Welcome to Archaea Biology and Ecogenomics

We belong to the Faculty of Life Sciences of the University of Vienna. On January 1, 2020 we merged with Molecular Systems Biology, Limnology and Bio-Oceanography and Marine Biology to become part of the Department of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology

Archaea arose together with Bacteria as the first organisms on this planet about 3.5 billion years ago. They form a separate domain of life beside Bacteria and Eukaryotes and inhabit virtually all environments on Earth, including the most extreme environments that can sustain life.
Our division studies the Biology of Archaea as well as bacterial symbioses with a focus on ecological, physiological and evolutionary aspects to shed light on the diversity and fundamental distinctions between these two prokaryotic groups.

In particular we are interested in:

- The ecological distribution of archaea from terrestrial, aquatic and hot environments

- The phylogeny of archaea

- The metabolism and genomes of ammonia oxidizing thaumarchaeota

- virus-defense (CRISPR-) systems of hyperthermophilic archaea

- Archaea Biotechnology

- bacterium-nematode symbioses

We thus attempt to improve the understanding of the role of mocroorganisms, in particular of archaea, in global biogeochemical cycles and in early evolution.

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"Luca" paper served as inspiration for artist Helena Kauppila to create an installation, now in exhibition in Berlin.


Ruth Taubner et al.'s paper "Experimental and Simulation Efforts in the Astrobiological Exploration of Exooceans" made an impact


2021 it's the Methanothermobacter


"Geochemical transition zone powering microbial growth in subsurface sediments"


Review of the current state and future potential of Archaea in Biotechnology.


Break the Silence – Act upon Science! Schulen und Unis in ganz Österreich bringen die Klimakrise in den Fokus

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Guest Lectures

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"How climate change affects extreme weather (and how we know)"


Join in for our second talk in our VBC Climate Lecture Series!


"Evolution of archaeal gene regulatory networks under extreme stress"

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