Research Group Herndl

Research Topic

Microbial Oceanography of Polar Seas

Research Interest

Polar seas are more affected by climate change and take up more fossil fuel-derived carbon dioxide than lower latitude oceanic regions. Consequently, marine biogeochemical cycles in the water column of polar seas, governed by the delicate interplay between the physical structure of the water column and the microbial plankton community, might be subjected to substantial alterations in the future. We are studying the link between the large-scale water mass transport and microbial community composition and activity in the Arctic Sea and the Southern Ocean.

Gerhard J. Herndl

Department of Marine Biology, University of Vienna

Tel. +43 1 4277 57100



  • Daniele De Corte (PhD), Post Doc (University of Vienna)
    Role of crustacean zooplankton on prokaryotic community composition in the mesopelagic ocean, ROMEO), Intra-European Fellowship, FP-7-PEOPLE-2011
  • Roberta Hansman (PhD), Post Doc (University of Vienna)
    Temperature effects on chemolithoautotrophy in the Southern Ocean (Ross Sea, Antarctica)
  • Thomas Reinthaler (PhD), Assistant Prof. (University of Vienna)
    Prokaryotic activity in dark ocean mixing zones (PADOM)
  • Eva Sintes (Dr.), Post Doc (University of Vienna)
    Pelagic Archaea in the changing coastal Arctic

Daniele De Corte (PhD)


Roberta Hansman (PhD)


Eva Sintes (Dr.)


Thomas Reinthaler (PhD)

Selected Publications

  • Sintes, E., K. Bergauer, D. De Corte, T. Yokokawa, G.J. Herndl, 2013: Archaeal amoA gene diversity points to distinct biogeography of ammonia-oxidizing Crenarchaeota in the ocean. Environ. Microbiol., 15: 1647-1658
  • De Corte, D., E. Sintes, T. Yokokawa, G.J. Herndl, 2013: Comparison between MICRO-CARD-FISH and 16SrRNA gene clone libraries to assess the active versus total bacterial community in the coastal Arctic. Environ. Microbiol. Reports, 5: 272-281
  • Winter, C., B. Matthews, C.A. Suttle (2013). Effects of environmental variation and spatial distance on Bacteria, Archaea and viruses in sub-polar and arctic waters. ISME J, doi:10.1038/ismej.2013.56
  • Smetacek, V., C. Klaas, V.H. Strass, P. Assmy, M. Montresor, B. Cisewski, N. Savoye, A. Webb, F. d’Ovidio, J.M. Arrieta, U. Bathmann, R. Bellerby, G.M. Berg, P. Croot, F. d’Ovidio, S. Gonzalez, J. Henjes, G.J. Herndl, L.J. Hoffmann, H. Leach, M. Losch, M.M. Mills, C. Neill, I. Peeken, R. Röttgers, O. Sachs, E. Sauter, M.M. Schmidt, J. Schwarz, A. Terbrüggen, D. Wolf-Gladrow, 2012: Deep carbon export from a Southern Ocean iron-fertilized diatom bloom. Nature, 487: 313-319
  • Ruiz-Gonzalez, C., M. Gali, E. Sintes, G.J. Herndl, J.M. Gasol, R. Simó, 2012: Sunlight effects on the osmoheterotrophic uptake of DMSP-sulfur and leucine by polar phytoplankton. PLoSONE, e45545
  • Smetacek, V., C. Klaas, V.H. Strass, P. Assmy, M. Montresor, B. Cisewski, et al. (2012). Deep carbon export from a Southern Ocean iron-fertilized diatom bloom. Nature, 487, 313-319.
  • De Corte, D., E. Sintes, T. Yokokawa & G.J. Herndl (2011). Changes in viral and bacterial communities during the ice-melting season in the coastal Arctic (Kongsfjorden, Ny-Ålesund). Environ. Microbiol., 13, 1827-1841


  • Microbial Ecology of the Deep Atlantic Pelagic Realm, MEDEA. (ERC Advanced Grant) PI Gerhard J. Herndl