The core of the Courant Research Centre of Geobiology comprises three junior research groups focussing on Microbial Key Environments for bioassisted rock-/mineral formation and the interaction of organic matter and inorganic surfaces; particular emphasis will be placed on microbially controlled settings like the vast subterranean biosphere, cold gas- and fluid seeps, and hydrothermal systems. The junior research group will be specifically backed by the (geo)-microbiologically orientated senior researchers and the existing structures of the DFG Interregio Research Unit FOR 571 – “Geobiology of Organo- and Biofilms”.
Early Evolution and Diversification of Lower Metazoans which is intended to function as a strong multidisciplinary bracket between the geo- and biosciences. The junior research group will be place emphasis on key research questions like e.g. the molecular biological reconnaissance of enzymatic controlled biomineralization and origin of multicellularity.
Early Evolution and Diversification of Land Plants, which have been key protagonists of Global Change throughout a major part of the Phanerozoic. The junior research group will be place emphasis on key research questions like e.g. the search for the stem line groups, biogeochemistry of land plant specific biomarkers and metabolites, and the microbiology of land plant root-systems.
The research activities of these core groups are complemented by central analytical facilities (e.g. molecular biology, bioinformatics, biogeochemistry/geochemistry). These units, operated by the principal investigators and additional young researchers, are an integral part of the Courant Research Centre of Geobiology. Their task is to provide methodical and scientific expertise on those aspects which cannot be handled by the junior groups alone.
The Courant Research Centre of Geobiology will drastically expand the research profile and the international visibility of the Geobiology research in Göttingen in the rapidly developing field of geo-bioscience.