Dr. Johannes Raff

Head Biogeochemistry
Phone: +49 351 260 2951

Social Media


Department of Biogeochemistry

Research in the Biogeochemistry department focuses on understanding the interaction of long-lived radionuclides with biosystems. We are interested in the various levels from biomolecules to individual organisms and complex biocoenoses. On the one hand, the aim is to understand the influence of biological systems on the behavior of radionuclides in the environment (release, mobility and bioavailability). On the other hand, we investigate the effects of radionuclides on the metabolism of cells and the whole organism (uptake, accumulation, chemo- and radiotoxicity) and the resulting dangers for us humans.

Using state-of-the-art molecular biological, spectroscopic and microscopic methods, we work in the fields of repository research to improve the long-term safety of a repository for high-level radioactive waste and radioecology to protect humans and the environment from the dangers of naturally and artificially released radionuclides.

In addition to basic research, our aim is to use the knowledge gained to develop innovative remediation methods and improve models to describe the behavior of radionuclides in the environment.

Interested in working with us?

To support our work, we are always looking for students and interns from the fields of biology, chemistry and environmental sciences who either want to write their thesis with us or simply gain practical experience. Are you interested? Then please get in touch to clarify any questions you may have.

Current research topics

Working fields of the departement of biogeochemistry at the Institute of Resource Ecology (EN) ©Copyright: Dr. Matschiavelli, Nicole
  • Determination of the microbial diversity in water and soil environments contaminated with heavy metals and radionuclides as well as in different host rocks for potential radioactive waste disposals
  • Microbe-radionuclide-interactions with reference strains and isolates
  • Interaction of eukaryotic cells with radionuclides and lanthanides in particular with plants, fungi, sponges and algae
  • Investigation of the interaction of selected bioligands and model compounds with f-elements
  • Characterization of microbial processes affecting the conditions in deep geological repositories for radioactive waste (e.g. transformation of bentonite as barrier material)
  • Calculation and determination of the metal speciation relevant to the environment
  • Verification and validation of transport models
  • Characterization of particles in the environment relevant to the transport of radionuclides
  • Investigation of the transport processes of radionuclides by particles (including microbes) in natural water

Latest Publication

Learning from nature: recovery of rare earth elements by the extremophilic bacterium Methylacidiphilum fumariolicum

Singer, H.; Steudtner, R.; Sottorff, I.; Drobot, B.; Pol, A.; Op Den Camp, H. J. M.; Daumann, L. J.

We present the extremophilic bacterium Methylacidiphilum fumariolicum SolV as a platform for the recovery of rare earth elements (REE). Strain SolV is able to selectively extract the light REE from artificial industrial waste sources, natural REE-containing and postmining waters. Upscaling, different media composition and accumulation over several cycles were successfully implemented, underlining the potential for bio-recovery of REE.

Related publications



Foto: Gruppenbild der Abteilung Biogeochemie des Instituts für Ressourcenökologie ©Copyright: Dr. Johannes Raff


NameBld./Office+49 351 260Email
Dr. Johannes Raff801/P3142951


NameBld./Office+49 351 260Email
Rahel Bertheau801/P3543138
Dr. Björn Drobot801/P3172895
Katrin Flemming801/P3092958
Dr. Alix Günther801/P2562433
Max Klotzsche801/P3063241
Dr. Evelyn Krawczyk-Bärsch801/P2522076
Raul Eduardo Linares Jimenez801/P2052438
Dr. Henry Moll801/P2562433
Dr. Susanne Sachs801/P2082436
Jana Seibt801/P2193194
Dr. Robin Steudtner801/P3172895
Lukas Waurick801/P3063241


NameBld./Office+49 351 260Email
Dr. Andrea Cherkouk801/P3562989
Sindy Kluge801/P2193194
Dr. Nicole Matschiavelli801/P3182759
Dr. Ting-Shyang Wei801/P3182860