Four years ago, I received sediment cores (long plastic tubes pictured above) that were taken from shallow and deep areas in the North Sea- Baltic Sea in collaboration with scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde.
These sediments were put into vials with nutirents and were part of a project to try and isolate microorganims capable of iron reduction. My main project involved working with frozen cores taken from the same sites. I learned how to cut through these cores and to how to acquire DNA and RNA from the microbial communities in these sediments using molecular technqiues. The DNA and RNA in turn were sequenced in collaboration with a group at the University of Göttingen and afterward I analyzed these sequences.
My goal was to determine how the microbial community and genes found in these sediments could be linked to the biogeochemical cycles in these sediments, including iron and nitrogen cycles. It was an amazing experience working in Bremen. Of course none of this would have been possible without the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg Delmenhorst, the US Fulbright Program, the National Science Foundation International Research Fellowship, and the University of Bremen AG Friedrich group for giving me the space and support to carry out this study.