Extreme environments

Extreme environments provide a window to past conditions on the early earth, to the origin and evolution of life on our planet and are important research sites for astrobiology as analogues to extra-terrestrial bodies. Such environments include for example geothermal fields with hot springs on Iceland, hypersaline water bodies, polar regions or diverse deep-sea habitats. We study the microbial organisms in such environments and their diverse adaptation strategies which enable them to thrive at the limits of life. Genomics, tanscriptomics and cultivation approaches are being used in this research, accompanied by a wealth of biocomputational tools.