Aquatic microbiomes

Mia M. Bengtsson

I am a microbial ecologist interested in the interactions between eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbes in different aquatic environments and the consequences of these interactions for ecosystem carbon cycling. For example, bacteria on seaweed surfaces utilise dissolved organic matter (DOM) and degrade fragmented seaweed which makes it available to marine consumers, such as small invertebrates and fish. In freshwater ecosystems, algal produced DOM may stimulate or inhibit bacterial degradation of DOM of terrestrial origin which has important implications for landscape level carbon cycling. In addition, mixotrophic algae can ingest bacteria and thereby control bacterial numbers and community composition. Microbial interactions are diverse and ubiquitous and are central to understanding biodiversity and element cycling in aquatic ecosystems such as oceans, lakes, rivers and streams!

Since 2015 I am the leader of the Junior Group "Aquatic Microbiomes" at the University of Greifswald.

My interests include:

  • Microbiomes of aquatic macrophytes and microalgae
  • Community ecology of microbiomes, from microalgae to mammals.
  • Biofilms
  • Macrophyte bed ecology (kelp forests/seagrass meadows)
  • Mixotrophy
  • Biodiversity-functioning relationships in microbial communities
  • Teaching and communication of science to the general public
  • Open access publication

I can also be found here: