Personal profile


Kenneth Wasmund is a Lecturer in Environmental Microbiology, and has broad experience in the study of microorganisms in environmental and biotechnological systems including the marine subsurface, wastewater treatment plants, and contaminated environments. 

Experience in the application of molecular approaches for the study of the functions and ecology of microorganisms in environmental samples, through approaches such as metagenomics/genomics, stable-isotope probing, anaerobic microbiology, and microbial community-profiling.   

Completed his PhD while based at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), and through the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. 

Held Postdoctoral Research positions in Germany (Department of Isotope Biogeochemistry, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research), Austria (Division of Microbial Ecology, University of Vienna), and Denmark (Centre for Microbial Communities, Aalborg University). 

Secured major funding from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF, Austria) and the Joint Genome Institute (JGI, USA).

Conducted several field expeditions in the Arctic (Svalbard) and the Timor Sea. 

Associate editor for Microbiome & Environmental Microbiome; previously a Guest Editor for Frontiers in Microbiology special issue for sulfur-cycling microorganisms. Reviewer for journals including The ISME Journal, Environmental Microbiology, and Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Research Interests

Understanding the functions and ecology of microbes and whole microbial communities in environmental systems using molecular and genomic/metagenomic approaches, especially in marine systems and sediments, and wastewater treatment plants. 

Especially interested in understanding how & which microbes degrade and consume different organic molecules, especially large macromolecules (e.g., proteins, DNA etc), and how this controls biogeochemical processes, microbial food-webs, and niche partitioning. 

Further topics include the study of newly described sulfur-cycling bacteria in marine systems, as well as genomics and proteomics of bacteria that transform halogenated-organic pollutants.

Methodological interests include: the application and development of stable-isotope probing approaches to track isotopically-labelled atoms/organics into specific microorganisms; fluorescent in situ hybridisation for the detection & visualisation of microorganisms in the environment; metagenomic analyses for understanding the functions of uncultivated microorganisms.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., University of the Sunshine Coast

Award Date: 23 Feb 2010

External positions

Postdoctoral Researcher, Aalborg University


Postdoctoral Researcher & Research Fellow, University of Vienna


Postdoctoral Researcher, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research



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