Education and Professional Experience



2004 PhD in BiologyMax Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (Bremen, Germany) and Bremen University, thesis topic: “Anaerobic oxidation of methane in marine sediments”, mentors: Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius and Prof. Dr. Bo Barker Jørgensen
Thesis Download

1999 Diploma in BiologyChristian-Albrechts-University Kiel and GEOMAR Research Center, Germany, thesis topic: “Community structure and energy budget of deep-sea scavengers in the Arabian Sea”, mentors: Prof. Dr. Michael Spindler and Prof. Dr. Ursula Witte
Thesis Download

1994-1999 Biology Diplom Studies, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, main subject: biological oceanography, subsidiary subjects: zoology, physical oceanography

1992-1994 Biology Vordiplom StudiesHannover University, subjects: zoology, botany, chemistry, physics

1992 Abitur, Gymnasium Lehrte, Lower Saxony, Germany

Professional experience

Since July 2018 Professor for Marine Geomicrobiology (tenured), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Department for Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences (2/3 FTE),  Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (1/3 FTE), and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (0% Appointment), USA.

Okt. 2014 – June 2018 Associate Professor for Marine Geomicrobiology (tenured)University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Department for Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences (2/3 FTE) and Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (1/3 FTE), USA

Dec. 2011 – Sep. 2014 Professor (tenured, W2) for Marine Geobiology, Helmholtz Centre of Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR) and Christian-Albrechts University Kiel, Germany

Dec. 2007 – Nov. 2011 Junior Professor (tenure track, W1) for Seafloor Warming, Cluster of Excellence „The Future Ocean“ at the Leibniz Institute for Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR) and the Christian-Albrechts University Kiel, Germany

Nov. 2005 – Oct. 2007, DFG Postdoctoral FellowshipUniversity of Southern California (Los Angeles, USA), Department of Marine Environmental Biology and Geobiology Program, topic: Biogeochemical processes and ecological communities at submarine hydrocarbon seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel, California, mentors: Prof. Dr. Wiebke Ziebis and Prof. Dr. Kenneth Nealson 

Feb. 2004 – Oct. 2005, Postdoctoral Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (Bremen) and Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar- and Marine Research

Scientific services


  • EPSS Departmental Vice Chair (responsible for Teaching), since 2022
  • Faculty Ad Hoc and Search Committees for EPSS and AOS: Frequently/Occasionally
  •  EPSS COVID Ramp Up Committee: 2020-2022
  • AOS Diversity Committee (Chair): since 2020-2022
  • Southern California Marine Institute (SCMI) Board of Directors (UCLA Representative): since 2019
  • EPSS Committee on Peer Review of Teaching: 2018-2019
  • EPSS Curriculum Committee: member 2018-2019, co-chair 2020-2022, guest since 2022
  • AOS Zodiac Committee: since 2017
  • Director of the Marine Center, IoES: since 2016
  • EPSS Field Trip Safety Committee: since 2016
  • EPSS Development Committee: 2016-2018
  • EPSS Award Committee: 2016-2018
  • EPSS representative to the Legislative Assembly, 2015-2017
  • UCLA Faculty Research Grant Referee: 2016
  • AOS Dissertation Year Fellowship Scoring Committee, 2015
  • EPSS faculty meeting minute taker, 2015

At GEOMAR / at CAU (former affiliation)

  • 2012-2014 Chair of the GEOMAR Scientific Council, 2012-2014
  • Member of the GEOMAR Consultatory Board of Directors, 2012-2014
  • Guest of the GEOMAR Board of Trustees, 2012-2014
  • Leader of Work Package 3 (Sediment-Water Interaction) within TOPIC 2 of the GEOMAR POF proposal “OCEANS”, 2012-2014
  • Deputy radiosafety representative of the research department Marine Biogeochemistry at GEOMAR, 2008-2014
  • Member of the Natural Science Student Committee at the Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel, 2013
  • Sub-project leader in the SFB 754 and SPP 1319 (DFG projects), 2012-2014

International services

  • Advisor to the working group Rewind Climate Change, since 2022
  • Co-Chief Editor of the not-for-profit open-access peer-reviewed journal “Biogeosciences“, since 2019
  • Associate Editor of the not-for-profit open-access peer-reviewed journal “Biogeosciences“, 2010-2018
  • Topical Editor for the EGU Encyclopedia of Geosciences, since 2019
  • Science officer of the sub-division “Geomicrobiology and Extreme Environments” within the division “Biogeosciences” at EGU, 2012-2014
  • MC member and WG leader in the EU-COST project PERGAMON, 2012-2014