Dr. Jakob Zopfi

Research Associate

Office room number 134
Bernoullistrasse 30
4056 Basel

Office phone
+41 (0)61 207 36 15

Research Interests and approaches

As a broadly educated microbial ecologist and biogeochemist, I am interested in how microorganisms drive biogeochemical cycles, how their activities are controlled, and how they interact with their biotic and abiotic environment. Current research focuses on the coupling between the biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen, sulfur, and iron in various ecosystems; mostly in sediments and water columns of eutrophic and meromictic lakes, but also including wetlands (fens and bogs), riparian zones, as well as pristine fractured aquifers and polluted porous aquifers. My research is field-oriented with a strong interdisciplinary approach where hydrochemical and quantitative biogeochemical methods are combined with molecular and advanced cultivation techniques of microbial ecology, and where field campaigns are complemented by microcosm experiments and laboratory analyses.

Education and Professional Experience

  • 2011- Senior scientist, Lecturer University of Basel, Switzerland
  • 2007 - 2011 Lecturer, University of Zürich
  • 2008 - 2010 Senior scientist, Lecturer University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 2003 - 2008 Maître Assistant, Laboratory of Microbiology, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland
  • 2001 - 2003 Marie Curie Individual Fellowship (SNF), Danish Center for Earth System Science, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  • 2000 - 2001 Research Assistant Professor (non tenure-track), Danish Center for Earth System Science, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  • 2000 Ph.D. University of Bremen, Germany
  • 1996 - 2000 Ph.D. thesis, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany
  • 1995 - 1996 Internship, CIBA-Geigy AG, Schweizerhalle, Switzerland
  • 1995 Diploma in microbiology, University of Zürich, Switzerland
  • 1989 - 1995 Studies in Biology / Microbiology, University of Zürich


  • 2012 Invited Professor Université Pierre et Marie Curie/Sorbonne, Paris
  • 2001-2003 Marie Curie Individual Fellowship (FNS)
  • 1999 Summer course in “Microbial Diversity” at the MBL, Woods-Hole, USA