Marine Ecology

Research Unit Marine Symbioses

The marine sponge Aplysina aerophoba serves as a model for our research

Marine animals live in intimate contact with their aquatic environment that is characterized by diverse and abundant microorganisms. Our long term research goals are to provide an understanding on the physiology, metabolism and molecular mechanisms of interaction between marine animals and their microbial partners, by taking a function-driven approach. A combination of modern molecular biology techniques, in particular the –omics repertoire, in vivo experimentation, and regular field work will be employed towards this goal. Our methods spectrum in molecular microbial ecology is principally transferable to other environmental microorganisms, whether host-associated or free-living.

The following research topics are currently under investigation:

RU Marine Symbioses on Social Media:




Head of the Research Unit:

Marine Symbioses

Prof. Dr. Ute Hentschel Humeida
GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
Westshore Campus
Düsternbrooker Weg 20 
D-24105 Kiel 
Phone: ++49-431 - 600-4480
Fax: ++49-431 - 600-4482
e-mail: uhentschel(at)

Personal Assistant / Office Management:

Bettina Reuter
Phone: ++49-431 600-4481
Fax: ++49-431 - 600-4482
email: breuter(at)