Microbial Ecology

ME Department banner (horizontal)
© Jos Raaijmakers

The primary focus of the department is to understand the ecology, diversity and functions of microorganisms in natural and managed ecosystems.

We are actively involved in each of the three NIOO-wide research themes: climate change, biodiversity, sustainable land & water use. More specifically, we study the role of microorganisms in

  1. biogeochemical cycles (carbon, nitrogen) and greenhouse gas emissions, and
  2. plant growth and health.

Micro-organisms studied in these two main research fields involve bacteria, fungi, viruses and archaea. For more detailed information, please visit the research and project pages of the six senior scientists in the department.

Biogeochemical cycles

Functional ecology of microbial communities involved in biogeochemical cycles.

Bodelier Group

Microbial community ecology & environmental genomics

Farming soil microbial community linked to N and P (re)cycles to provide nutrients to plants, soil quality and N2O mitigation.

Kuramae Group

Chemical ecology

The chemical ecology of soil and plant-associated microbes

Garbeva Group

Virus ecology and evolution

Exploring the diversity, evolution and ecosystem impacts of plant-associated viruses.

Zwart Group

Fungal-bacterial interactions

Interactions between fungi and bacteria play a key role in soil ecosystem functioning

schimmeldraden verbinden bodemdeeltjes, soil fungi connect soil particles

Wild microbiomes

Diversity & functioning of microbiomes of wild and domesticated plants.

Sorghum field infected with the parasitic plant Striga


Peer-reviewed publicaties