Dr. Erik Borchert

Research Division 3: Marine Ecology
RU Marine Symbioses

Room: DW-310
Phone: +49 431 600-4485
Fax: +49 431 600-4482
Email: eborchert@geomar.de

Düsternbrooker Weg 20
D-24105 Kiel

Research interests

My current research project focuses on deciphering the marine bone degradation properties of marine invertebrates and their associated, potentially symbiotic microbiome, as well as of free-living microbial assemblages (microbial mats). The aim of the project is to identify bone hydrolytic enzymes (biocatalysators) that fit industrial demands and therefore accelerate the transition from discovery to end-user application. Additionally, to this project I am interested in bioprospecting of the marine environment for novel pharmaceuticals, biocatalysators and other compounds that may benefit the transition to a more sustainable use of the earth’s resources.

Keywords: Marine microbiology, Host-microbiome interactions, Metagenomics, Next generation sequencing, Enzyme discovery

Academic positions and education

  • Since 2018 postdoctoral researcher (ERA-NET Marine Biotechnology ProBone)
  • 2017 PhD in Microbiology, University College Cork (Ireland)
  • 2014-2017 PhD student, University College Cork (Ireland)
  • 2013 MSc Biochemistry, Friedrich-Schiller University Jena (Germany)
  • 2011 BSc Biochemistry, Friedrich-Schiller University Jena (Germany)

Awards, fellowships and grants

  • Poster prize at the EMBRIC workshop „Treasures from the Deep“. Brussels, Belgium (March 2019)
  • 2014-2017 Marie Skłodowska Curie initial training network (MC-ITN) fellowship, BluePharmTrain

Publication list

  • Steinert G, Huete-Stauffer C, Aas-Valleriani N, Borchert E, Bhushan A, Campbell A, Chaib de Mares M, Costa M, Gutleben J, Knobloch S, Lee RG, Munroe S, Naik D, Peters EE, Stokes E, Wang W, Einarsdóttir E, Sipkema D (2018): BluePharmTrain: Biology and biotechnology of Marine Sponges. In: Rampelotto P, Trincone A (eds) Grand Challenges in Marine Biotechnology. Springer, Cham
  • Borchert E, Jackson SA, O'Gara F, Dobson AD (2016): Diversity of Natural Product Biosynthetic Genes in the Microbiome of the Deep Sea Sponges Inflatella pellicula, Poecillastra compressa, and Stelletta normani. Front. Microbiol., 7:1027.
  • Borchert E, Knobloch S, Dwyer E, O’Flynn S, Jackson SA, Jóhannsson R, Marteinsson VT, O’Gara F, Dobson ADW (2017): Biotechnological potential of cold adapted Pseudoalteromonas spp. isolated from ‘deep sea’ sponges.Mar. Drugs, 15, 184
  • Borchert E, Selvin J, Kiran GS, Jackson SA, O’Gara F, Dobson ADW (2017): Characterization of a novel cold active deep sea esterase from a metagenomic library from the sponge Stelletta normani. Front. Mar. Sci., 4:287
  • Borchert, E (2017): The biotechnological potential of deep sea sponges and their associated microbiome. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
  • Borchert E, Jackson SA, O’Gara F, Dobson ADW (2017): Psychrophiles as a Source of Novel Antimicrobials. In: Margesin R. (eds) Psychrophiles: From Biodiversity to Biotechnology. Springer, Cham
  • Jackson SA, Borchert E, O'Gara F, Dobson ADW (2015): Metagenomics for the discovery of novel biosurfactants of environmental interest from marine ecosystems. Curr. Opin. Biotechnol., 33:176-182.

Contributions to meetings and seminars

  • Poster at the EMBRIC workshop “Treasures from the Deep”. “ProBone – New tools for prospecting the marine bone-degrading microbiome for novel enzymes” Brussels, Belgium (March 2019)
  • Poster at the 17th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology (ISME). “Biotechnological potential of deep sea sponge microbiomes for novel cold adapted enzymes and secondary metabolite gene clusters” Leipzig, Germany (August 2018)
  • Oral presentation at the “Blue Symposium – Sponges, Corals and the World”. “Biotechnological potential and comparative genomics of Pseudoalteromonas spp. from deep sea sponges” Blanes, Spain (March 2017)
  • Oral presentation at the 11th International Marine Biotechnology Conference. “Diversity of natural product biosynthetic genes in deep sea sponges” Baltimore, MD, USA (September 2016)
  • Poster at the 11th International Marine Biotechnology Conference. “Comparative genomics of Pseudoalteromonas spp. isolates from three different deep sea sponges” Baltimore, MD, USA (September 2016)
  • Oral presentation at the Sea Change Researchers Workshop. “Exploiting the biotechnological potential of deep sea sponges” Galway, Ireland (June 2016)
  • Poster at the GEOMAR Biotech Mini Symposium. “The biological potential of the microbial community of deep sea sponges Poecillastra compressa and Stelletta normani” Kiel, Germany (December 2015)
  • Oral short presentation and Poster at the 2nd International Symposium on Sponge Microbiology. “The biological potential of the microbial community of deep sea sponges Poecillastra compressa and Stelletta normani” Baltimore, MD, USA (October 2014)
  • Poster at the Weimar Sepsis Update. “The multiple roles of the hyphae-regulating transcription factor Cph2 in Candida albicans” Weimar, Germany (August 2013)

Research Cruises

  • Aug./Sep. 2019: POS536 on RV “Poseidon” (plastic pollution expedition to the North Atlantic Garbage patch)
  • Mai 2019: AL522 on RV “Alkor“ (fisheries and hydrography, Baltic Sea)