon and proteobacterium, that gave rise to the first eukaryotic cell in a process referred to as ‘eukaryogenesis’.