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Microverse researcher Michael Bauer, Maria Ermolaeva and Microverse Guest Professor Miguel P. Soares

Discovering Nature's Paradox: Low Pathogen Exposure Boosts Organismal Fitness

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Johannes Zimmermann joins "Balance of the Microverse" to advance Microbial Metabolic Interactions Research

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Prof Dr Axel Brakhage (left) and DGHM President and laudator Prof Dr Jan Buer (right). (Source: Conventus)

Award of the Ferdinand Cohn Medal to Axel Brakhage

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Balance of the Microverse - Cluster of Excellence at the University of Jena

Microorganisms 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.

The Cluster of Excellence "Balance of the Microverse" at Friedrich Schiller University Jena focuses on understanding the formation and balance of microbial consortia and their interactive networks. It aims to provide innovative solutions for combating disease and environmental dysbalance and is funded by the German Research Foundation under Germany's Excellence Strategy.  


Microorganisms rule the world through space and time. Microbial consortia and their interactions control the environment and health. Their disturbance by (a)biotic factors has drastic consequences. A balanced interaction between all partners is critical for the maintenance of:

  • Functioning of all ecosystems
  • Stable climate
  • Growth and well-being of plants and animals
  • Human health and sustainable natural resources

The mission of the Microverse Cluster is to provide the scientific basis for understanding microbial balance from the molecular to the ecosystem level. We ultimately aim to develop technologies allowing for targeted interventions to maintain or restore microbial balance.

Upcoming events

Auditorium "Zur Rosen" (Johannisstraße 13, Jena)

1. Anwendertag „OpenIRIS für JenaVersum“

Diese Veranstaltung bietet eine hervorragende Gelegenheit, sich über die Möglichkeiten von OpenIRIS zu informieren, Erfahrungen auszutauschen und von anderen Nutzern zu lernen.

This event offers an excellent opportunity to find out about the possibilities of OpenIRIS, exchange experiences and learn from other users.


    • Robyn Brackin-Helmers, Vorstand OpenIRIS & Microscopy Engineer in der Advanced Medical BioImaging Core Facility an der Charité Berlin
    • Aurélie Jost, Managerin des Microverse Imaging Center, Exzellenzcluster Balance of the Microverse
    • Torsten Kroll, Manager der Core Facility Functional Genomics, Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)-FLI
    • Das Grußwort hält Georg Pohnert, vorläufiger Leiter der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena und Vizepräsident für Forschung.

Registration: Please register here!

Upcoming events

Leibniz-HKI, Seminar room Louis Pasteur, Beutenbergstraße 11a, 07745 Jena

CZS Honorary Guest Lecture


Teaser: Research

Research: Into the Microverse

We investigate the dynamic balance of microbial consortia, the underlying factors and responses to disturbances.

Teaser: About

About: We are the Microverse

We bring together researchers from different disciplines to conduct joint research on the dynamics of microbial communities on earth.

Teaser: Career

Career: You are the Microverse

We foster international collaborations and exchange, and promote gender equality as well as the compatibility of family and career.

Teaser: Selected Publications

Selected Publications

View selected publications from our investigators in the thematic area of the Microverse Cluster.


We aim to make our research more accessible to different target groups as we translate the scientific results into various projects.

The following selection shows examples of our Outreach activities:

  • Planetarium Film
  • Videos
  • Audio
  • Artists Collaborations & Exhibitions
  • Book Club: Science meets Society

Learn more