Georg Steinert

Georg Steinert

Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment
&  Environmental Biochemistry (ICBM) & Marine Microbial Ecology (Wageningen University, The Netherlands)

Research interests

In general, my research interest lies in the field of marine microbial ecology. And the analysis of prokaryotic diversity patterns within and between phylogenetically divergent marine sponges was my main focus over the last years. Marine sponges are acknowledged holobiont systems with a unique set of features, from being a source of unique secondary metabolites to complex symbiotic prokaryotic communities. Sponge-associated community compositions are influenced by host species over large spatial and temporal scales. Moreover, almost all sponge-species can be grouped into either high or low microbial abundance (i.e., HMA / LMA) sponges based on the abundance of prokaryotic cells in the sponge tissue. It is fascinating how sponge-prokaryotic communities can maintain these distinct diversity patterns at multiple scales (e.g., host-identity & microbial abundance status) over time and location and despite changes in environmental conditions.

In addition, the ongoing improvement and development of molecular tools to describe the composition, functional roles, and interactions of microbial communities in marine holobionts is something that I follow with high interest since I started working in this field. It is intriguing what has changed in our understanding of complex host-symbiont relationships with each new generation of sequencing technology.


  Please note that only publications relevant to mesophotic reefs are indexed.

In four shallow and mesophotic tropical reef sponges from Guam the microbial community largely depends on host identity | article
Steinert G, Taylor MW, Deines P, Simister RL, de Voogd NJ, Hoggard M, Schupp​ PJ (2016)
PeerJ 4:e1936

Host-specific assembly of sponge-associated prokaryotes at high taxonomic ranks | article
Steinert G, Rohde S, Janussen D, Blaurock C, Schupp PJ (2017)
Sci Rep 7:2542

Research keywords
Research platform experience
  Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)
Research summary (from publications)