Prof. Dr. Mirjam Perner

FE: Marine Geosystems
Research Division 2: Marine Biogeochemistry

Building 12/R. 334
Phone: +49-431 600 2837
Fax: +49-431 600 2941

GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
East shore campus
Wischhofstrasse 1-3
D-24148 Kiel/ Germany

parental leave 2012, 2016, 2019

Scientific Career

since 01/2018            
W2 Professor for Geomicrobiology at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

2011 - 12/2017          
Juniorprofessor  (Assistant Professor) “Molecular Biology of Microbial Consortia” at the University of Hamburg (positive evaluation in 2014)

2009 - 2012           
Coordinator of the International Graduate School C1-Chemistry in Resource and Energy Management at the University of Hamburg

2008 - 2011           
Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Hamburg (Microbiology & Biotechnology) (Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Streit)

Postdoctoral fellow at the IFM-GEOMAR in Kiel (Marine Microbiology)

12/2003 – 1/2007   
Ph.D. for Biology at the IFM-GEOMAR in Kiel Marine Microbiology): Comparison of Microbial Communities of Ultramafic- and Basalt-Hosted Hydrothermal Systems: Genetic Characterization of 16S rRNA Genes, H2 Oxidation and CO2 Fixation Pathways (supervisor: Prof. Dr. J.F. Imhoff)

Lab Assistant (student contracts) at the Institute for Hydrobiology and Fishery research, University of Hamburg, Germany

Diploma (M. Sc. equivalent) in Zoology, Microbiology, Paleontology, Hydrobiology/Fisheries Science, University of Hamburg, Germany

2002 - 2003            
Diploma Thesis at the Max-Planck-Institute, Bremen: Biogeochemical and Microbiological Characterization of Marine Sediments at Elba – A Contribution to Ecosystematic Analysis of Symbiotic Bacteria from Oligochaetes (supervisor: Prof. Dr. Nicole Dubilier)

2001 - 2002            
Lab Assistant (student contracts) at the Institute for Fisheries Science and at the Institute of Soil Science, University of Hamburg, Germany

1996 - 2002            
Studies of Biology at the
                         •    University of Hamburg, Germany
                         •    University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
                         •    University of Göttingen, Germany

Lab Assistant, Zoology, Univ. of Capetown, South Africa

Lab Assistant, The Swire Institute of Marine Science, Univ. of Hong Kong


Chair of the Womens Executive Board (WEB) since 2021 (GEOMAR)

Member of the Scientific Council since 2021 (GEOMAR)

Chair of the SekA Marine Sciences 2020 - 2021 (CAU)

Member of the Budget and Planning Committee (HPA) since 2020 (CAU)

Member of the Equal Opportunity Committee (GlStA) since 2019 (CAU)

Vice Chair of the SekA Marine Sciences 2018 - 2020 (CAU)


Stipends and Awards

Zonta Award for Excellence

Education Abroad Program and Fulbright Scholarship

Selected oral presentations

Perner, M. (2022) Activity-based Screens Developed to Target Novel Enzymes from Marine Resources. Gordon Research Conference, Molecular Basis of Microbial One-Carbon Metabolism, Southbridge, USA

Perner, M. (2019) Enzyme aus hydrothermalen Tiefseequellen katalysieren H2- und CO2-Umsetzung in bioelektrochemischen Zellen. Future Energy Science Match 2019, Kiel, Germany

Perner, M. (2019) The uncultured microbial majority and its chemosynthetic potential. InterRidge Theoretical Institute - Hydrothermalism in 4D: current challenges and emerging issues. Banyules, France (keynote talk)

Perner, M. (2018) Biostrom aus der Tiefsee: H2- und CO2-Umsetzung in bioelektrochemischen Zellen. Future Energy Science Match 2018, Kiel, Germany

Perner, M. (2018) Habitat-specific microbial communities in hydrothermal chimneys: analogues for studying the possible impact of mining seafloor massive sulfide deposits Symposium on Massive Sulfide and Manganese Nodule Exploration and Environmental Studies, BGR; Hannover, Germany

Sass, K., Böhnke, S. and Perner, M. (2018)
Iron, sulfide and hydrogen cycling in Kermadec Arc hydrothermal fluids: microbial turnover rates coupled to transcriptomics give insight into biogeochemical processes Goldschmidt, Boston, USA

Böhnke, S. and Perner, M. (2018)
An activity-based metagenomic screen reveals: RubisCO is not the only enzyme that converts ribulose-1,5-bisposphate. 17th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology ISME Leipzig, Germany

Perner, M., Böhnke, S., Sass, K. (2018)
Turnover rates coupled to transcriptomics reveal dominant microorganisms responsible for cycling iron, sulfide and hydrogen in Kermadec Arc hydrothermal fluids. VAAM Wolfsburg

Perner, M., Adam, N. & Han, Y. (2017)
The role of hydrothermal venting and deposits for microbial community compositions in the Kairei and Pelagia fields. Symposium on Massive Sulfide and Manganese Nodule Exploration and Environmental Studies, BGR, Hannover, Germany

Böhnke, S. & Perner, M. (2015)
A novel function-based screen suited to seek RubisCOs from metagenomic libraries: improving our understanding of RubisCO regulation and activation mechanisms. Vereinigung für Allgemeine und Angewandte Mikrobiologie (VAAM), Marburg, Germany

Perner, M. (2015)
Hydrothermal Deep Sea Environments Hold a Huge Potential for Seeking Industrially Relevant Enzymes. Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (HAW), Hamburg, Germany

Perner, M. (2014)
"Gestresste" Mikroben in extremen Habitaten, Meeting on: Stress auf allen Ebenen, Biozentrum Klein Flottbek, Hamburg, Germany

Perner, M. (2013).
Seeking hydrogen uptake active enzymes from the environment. Centre national recherché scientifique, Montpellier, France

Perner, M. (2013)
Novel hydrogen uptake active enzymes from a 464°C hydrothermal vent. Federation of European Microbiological Societies (5th FEMS Congress), Leipzig, Germany

Böhnke, S. & Perner, M. (2011)
Autotrophic carbon fixation: Advances in biogeochemical interactions, with function based approaches on a metagenomic level as prospect, CAREX Conference on Life in Extreme Environments, Dublin, Ireland

Perner, M & LaRoche, J. (2011)
Controls on microbes in an actively venting chimney and in low-temperature hydrothermal fluids, Goldschmidt, Prague, Czech Republic

Koschinsky, A, Sander, S. Klevenz, V & Perner, M. (2011)
Geo-bio interactions in hydrothermal fluids and their potential role for hydrothermal metal fluxes, Goldschmidt, Prague, Czech Republic

Perner, M., Seifert, R., Strauss, H. & Petersen, S. (2010).
Microbial communities and metabolisms from basalt- and ultramafic-hosted vents. AGU Chapman Conference, Agros, Cyprus

Perner, M. (2008).
From Deep-sea Hydrothermal Vent Habitats: Primary Productivity Based on H2 Oxidation and Diversity of Uptake H2ases. MPI Mülheim, Germany

Perner, M. (2008).
Mikroorganismen an hydrothermalen Tiefseequellen. Universität Münster, Germany

and poster presentations (at national and international meetings, e.g., GRC, AGU, EGU, VAAM)

Reviewing activity

Scientific journals
Nature Communications, Nature Reviews, Nature Microbiology, ISME Journal, Environmental Microbiology, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Frontiers in Microbiology, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, PLOS ONE, Microbial Ecology, BMC Microbiology, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Aquatic Microbial

Funding agencies
German Science Foundation (DFG), Germany
National Science Foundation (NSF), USA
French National Research Agency (ANR), France

Schmidt Ocean Institute (Research cruises), USA
International Ocean Drilling Project (IODP)

Cruise Participations

  • 2016 RV Sonne, Kermadec, Pacific (student participates)
  • 2016 RV Meteor, North MAR (student participated)
  • 2016 RV Pourquoi Pas?, Indian Ocean (student participated)
  • 2009 RV Meteor (M 78/2) (SPP 1144) South-MAR (participated)
  • 2009 RV Maria S. Merian (MSM 10/3) (SPP 1144) North-MAR (participated)
  • 2008 RV L’Atalante (replacement for MSM 06/3) (SPP 1144) South-MAR (participated)
  • 2008 RV L’Atalante (replacement for MSM 06/2) (SPP 1144) North-MAR (participated)
  • 2007 RV Maria S. Merian (MSM 04/3) (SPP 1144) North-MAR (participated)
  • 2006 RV Maria S. Merian (MSM 03/2) (SPP 1144) North-MAR (participated)
  • 2006 RV Meteor (M 64/2) (SPP 1144) North-MAR (participated)
  • 2005 RV Meteor (M 64/1) (SPP 1144) South-MAR (participated)

Publications/ Patents

For a full list of publications please visit OceanRep.