The general scope of this project is to investigate the microbial degradation of petroleum and selective petroleum compounds in natural marine sediments with a special Focus on the Caspian Sea. Investigations are performed in intact sediment cores as well as in in‐vitro sediment slurry and microbial culture studies. Studies focus on

(1) revealing the succession and speed of microbial petroleum degradation and the degradation of selective petroleum compounds,
(2) identifying key processes and organisms involved in the degradation process and
(3) monitoring geochemical developments in sediments during petroleum degradation.

The ultimate goal of the project is to better understand how natural microbial communities respond to petroleum seepage and oil spills, specifically in the Caspian Sea, as well as to identify microbially‐degradable petroleum components. This project is closely connected to the DFG Priority Programme SPP 1319 (Biological transformations of hydrocarbons without oxygen: from the molecular to the global scale), where we aim at understanding the degradation of petroleum in different marine sediment types.



Project Management:

Prof. Dr. Tina Treude
Tel.: +49 431 600-2837
Fax: +49 431 600-2941

Personal Assistant/ Office Management:

Marion Liebetrau
Tel.: +49 431 600-2847
Fax: +49 431 600-2941

Duration of project

1 July 2012 - 30 June 2015


€ 400 307
funded by RWE Dea