Stud.IP Uni Oldenburg
University of Oldenburg
16.08.2022 20:39:35
mar453 - Microbial ecology of marine sediments (Complete module description)
Original version English Download as PDF
Module label Microbial ecology of marine sediments
Module code mar453
Credit points 6.0 KP
Workload 180 h

Präsenzzeit: 70 Stunden, Selbststudium: 110 Stunden

Institute directory Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment
Applicability of the module
  • Master's Programme Marine Environmental Sciences (Master) > Mastermodule
Responsible persons
Engelen, Bert (Module responsibility)
Pohlner, Marion (Module counselling)
Könneke, Martin (Module counselling)

Lecture: Sediment Microbiology


Skills to be acquired in this module

The students know how to

- sample marine sediments

- characterize the cores sedimentologically and 


- collect and analyze porewater

- determine total cell counts

- quantify groups of organisms molecular biologically

- cultivate different physiological groups of bacteria

- present and discuss scientific results write a scientific


Module contents

Microbial ecology of marine sediments:

The physiological diversity of microorganisms and their spatial distribution within marine sediments are demonstrated according to chemical and physical parameters. Different physiological groups are analysed along the sediment column of intertidal sandflat or beach. Sediment sampling is performed at the back barrier area of the island “Spiekeroog” at the beginning of the course.

Oxygen penetration, porewater sulfate and methane concentrations are measured down to a depth of app. 5 meters. As microbiological parameters, total cell numbers are counted and the numbers of archaea and bacteria are calculated after quantitative PCR (qPCR). More specifically, the relative amounts of sulfate reducers and methanogens are also determined by qPCR targeting key-genes for sulfate reduction and methanogenesis. Furthermore, every single group of students will specifically enrich one physiological type of microorganisms from distinctive sediment layers. Microbial growth and activity are monitored over the whole period of the course.

Accompanying the course, all participants will give a talk to introduce “their” physiological group concerning its ecology, physiology, and strategies for a specific enrichment. All the data and observations of the single groups will be combined at the end of the course to draw an overall picture of microbial diversity and the occurrence of the different physiological groups corresponding to relevant geochemical gradients.

Reader's advisory
Will be announced
Language of instruction English
Duration (semesters) 1 Semester
Module frequency
Module capacity unlimited
Modullevel / module level MM (Mastermodul / Master module)
Modulart / typ of module Wahlpflicht / Elective
Lehr-/Lernform / Teaching/Learning method Blockveranstaltung
PR/SE Microbial Ecology of Marine Sediments (5 SWS, 6 KP)
Vorkenntnisse / Previous knowledge
Course type Comment SWS Frequency Workload of compulsory attendance
Practical training
2 SuSe 28
2 SuSe 28
Total time of attendance for the module 56 h
Examination Time of examination Type of examination
Final exam of module

Announced during the course.