Senior Scientist at the Leibniz- Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemuende (IOW)

Title: Microplastics in the Ocean



Title PD Dr. Position WG leader
Given Name Matthias Professional background Microbiologist
Surname Labrenz born 24.07.1966
Peer reviewed publications 57 h-index 25



1999 Dissertation Dr. rer. nat., CAU Kiel 
1995 – 1999 PhD-studies CAU Kiel, Germany
1995 Graduation Diploma in Biology, CAU Kiel
1988 – 1995 Studies at Christian Albrecht University (CAU), Kiel; biology, microbiology, biochemistry, botany

Professional Career

2013  – 2014 Speaker of IOW Research Focus 4 “Coastal Seas and Society”
2012 Head of working group “Environmental Microbiology” at the IOW
2009 Venia legendi in Microbiology at the University of Rostock
2008 Habilitation in Microbiology, University of Rostock
Since 2003 Senior Scientist at the Leibniz- Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemuende (IOW)
2001 – 2003  PostDoc at the German Research Centre for Biotechnology (Braunschweig)
1999 – 2001 PostDoc at the University of Wisconsin, Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, Geomicrobiology, USA

Responsible for administration of multiple national and international research grants, amounting to a total of approximately 2 mio. EURO for his group.

2015 – 2018 PI – BMBF, Diversity and abundances of marine Vibrio species and their phages in aquaculture systems and dispersal in coastal ecosystems (€ 171,200)
2015 – 2018 PI – DFG, Zooplankton associated methane production (€ 200,500)
2015 – 2017 Co-PI – Forschungsstiftung Ostsee, Habitats and diversities of potentially pathogenic Vibrios at the Baltic coast of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania (€ 80,000)
2014 –  2018 WP-Leader – BONUS, Biological lenses using gene prints (€ 330,000)
2014 – 2017
PI - Leibniz Association SAW/PAKT Program, The role of microplastics as vector for microbial populations in the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea (€ 283,511)
2014 – 2017 PI – BMBF, Development of innovative instruments for the implementation of autonomus systems used for the analysis of microbial activities in pelagic aquatic habitats (€ 31,900)
2014 –  2017   PI – BONUS, Development of an autonomous multisampler system for the monitoring of biogeochemical processes (€ 300,000)  
2012 – 2015
PI – DFG, Bacterial diversity and function within the salinity gradient of the Baltic Sea (€ 43,000)
2012 – 2015 
Co-PI – BMBF, Responses and adaptations of heterotrophic and chemoautotrophic prokaryotic key players to a high CO2 world (€ 175,000)
2008 – 2011 Co-PI – BMBF, The role of microorganisms in marine biogeochemical cycles (€ 178,000)
2008 – 2010 PI – DFG, Distribution and activity of chemolithoautotrophic microorganisms in Baltic pelagic redoxclines (€ 213,000)


• 2010 - 2012    German delegate at Marine Board Working Group on Marine Microbial Diversity (ESF)
• Since 2010    Scientific committee at Briese Forschungspreis für NachwuchsforscherInnen in der Meeresforschung (Reederei Briese)
• BioMed Research International
• International Scholarly Research Notices
• ISRN Microbiology
• Guest editor of “Microbial Ecology”   

Review activities

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG); Grant Agency of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

More than 25 journals as The ISME Journal, Environmental Microbiology, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Limnology & Oceanography


Baltic Sea. Since 2003 with RV Alexander von Humboldt, RV Alkor, RV Prof. Albrecht Penck, RV Maria S.  Merian, RV Meteor

Atlantic. 2008, RV Maria S. Merian

Chief scientist: RV Alkor (21.02.-17.03.2009; 04.06.-19.06.2014), RV Meteor (29.05. – 10.06.2012), RV Poseidon (August 2015)


Description of Labrenzia gen. nov.

‘Labrenzia [’zi.a, N.L. fem. noun derived from the name Labrenz honoring Dr. Matthias Labrenz, a German marine microbiologist who described several remarkable new aerobic phototrophic species from Antarctica] ‘                                                (Biebl et al. 2007, Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 57: 1095 – 1107)


Labrenz, M., Duckat, R., Thorn, M., Hollaender, K. (2014). Microplastics in the Sea. GAIA 23/3, 281– 283.

Bergen, B., Herlemann, D.P.R., Labrenz, M., Jürgens, K. (2014). Distribution of the verrucomicrobial clade Spartobacteria along a salinity gradient in the Baltic Sea. Environ Microbiol Reports 6, 625-630.

Labrenz, M., Grote, J., Mammitzsch, K., Boschker, H. T. S., Laue, M., Jost, G., Glaubitz, S. & Jürgens. K. (2013). Sulfurimonas gotlandica sp. nov., a chemoautotrophic and psychrotolerant epsilonproteobacterium isolated from a pelagic redoxcline, and an emended description of the genus Sulfurimonas. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 63, 4141–4148.

Grote, J., Schott, T., Bruckner, C., Glöckner, F. O., Jost, G., Teeling, H., Labrenz, M., Jürgens, K. (2012). Genome and physiology of a model Epsilonproteobacterium responsible for sulfide detoxification in marine oxygen depletion zones. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109, 506–510.

Feike, J., Jürgens, K., Hollibaugh, J.T., Krüger, S., Jost, G., Labrenz, M. (2012). Measuring unbiased metatranscriptomics in suboxic waters of the central Baltic Sea using a new in situ fixation system. ISME J 6, 461–470.

Herlemann, D.P.R., Labrenz, M., Jürgens, K., Bertilsson, S., Waniek, J.J., Andersson A.F. (2011). Transitions in bacterial communities along the 2000 km salinity gradient of the Baltic Sea. ISME J 5, 1571–1579.

Labrenz, M., Sintes, E., Toetzke, F., Zumsteg, A., Herndl, G. J., Seidler, M., Jürgens, K. (2010). Relevance of a crenarchaeotal subcluster related to Candidatus Nitrosopumilus maritimus to ammonia oxidation in the suboxic zone of the central Baltic Sea. ISME J 4, 1496-1508.

Jost, G., Martens-Habbena, W., Pollehne, F., Schnetger, B., & Labrenz, M. (2010). Anaerobic sulfur oxidation in the absence of oxygen and nitrate dominates microbial chemoautotrophy beneath the pelagic chemocline of the Eastern Gotland Basin, Baltic Sea. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 71, 226-236.

Glaubitz, S., Lueders, T., Abraham, W.-R., Jost, G., Jürgens, K. &  Labrenz, M. (2009). 13C-isotope analyses reveal that chemolithoautotrophic Gamma- and Epsilonproteobacteria feed a microbial food web in a pelagic redoxcline of the central Baltic Sea. Environ Microbiol 11, 326-337.

Salka, I., Moulisová, V., Koblížek, M., Jost, G., Jürgens, K. & Labrenz, M. (2008). Abundance, depth distribution, and composition of aerobic bacteriochlorophyll a-producing bacteria in four basins of the central Baltic Sea. Appl Environ Microbiol 74, 4398-4404.