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Benjamin Pontiller

Doctoral student
Department of Biology and Environmental Science Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
44075, Hus Vita, Kalmar
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BSc in Biology & MSc in Ecology University of Vienna (Austria)

Centre for Ecology and Evolution in Microbial model Systems (EEMiS)


The main focus of my research is to investigate the role of marine bacterioplankton in carbon cycling by deciphering the genetic basis for organic carbon utilization. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) derived from phytoplankton photosynthesis represents the main biologically available organic carbon pool in the ocean. The uptake and utilization of organic carbon compounds is largely determined by the metabolic potential encoded in the genomes of marine bacteria, although molecular detail on how they impact on particular element cycles remain largely unknown. My research is based on field studies and experiments in genome-sequenced marine model bacteria as well as natural marine bacterial assemblages exposed to ecologically relevant sources of organic material compounds. Moreover, I'm devoted to examine the utilization of dissolved organic carbon driven by light energy harvesting through the membrane protein proteorhodopsin, based on state-of-the-art techniques in microbiology, microbial ecology and molecular biology.


Frank, H.A., Pontiller, B., Herndl, J. G., Reinthaler, T. (2016) Erythromycin and GC7 fail as domain-specific inhibitors for bacterial and archaeal activity in the open ocean. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 77: 99-110, DOI: 10.3354/ame01792.


Article in journal (Refereed)

Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)