Research Focus

Microorganisms, in particular Streptomycetes, are well known as producers of both structurally highly diverse and pharmaceutically invalueable secondary metabolites, e.g. polyketides. However, the role of such compounds for the producing organism in its natural environment is often unknown.

Microorganisms induce their secondary metabolism in response to abiotic factors or other organisms in symbiotic to pathogenic relationships. Therefore, when studying the chemistry of microbial interactions their life style should be considered.

With my research about microbial chemical ecology I want to contribute to the understanding of both secondary metabolite formation and regulation. Furthermore we investigate the role of secondary metabolites for the producing organism as well as associated neighbouring organisms.

The study of microbial chemical ecology is not only crucial to understand the chemistry of the interactions between organisms but will contribute to applications in biotechnology and pharmacology.

Current focus


In order to investigate the chemical ecology of microorganisms we follow an inter­disciplinary approach combining

  • analytical chemistry,
  • synthetic chemistry,
  • molecular biology, and
  • ecology.