Dr. Alexander Keller

    Group leader

    My projects focus on a combination of microbiome ecology with bioinformatics and new sequencing technologies. I am very interested in investigation of patterns and structuring forces of microbial communities inhabitating various habitats. This interest applies to various levels, starting with abundance and diversity pattern of species/groups, over phylogenetics, towards environmental and spatial influences and lastly regarding organisms’ molecular interactions with each other on a metagenomic level. From a methodological perspective, my workgroup is currently developing and establishing novel molecular techniques to prepare ecological samples for NGS. This goes hand in hand with the corresponding analytical in silico workflows.

    Phone: 0931 - 31 84427; eMail: a.keller@biozentrum.uni-wuerzburg.de

    Gudrun Grimmer

    Technical Assistant

    • Metagenomic sample preparation
    • Library preparation
    • Sample multiplexing
    • Tardigrade culturing

    Phone: 0931 - 31 80231; eMail: gudrun.grimmer@biozentrum.uni-wuerzburg.de

    Wiebke Sickel

    PhD Student

    I am interested in how microbial communities interact with their surroundings and hosts, especially higher organisms. I am looking at how the structure of a bacterial community changes with certain factors, for example between plant tissues, and how bacteria influence their environment/hosts and vice versa.

    From the make up of microbial communities I am trying to draw conclusions on potential functional roles and to identify new potential symbiotic bacteria. I am also taking into account the presence of potential pathogens and how they might be controlled or suppressed by other members of the community.

    Current projects:

    • Microbiota of flowering plants and their transmission through pollinators 
    • Diet as a potential factor determining bacterial communities in Bornean pitcher plants 

     Phone: 0931 - 31 80896; eMail: wiebke.sickel@uni-wuerzburg.de

    Markus Ankenbrand

    PhD Student

    My interest is the development and application of algorithms, tools and workflows to generate knowledge from biological data. I want to use the vast amount of publicly available data and software to unravel some of life's mysteries. I believe in open source, open data, open science and reproducable research. Currently my focus is on genomics and molecular biodiversity. It fascinates me to deciffer genomes as the blueprints of organisms. The analysis of whole communities on a molecular level promises exciting insights into complex ecosystems

    Current projects:

    •  The genomes of different agrobacteria
    •  The importance of flower volatiles for bacterial community composition and gene content

    Current Students

    • Mira Becker (ongoing, MSc Thesis) The influence of bacterial pollen degradation on the larval development of solitary bees
    • Rebecca Balles (ongoing, MSc Thesis) Pollinators as bacterial vectors between different flowers
    • Andreas Pittroff (ongoing, BSc Thesis) Phylogenetische Untersuchung der Bestäuberassoziationen von Thripsen und massenblühenden Bäumen in Südostasien


    • Anne Brandel (BSc Student)
    • Julia Haubenreißer (Technician)
    • Hannes Horn (BSc & MSc Student)
    • Manuela Rohrhirsch (BSc Student)
    • Daniel Steinborn (BSc Student)