The Institute

Photo: the staff of the Institute of Groundwater Ecology (klick to enlarge!)


The Institute of Groundwater Ecology focuses on the processes of self-cleaning and the transport of harmful substances in groundwater. The principle aim is to research the microbial processes that lead to self-cleaning of groundwater and thus contribute to preserving our most important source of drinking water. Among others, central topics include the anaerobic degradation of benzene and naphthalene, the identification of microorganisms involved in contaminated aquifers, the influence of sediment heterogeneity on the transport of harmful substances, compound-specific isotope analysis for clarifying the fate of pesticides in groundwater and the development of an ecologically oriented assessment system for groundwater ecosystems. In connection with the assessment of ecosystems, in the last few years ecotoxicological investigations into groundwater fauna have also been launched, with a focus on tolerance of harmful substances and geothermal resources. As one of the new topics, the fate of pathogenic viruses in groundwater creates a direct link between environmental research and human health.

Institute Head
Dr. Christian Griebler

Deputy
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Piotr Maloszewski