[Translate to English:] Mikroalgen

A warm welcome to the Applied Ecology & Phycology group

Our research focuses on the study of terrestrial and aquatic algae - their biodiversity, their ecophysiology and their ecological functions.

At our outpost in Zingst, research activities include the monitoring of water bodies, analytics and ecology. You can reach the webpage of the Biological Station Zingst via their logo.



Biological soil crusts are special ecosystems that occur world-wide and in which microalgae play a central role. We study the diversity of these terrestrial microalgae and their partner organisms in soil crusts of numerous habitats, such as salt heaps.

Ecological functions

Ecological functions

An applied aspect of our research is, for example, the study of the distribution of the wood-destroying shipworm Teredo navalis in the Baltic Sea. We furthermore investigate the ecological functions of soil crusts, their influence on biogeochemical processes, and specifically, the role microalgae and heterotrophic protists play in these habitats.


Press releases and news can be found on the German website (only in German)

Alga of the Year 2018

The alga Klebsormidium lives in soil crusts like here in the ice desert of the Norwegian island Spitsbergens, where life is hardly possible anymore. Photo and ©: Ulf Karsten, University of Rostock
Light microscopic image of Klebsormidium crenulatum from a soil crust in the Tyrolean Alps. Photo and ©: Andreas Holzinger, University of Innsbruck

Prof. Ulf Karsten is responsible for the overall coordination of the DFG (German Research Foundation) priority program SPP 1158 "Antarctic Research". This is the first time a DFG priority program is coordinated by the University Rostock. Prof. Karsten is supported by, amongst others, coordination assistant Dr. Angelika Graiff.