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What is the Microverse

Microorganisms rule the world: they are found in nearly 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 want to understand the formation and balance of microbial consortia and their interactive networks and offer innovative solutions for fighting disease and environmental dysbalance.

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.

Balance of the Microverse is a proposed research cluster that 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.

Balance of the Microverse focuses on three research areas:
Microverse of the Environment
Microverse of the Host
Data Synopsis and the Microverse Imaging Center

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: Data Synopsis and the Microverse Imaging Center

Data Synopsis and the Microverse Imaging Center

These embedded research programs provide a platform for the integration of highly diverse data sets and for developing new bio-imaging technologies.

Teaser: Selected Publications

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 is based 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 aims to provide 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 Graduate Academy.

Early career
Internationalization
Equal opportunity
Family and career