Dr. rer. nat.
Elisa Richter Fellow
The topic of my research group focuses on:
- biochemistry of extremophiles
- functional and structural analysis of their molecular machinery
- microbial-mineral interactions
- Microbes in space: MOMEDOS (Molecular mechanisms of Deinococcus radiodurans survivability in outer space)
Extremophiles cherry pick the habitats at the edge of living limits, shaping the life under inhospitable conditions. Such microbes are characterised by functional capabilities required for survival in harsh and extreme environments. We have been investigating the meteorite-associated growth physiology and the microbial-mineral interface of iron oxidizing extremophile Metallosphaera sedula, a rock-eating archaeon that lives in hot acid conditions and exhibits unusual heavy-metal resistance. This unique representative of polyextremophiles is capable of bioleaching, i.e. recovery of valuable and strategically important metals from sulfide ores. The other research project aims at deciphering the molecular mechanisms of microbial survivability in outer space/simulated space conditions.