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
- 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
Learning from nature: recovery of rare earth elements by the extremophilic bacterium Methylacidiphilum fumariolicum
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.
Data publication: Learning from nature: recovery of rare earth elements by the …
ROBIS: 38214 HZDR-primary research data are used by this (Id 37960) publication
- RadoNorm: Towards effective radiation protection based on improved scientific evidence and social considerations - focus on radon and NORM; EC Project, grant agreement No. 900009, 01.09.2020-31.08.2025
- EURAD-MAGIC – NEA/EU-Projekt, duration 01.06.2019-31.05.2024
- EURAD-ConCorD – NEA/EU project, duration 01.06.2021-31.05.2024
- RENA/ BMBF support code 02NUK066A, duration 01.09.2021-31.08.2024
- PepTight/BMBFsupport code 031B1122A, duration 01.09.2021-31.08.2024
- TRAVARIS/BMBF Projekt, Förderkennzeichen 15S9437C, Laufzeit 01.11.2022-31.10.2025
|+49 351 260
|Dr. Johannes Raff
|+49 351 260
|Dr. Björn Drobot
|Dr. Alix Günther
|Dr. Evelyn Krawczyk-Bärsch
|Raul Eduardo Linares Jimenez
|Dr. Henry Moll
|Dr. Susanne Sachs
|Dr. Robin Steudtner
|+49 351 260
|Dr. Andrea Cherkouk
|Dr. Nicole Matschiavelli
|Dr. Ting-Shyang Wei