Student excursion to Frasassi
(CRC Arbeitsgruppe, JProf. Sharmishtha Dattagupta)
Until fall 2010, the main focus of the research group "Geomicrobiology & Symbioses " under the head of JProf. Sharmishtha Dattagupta had been
exclusively on the sulfidic Frasassi caves of central Italy. When Soumya Biswas joined the group in September last year, the research
interest was turned also towards Lonar Lake in south-western India. As a PhD student, Mr Biswas investigates the physiological adaptations of
microorganisms which have found a way to cope with hyperalkaline conditions within the meteorite crater lake.
Regina Seipelt currently examines bacterial ectosymbionts on Niphargus species from Romania within the scope of her bachelor thesis.
Karoline Assig and Anne Wilkening both finished their diploma thesis projects with very good success. Ms Assig had investigated bacterially mediated nitrogen fixation in the Frasassi caves, while Ms Wilkening´s work had focussed on gut symbionts of Niphargus amphipods from Frasassi.
In Summer, Postdoc Dr. Mahesh Desai was awarded the 2011 President´s Fund Research Award. Granted research funds have been invested for NanoSIMS analyses of nitrogen-fixing bacteria from Frasassi in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Marine Microbiology in Bremen.
PhD student Jan Bauermeister obtained one of four Graduate Student Poster Awards at this year´s Gordon Research Conference for Applied and Environmental Microbiology held in South Hadley (USA).
After their last field campaign in March 2011, the research group is now preparing for another trip to the Frasassi caves. We are planning to conduct several on-site incubation experiments with isotopically labeled substrates on biofilms collected from within the cave system.
JProf. Dr. Sharmishtha Dattagupta