Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Alexander Probst

Alexander Josef Probst is a microbiologist mainly interested in subsurface microbiome functioning and microbial diversity. Alexander received his PhD at the Archaea Center (University of Regensburg, Germany) working under Christine Moissl-Eichinger and Reinhard Wirth, his doctoral father. Prior, throughout and after graduate school, Alexander worked as a bioinformatics scientist at Second Genome Inc., where he contributed to more than 100 different microbiome studies, particluarly focusing on the human microbiome. After doing a postdoc in Jill Banfield's lab at UC Berkeley, where he deepened his knowledge in deep subsurface microbiology, Alexander was appointed as an interim professor for aquatic microbial ecology at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Since May 2018 Alexander is an associate professor (W2) for "Aquatic Microbial Ecology" and leads a team of scientists investigating carbon re-cycling in the deep subsurface (funded by a NRW return award 2017).

Quick profile

Associate Professor for Aquatic Microbial Ecology, University of Duisburg-Essen
Dr. rer. nat. in environmental microbiology, University of Regensburg
Chair of the panel Environmental Microbiology of the German Society for Microbiology (VAAM)
Member of the scientific advisor board for environmental microbiology at the VAAM
2017 NRW return awardee
2020 VAAM research awardee
80+ publications, 12000+ citations, h-index 38, i10 index 62, see here
Reviewer for NSF, DFG, ANR, FNR, Nature, Science, Nature Microbiol, Nature Commun, Science Advances, ISME J, and others

Curriculum vitae


2014                Dr. rer. nat. summa cum laude University of Regensburg, Germany

2010                Dipl.-Biol Univ. (Master of Science equivalent) University of Regensburg,



Professional appointments and employment

since 2018     Associate professor for "Aquatic Microbial Ecology" (W2) at the Faculty of

                          Chemistry, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

2017-18         Interim professor (W2) at the Faculty of Chemistry, University of

                        Duisburg-Essen, Germany

2014-17          Postdoctoral appointment with Jill Banfield, Department of Earth and

                          Planetary Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, USA

2010-14          Bioinformatics scientist at Second Genome Inc., USA

2010               Research Associate Graduate Fellow, California Institute of Technology

                          (Caltech), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL, NASA), USA

2010               Research Associate Graduate Fellow, Lawrence Berkeley National

                          Laboratory, USA

2009               Graduand (diploma thesis), EADS Astrium Space Transportation,


2008               Research Scholar, California Institute of Technology (Caltech),

                          Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL, NASA), USA


Selected Awards, Honors, and Scholarships

2020                VAAM Research Awardee

2017                NRW Return Awardee

2016-2017      DFG Postdoctoral Fellow

2016                Research award by the City of Regensburg (“Universitätspreis”)

2016                Friedrich Hirzebruch PhD award for 2nd best PhD thesis in Germany

                          across the disciplines Mathematics, Engineering and Natural Sciences

2015                PhD award by the German Society for Microbiology (VAAM)

2014                Award for outstanding scientific achievements during PhD thesis

                          (University of Regensburg)

2011                Doctoral scholarship by the German National Academic Foundation

                          (“Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes”)

2007                Fellow of the German National Academic Foundation

2006                Patrona Bavariae for saving two persons’ lives


Research interests

Shallow and deep terrestrial subsurface biosphere

Bio(geo)chemical cycling in freshwater ecosystems and sediments

Microbial evolution, diversity, and dispersal



For publications see here


Head of group Prof. Dr. Alexander Probst

Game Probst Thumbnail


Faculty of Chemistry - Biofilm Centre
University of Duisburg-Essen
Universitätsstr. 5
Room S05 T02 A30
45141 Essen

++49 (201) 183-7080

++49 (201) 183-6603