Federal Institute of Material Research and Testing

Anna Gorbushina

BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing
Unter den Eichen 87
12205 Berlin

Email: anna.gorbushina(at)bam.de
Phone: +49 30 8104 1400
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Anna A. Gorbushina is Head of Department 4 "Materials and Environment" at the Federal Institute of Material Research and Testing (BAM) in Berlin and professor at the Free University of Berlin, Germany. She applies diverse geomicrobiolgical techniques to study life on the rocks – specialised microbial communities dwelling at the interface between the atmosphere and a lithosphere. Presently the main focus of her research has been on model rock biofilms – two-component laboratory systems made up of a heterotrophic fungus and a cyanobacterium. Detailed studies of this idealised system shed light on how self-sufficient microbial communities colonise rocks and enhance mineral weathering on the Earth’s surface. These studies are conducted in a research group “Model Biofilms in Material Research” at the BAM. Anna Gorbushina graduated from St. Petersburg State University (Russia) and completed her Ph.D. in Mycology at the Botanical Institute also in St. Petersburg. Already during her Ph.D. she started working in Geomicrobiology lab at the University of Oldenburg (Germany). As life on the rocks is important in deserts, she spent several periods at desert sites in Utah, Nevada and Arizona (USA), as well as in Sde Boquer (Israel). She was a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

Ruben Gerrits

BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing
Fabeckstraße 60-62
12205 Berlin Germany


Ruben Gerrits is an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) at the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) in Berlin, Germany. He graduated in Bioscience Engineering with a major in Environmental Technology at the KU Leuven, Belgium, focusing on the detection of genes involved in quorum sensing in a pesticide degrading bacterial consortium. Ruben’s PhD research focuses on the microbiological influence on mineral weathering. Using a model biofilm consisting of a fungi and bacteria species, he will simulate biological weathering under batch and flow through conditions.