dr. H. Koch (Hanna)

Postdoc - Ecological Microbiology

dr. H. Koch (Hanna)

Heyendaalseweg 135
Interne postcode: 72

Nitrification - the sequential oxidation of ammonia to nitrate via nitrite – plays an essential role in the global biogeochemical nitrogen (N) cycle, since it links aerobic and anaerobic N cycling processes by producing nitrite or nitrate for anaerobic respiration and anaerobic ammonium oxidation. In biological wastewater treatment, this linkage is used to remove N compounds from wastewater. However, nitrifying microorganisms – namely ammonia oxidizers and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) – are also the main drivers of N leaching from fertilized soils by converting ammonia into highly mobile nitrate. Thus, a profound understanding of nitrification and the microorganisms involved in this process is essential for the development of more efficient strategies to control nitrification in agriculture and to optimize use in sewage treatment.
Although NOB represent important N cycling microorganisms in many natural and engineered ecosystems, our knowledge of their metabolic potential and the dynamics in nitrifying partnerships is still limited. Thus, my research is focused on the genomic and metabolic diversity of different nitrifying and nitrite-oxidizing clades to obtain novel insights into the physiology and environmental role of these vital microorganisms.