Opendata, web and dolomites


Microbial life in oil

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 EcOILogy project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the EcOILogy project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "EcOILogy" about.

microbial    metabolic    ecosystem    view    life    concentrations    entrapped    degraded    conceptional    adapt    single    bioremediation    stable    clsm    microorganisms    oil    discovered    reservoirs    sequencing    degradation    saturated    hydrocarbon    resolution    boundary    micro    dispersion    ecological    metabolomics    traits    assembly    shift    principles    experiencing    quantifying    assemble    tackle    unprecedented    biodegradation    big    influencing    exploratio    takes    phenomenon    mostly    water    paradigm    opens    interdisciplinary    genome    energy    explore    isotope    isolation    transition    respective    place    identical    ecology    isolated    continuous    quality    droplets    wp    cell    fundamental    world    zone    organisms    science    environment    environmental    labelling    extreme    raman    metagenomics    strains    reverse    horizons    bimodal    ecoilogy    minuscule    hypothesis    dispersed    functions    seep    minute    community    theory    reaching    natural    implications    communities   

Project "EcOILogy" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: ESSEN
postcode: 45141

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Project website
 Total cost 2˙549˙250 €
 EC max contribution 2˙549˙250 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-09-01   to  2020-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITAET DUISBURG-ESSEN DE (ESSEN) coordinator 2˙549˙250.00


 Project objective

Microbial biodegradation is a key factor influencing the quality of oil and, according to current concepts, takes place mostly at the continuous oil-water transition zone in oil reservoirs. I recently discovered microorganisms in minuscule water droplets (1-3 µl) entrapped in oil from a natural oil seep. In EcOILogy, I propose that biodegradation of oil resources takes place in such minuscule water droplets dispersed in the oil phase which is a shift of paradigm and a new conceptional view for environmental science, -life in oil-. EcOILogy aims to explore this new world investigating the generic principles of life in oil. I will study if such droplets are a common phenomenon in degraded oil resources and how significant the respective degradation activities are. To this end, I will develop reverse stable isotope labelling as a novel method for quantifying minute microbial activities (WP 1). The droplets provide a unique test system of micro-ecosystem, all experiencing identical boundary conditions in the oil with no dispersion of microorganisms between the isolated droplets. I will study how microbial communities for oil degradation assemble in the droplets allowing for unprecedented testing of ecological theory including a new bimodal hypothesis of community assembly. To tackle the big challenge of metabolic traits in systems ecology, I will make use of metagenomics, single cell sequencing, and high resolution metabolomics to assess the functions in single water droplets (WP 2). Finally, I will study how microorganisms adapt to this extreme environment under saturated hydrocarbon concentrations by isolation and comparative genome analysis of strains and study the role of different organisms in the droplets by Raman-CLSM (WP 3). Thus, EcOilogy opens new horizons for microbial degradation of our most important energy resources with far-reaching implications for fundamental, interdisciplinary understanding of ecological processes, bioremediation, and oil exploratio


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Sviatlana Marozava, Housna Mouttaki, Hubert Müller, Nidal Abu Laban, Alexander J. Probst, Rainer U. Meckenstock
Anaerobic degradation of 1-methylnaphthalene by a member of the Thermoanaerobacteraceae contained in an iron-reducing enrichment culture
published pages: 23-39, ISSN: 0923-9820, DOI: 10.1007/s10532-017-9811-z
Biodegradation 29/1 2019-07-02
2017 Xiyang Dong, Maik A. Jochmann, Martin Elsner, Armin H. Meyer, Leonard E. Bäcker, Mona Rahmatullah, Daniel Schunk, Guido Lens, Rainer U. Meckenstock
Monitoring Microbial Mineralization Using Reverse Stable Isotope Labeling Analysis by Mid-Infrared Laser Spectroscopy
published pages: 11876-11883, ISSN: 0013-936X, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b02909
Environmental Science & Technology 51/20 2019-07-02

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