Faculty of Chemistry - Biofilm Centre
University of Duisburg-Essen
Universitätsstr. 5
Room S05 V03 F26
45141 Essen

++49 (201) 183-6601 (University)
++49 (208) 40303-400 (IWW)

++49 (201) 183-6603


Personal Data

Born 1947 in Friedrichshafen


1968 - 1972: Study of chemistry in Stuttgart and Freiburg, Scholarship of Fritz ter Meer-Stiftung, Heinrich-Hörlein-Award of the German Biological Society 

1972: Diploma in chemistry

1972 - 1977: Dissertation: Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology, Freiburg
Thesis: Biosynthesis of O-Antigens in E. coli

1977 - 1978: Postdoc: Max Planck Institut for Immunobiology, Freiburg 

1993: Habilitation: University of Stuttgart
Thesis: Biofilms

Academic Positions

1978 - 1994: Scientist: microbial problems in water treatment, Institute for Sanitary Engeneering, University of Stuttgart; establishment of a research group on biofouling and biofilm research

1994 - 1996: Establishment of a department of biotechnology, Institute for Water Quality, TU Munich

Since 1996: Full Professor for Aquatic Microbiology, University of Duisburg-Essen (formerly known as Gerhard-Mercator-University, Duisburg)

Since 1996: Scientific Director: Department Microbiology, IWW Centre for Water, Mülheim/Ruhr

1997 - 1999: Visiting Professor, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

1999: Concept for the new Institute for Interface Biotechnology, University of Duisburg-Essen

1999 - 2001: Honorary ProfessorUniversity of Pretoria, South Africa 

Since 2001: Managing Director of the Institute for Interface Biotechnology

Since 2001: Establishment and operation of the International Bachelor/Masters Curriculum "Water science"

2003 - 2006: President of the International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation Society

Since 2003: Secretary of the IWA Biofilm Specialist Group

1998 - 2007: Member of the Board of the German Waterchemical Society, part of the GDCh

Speaker of the specialist Group Water/Wastewater of the German Society for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM)

2011: Guest professor at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

Since 2011: Member of Stellenbosch Water Institute Advisory Board

Since 2011: Coordinator of IWA-Biocluster-ISME group

Since 2013: Member of Strategic Council of the International Water Association (IWA)

Focus of Research

Physical chemistry of biofilms

Microbial extracellular polymeric substances

  • Isolation
  • Characterisation
  • Structure
  • Function
  • Regulation
  • Interactions


  • Drinking water
  • Process water
  • Heat exchanger systems
  • Membrane processes, etc.


  • Metals
  • Mineral materials
  • Synthetic polymers

Surface analysis

  • Monitoring of biofilm accumulation on surfaces

Drinking water hygiene


Bachelor/Masters-Curriculum Water Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Please visit the curriculum website for further information. There you will also find the up-to-date lectures for download (password protected!)


Reviewer for:

German Research Foundation (DFG)
Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)
German Environmental Trust (DBU)
Engineering and Physical Research Council (EPSRC), UK
Danish Technical University, Copenhagen (DTU), DK
CSIRO Australia
University of Pretoria, South Africa
National Science Foundation (NSF), USA, South Africa, Republic of Ireland