Detailed information about the course

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Geomicrobiology 2021


14. + 15. 06. 2021


Dr. Saskia Bindschedler, UNINE


Dr Karim Benzerara
Dr Magnus Ivarsson (deep-biosphere fungi)



Geomicrobiology is the interdisciplinary field that focuses on the interaction between microorganisms and mineral materials. It deals both with the role of microbes in biogeochemical processes, as well as with the influence of minerals and metals on microbial activity. Both prokaryotes and fungi are recognized as major biogeochemical agents; however, up to now, the role of prokaryotes has been more thoroughly characterized as compared to fungi. As a result, there is still a large scope in developing fundamental research in this field. In addition, such knowledge is essential in applied fields such as bioremediation and metal recycling for instance. Therefore, in an era of increased awareness regarding sustainable development, this research field is more than ever a timely answer to develop environmental-friendly approaches using the geomicrobiological potential of microbes. In this workshop, experts in the field of geomicrobiology will present and discuss with PhD students the most recent advances regarding knowledge and methodologies used to answer open questions in this field.



Day 1
9h-9h15 Welcome
9h15-10h15 Lecture 1
10h15-10h45 Coffee break
10h45-12h30 Exercise 1st period
12h30-13h30 Lunch
13h30-14h30 CSEM visit group 1 and 2 // Exercise 2nd period group 3 and 4
14h30-15h Coffee break
15h-16h45 CSEM visit group 3 and 4 // Exercise 2nd period group 1 and 2
16h45-17h15 Summary of the first day

Day 2

9h-10h Lecture 2
10h-10h30 Coffee break
10h30-12h15 Exercise 3rd period
12h15-13h15 Lunch
13h15-14h15 Exercise 4th period: presentations by the students plus discussion
14h15-14h45 Coffee break
14h45-16h45 Exercise 4th period: presentations by the students plus discussion
16h45-17h Conclusive remarks


Université de Neuchâtel or online


This two-day activity is intended for both microbiologists and geologists. It consists in three activities:
1) lectures by two experts in the field; 2) a visit of an analytical facility presenting tools that can be
used in the field of geomicrobiology; and 3) a practical exercise for the students.
For the practical exercise, ahead of the activity, each of the two experts will propose two research
topics in their field of expertise, along with 3-4 selected publications. Upon inscription to the activity,
the students will be asked to select two of these research topics. Based on this, the organizers will
set groups of students with mixed backgrounds (i.e. biologists and geologists). During the exercise
part, each group will have to develop a small research project based on the propositions by the
experts and considering the analytical possibilities at hand at CSEM. Each group will be coached by
one of the expert on his particular topic, but there will also be time for discussion and inputs by the
other experts. At the end of the activity, the students will be asked to present the research project
they have developed to their fellows.



Deadline for registration 31.05.2021
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