What is the Microverse
Microorganisms rule the world: they are found in all habitats on earth and coexist with plants, animals and humans. The interactions of complex microbial communities with each other, with higher organisms and with the abiotic environment determine the functioning of ecosystems, our climate and the well-being of all organisms. Human activities or infectious microorganisms can dramatically disturb microbial communities and may result in the deterioration of ecosystems, weather extremes, severe crop losses or disease.
We aim to understand the formation and balance of microbial consortia and their interactive networks and offer innovative solutions for fighting disease and environmental dysbalance. Balance of the Microverse is a Cluster of Excellence at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. It is funded by the German Research Foundation under Germany's Excellence Strategy.
Into the Microverse
Microorganisms communicate with each other and with other organisms via small molecules. The complex interactions of microorganisms are intensively studied at the Friedrich Schiller University and extra-university research institutes in Jena.
The Cluster of Excellence Balance of the Microverse seeks to understand the dynamic balance of microbial communities from the molecular to the ecosystem level. By studying microbial consortia from different habitats – for instance, microorganisms in aquatic environments or human microbiomes – we aim to identify common and distinct patterns that determine balance of microbial consortia. How is microbial balance defined? Which factors disturb the equilibrium and how do systems regain balance?
With a holistic understanding of the functional interactions of microbial consortia, our vision is to develop technologies to create beneficial impact.
Teaser: Microverse of the Environment
Microverse of the Environment
We analyze synthetic microbial communities and aquatic habitats to identify the factors determining microbial balance and dysbalance.
Teaser: Microverse of the Host
Microverse of the Host
We study the dynamics of host microbiomes and their role in plant and human health.
Teaser: Microverse Imaging Center and Data Synopsis
Microverse Imaging Center and Data Synopsis
These embedded research programs provide a platform for developing new bio-imaging technologies and for the integration of highly diverse data sets.
Teaser: Selected Publications
View selected publications from our investigators in the thematic area of the Microverse Cluster.
We are the Microverse
The Microverse Cluster combines our expertise in microbiology, chemical biology, infection biology, clinical medicine, ecology, optics/photonics, materials science, bioinformatics and ethics at the Friedrich Schiller University, the university hospital and eight non-university research institutes. The Cluster of Excellence builds on the achievements of the Excellence Graduate School Jena School for Microbial Communication and is supported by four Collaborative Research Centers, additional coordinated research programs and local partners of the high-tech industry.
You are the Microverse
The Microverse Cluster provides an excellent working environment for researchers at all stages of their career. At the heart of the Microverse Cluster are our early career researchers who participate in a research-oriented, interdisciplinary training program that unites the expertise from the Friedrich Schiller University and the participating research institutions.
We foster international exchange and collaborations, and promote gender equality and the compatibility of family and career. The research program is strongly supported by a comprehensive career development program of the Jena Graduate Academy.