Prof. Dr. Kirsten Küsel


Phone: +49 (0)3641 9-494 61










Microorganisms control most of the global biogeochemical cycles necessary to sustain life. Iron minerals especially dominate the solid phase of porous media and their redox cycling supports key biogeochemical processes, which influence the fate of organic matter or contaminant elements. Based on my interdisciplinary background, my research group is focused on the microbial processes and biogeochemistry of a variety of ecosystems from freshwater lakes and sediments, peatlands, and both pristine and heavy metal contaminated streams and aquifers. We use both molecular and cultivation-based techniques to unravel the structure/function relationships of the inherent microbial communities.

Postgraduate professional career

Since 2014 Full Professor (W3) of Aquatic Geomicrobiology, Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Since 2012 Co-Director of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

Summer 2014 Sabbatical at Montana State University, Centre for Biofilm Engineering Bozeman, USA

20092014 Apl. Professor of Limnology, Friedrich Schiller University Jena

20042009 Associate Professor of Limnology, Friedrich Schiller University Jena

20032004 Scientific Assistant (C2), Ecological Microbiology, BITÖK, University of Bayreuth

19972003 Scientific Assistant (C1), Ecological Microbiology, BITÖK, University of Bayreuth

19971998 Postdoctoral fellow, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Gulf Ecology Division,Florida, USA

19951996 Postdoctoral research associate, Bayreuth Institute for Terrestrial Ecosystem Research (BITÖK)


Academic qualifications

2003 Habilitation and Venia Legendi for Microbiology, University of Bayreuth; Mentor: Prof. Dr. Harold Drake

1995 Dissertation in Environmental Microbiology (Dr. rer. nat., summa cum laude), Bayreuth Institute for Terrestrial Ecosystem Research (BITÖK), University of Bayreuth; Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Harold Drake

1986–1992 Diploma studies in Geoecology (with highest honors), University of Bayreuth; Major in Hydrology; Thesis: Reductive dehalogenation chloraromatic compounds in municipal leachates affected by the presence of alternative electron acceptors under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Reimer Herrmann


Services and Editorial Boards

Since 2019 Board member of the DFG Cluster of Excellence Balance of the Microverse

Since 2019 Member of the selection committee for the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Preis (DFG)

Since 2016 Elected Councilor of the European Association of Geochemistry

Since 2015 International board member of the International Society of Microbial Ecology (ISME)

Since 2014 Member of the Directorate of the Graduate Academy of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (JGA)

Since 2014 Member of the Alliance for Terrestrial Infrastructure

Since 2013 Member of the Directorate of the Water Science Alliance e. V.

Since 2013 Speaker of the Collaborative Research Centre 1076 AquaDiva

Since 2012 Co-Director of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

Since 2008 Member of the DFG Senate Commission on Water Research (KoWa)

2016 Elected Councilor of the European Association of Geochemistry

2008–2016 Associate Editor of Biogeosciences

2015 Elected as Chair (2019) and Co-Chair (2017) for the Gordon Research Conference Applied and Environmental Microbiology

2015 International Board Member of the International Society of Microbial Ecology (ISME)

20122015 Member of the Scientific Committee for the Goldschmidt Conference

20102014 Leader of the DFG working group: Role of inland water for global carbon budgets

20112013 Member of the Editorial Board of Frontiers of Terrestrial Microbiology

2005–2013 Member of the Editorial Board of Applied and Environmental Microbiology

2008–2010 Mentor at “Plan M Mentoring at MARUM / GLOMAR”

20052008 Equality Officer of the Faculty for Biology and Pharmacy


Honors and Awards

2012 Eminent Speaker Award from the European Association for Geochemistry (EAG)

2008 Best poster award, 12th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology: Microbial Diversity - Sustaining the blue planet, Cairns, Australia

2008 Best poster award, 27th annual meeting of German Protistology, Kiel, Germany

2006 Travel grant, 11th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology: The Hidden Powers - Microbial Communities in Action, Wien/Österreich

2005 Best poster award, ASLO Summer meeting, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

2005 Award for application of third-party funds for young scientists, FSU Jena


Google scholar



Hädrich A., Taillefert M., Akob D.M., Cooper R.E., Litzba U., Wagner F.E., Nietzsche S., Ciobota V., Rösch P., Popp J., Küsel K. (2019) Microbial Fe(II) oxidation by Sideroxydans lithotrophicus ES-1 in the presence of Schlöppnerbrunnen fen-derived humic acids. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 95(4): fiz034.

Herrmann M., Wegner C.-E., Taubert M., Geesink P., Lehmann K., Yan L., Lehmann R., Totsche K.U., Küsel K. (2019) Predominance of Cand. Patescibacteria in groundwater is caused by their preferential mobilization from soils and flourishing under oligotrophic conditions. Frontiers in Microbiology 10: article 1407.

Kügler S., Cooper R.E., Wegner C-E., Mohr J.F., Wichard T., Küsel K. (2019) Iron-organic matter complexes accelerate microbial iron cycling in an iron-rich fen. Science of the Total Environment 646: 972-988.

Lazar C.S., Lehmann R., Stoll W., Rosenberger J., Totsche K.U., Küsel K. (2019) The endolithic bacterial diversity of shallow bedrock ecosystems. Science of the Total Environment 679: 35-44.

Nawaz A., Purahong W., Herrmann M., Küsel K., Buscot F., Wubet T. (2019) DNA and RNA derived fungal communities in subsurface aquifers only partly overlap but react similarly to environmental factors. Microorganisms 7(9): 341.

Schwab V., Nowak M.E., Elder C.D., Trumbore S.E., Xu X., Gleixner G., Lehmann R., Pohnert G., Muhr J., Küsel K. (2019) 14C-free carbon is a major contributor to cellular biomass in geochemically distinct groundwater of shallow sedimentary aquifers. Water Resources Research 55(3): 2104-2121.

Schwab V., Nowak M.E., Trumbore S.E., Xu X., Gleixner G., Muhr J., Küsel K., Totsche K.U. (2019) Isolation of individual saturated fatty acid methyl esters derived from groundwater phospholipids by preparative-high pressure liquid chromatography for compound specific radiocarbon analyses. Water Resources Research 55(3): 2521-2531.

Taubert M., Stähly J., Kolb S., Küsel K. (2019) Divergent microbial communities in groundwater and overlying soils exhibit functional redundancy for plant-polysaccharide degradation. PLOS ONE 14(3): e0212937.

Wegner C.-E., Gaspar M., Geesink P., Herrmann M., Marz M., Küsel K. (2019) Biogeochemical regimes in shallow aquifers reflect the metabolic coupling of elements of nitrogen, sulfur and carbon. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 85(5): e02346-18.




Ding S., Kohlhepp B., Trumbore S., Küsel K., Totsche K.U., Pohnert G., Gleixner G., Schwab V.F. (2018) In situ production of core and intact bacterial and archaeal tetraether lipids in groundwater. Organic Geochemistry 126: 1-12.

Geesink P., Tyc O., Küsel K., Taubert M., van de Velde C., Kumar S., Garbeva P. (2018) Growth promotion and inhibition induced by interactions of groundwater bacteria. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, fiy164. Doi: 10.1093/femsec/fiy164

Nawaz A., Purahong W., Lehmann R., Herrmann M., Totsche K.U., Küsel K., Wubet T., Buscot F.(2018) First insights into the living groundwater mycobiome of the terrestrial biogeosphere. Water Research 145: 50-61.

Kumar S., Herrmann M., Blohm A., Hilke I., Frosch T., Trumbore S.E., Küsel K. (2018) Thiosulfate- and hydrogen-driven autotrophic denitrification by a microbial consortium enriched from groundwater of an oligotrophic limestone aquifer. FEMS Microbiology Ecology: fiy141.

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Taubert, M., Stöckel, S., Geesink, P., Girnus, S., Jehmlich, N., von Bergen, M., Rösch, P., Popp, J., and Küsel, K. 2018. Tracking active groundwater microbes with D2O labelling to understand their ecosystem function. Environmental Microbiology  20(1): 369-384.

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Shade A., Dunn, AA, Blowes, SA, Keil, P, Bohannan, BJM, Herrmann, M ...Macroecology to unite all life, large and small Trends in ecology & evolution


Bolanz, R.M., Grauer, C., Cooper, R.E., Göttlicher, J., Steininger, R., Perry, S., and Küsel K. 2017. Incorporation of molybdenum(VI) in akaganéite (β-FeOOH) and the microbial reduction of Mo-akaganéite by Shewanella loihica PV-4. CrystEngComm 19: 6189-6198.

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Cooper, R. E., Eusterhues, K., Wegner, C.-E., Totsche, K. U., Küsel, K. 2017. Ferrihydrite-associated organic matter (OM) stimulates reduction by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 and a complex microbial consortia. Biogeosciences 14(22): 5171-5188.

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Herrmann, M., Opitz, S., Harzer, R., Totsche, K. U., and Küsel, K. 2017. Attached and suspended denitrifier communities in pristine limestone aquifers harbor high fractions of potential authotrophs oxidizing resduced iron and sulfur compounds. Microb. Ecol. 74(2): 264-277.

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Jousset, A., Bienhold, C., Chatzinotas, A., Gallien, L., Gobet, A., Kurm, V., Küsel, K., Rillig, M. C., Rivett, D. W., Salles, J. F., van der Heijden, M. G. A., Youssef, N. H., Zhang, X. W., Wei, Z., and Hol, W. H. G. 2017. Where less may be more: how the rare biosphere pulls ecosystems strings. ISME J. 11: 853-862.

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Kohlhepp, B., Lehmann, R., Seeber, P., Küsel, K., Trumbore, S. E., and Totsche, K. U. 2017. Aquifer configuration and geostructural links control the groundwater quality in thin-bedded carbonatesiliciclastic alternations of the Hainich CZE, central Germany. HESS 21(12): 6091-6116.

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Kumar, S., Herrmann, M., Thamdrup, B., Schwab, V. F., Geesink, P., Trumbore, S. E., Totsche, K. U., Küsel, K. 2017. Nitrogen loss from pristine carbonate-rock aquifers of the Hainich Critical Zone Exploratory (Germany) is primarily driven by chemolithoautotrophic anammox processes. Frontiers in Microbiology 8: 1951.

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Kwon, M. J., Beulig, F., Ilie, I., Wildner, M., Küsel, K., Merbold, L., Mahecha, M. D., Zimov, N., Zimov, S. A., Heimann, M., Schuur, E. A. G., Kostka, J. E., Kolle, O., Hilke, I., and Göckede, M. 2017. Plants, microorganisms, and soil temperatures contribute to a decrease in methane fluxes on a drained Arctic floodplain. Global Change Biology 23(6): 2396-2412.

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Metzger, J. C., Wutzler, T., Dalla Valle, N., Filipzik, J., Grauer, C., Lehmann, R., Roggenbuck, M., Schelhorn, D., Weckmüller, J., Küsel, K., Totsche, K. U., Trumbore, S., Hildebrandt, A. 2017. Vegetation impacts soil water content patterns by shaping canopy water fluxes and soil properties. Hydrological Processes 31(22): 3783-3795.

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Mori, J. F., Scott, J. J., Hager, K. W., Moyer, C. L., Küsel, K., Emerson, D. 2017. Physiological and ecological implications of an iron-or hydrogen-oxidizing member of the Zetaproteobacteria, Ghiorsea bivora, gen. nov., sp. nov. ISME J 11: 2624-2636.

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Mori, J. F., Ueberschaar, N., Lu, S., Cooper, R. E., Pohnert, G., and Küsel, K. 2017. Sticking together: Inter-species aggregation of bacteria isolated from iron snow is controlled by chemical signaling. ISME J. 11: 1075-1086.

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Nowak, M. E., Schwab, V. F., Lazar, C. S., Behrendt, T., Kohlhepp, B., Totsche, K. U., Küsel, K., and Trumbore, S. E. 2017. Carbon isotopes of dissolved inorganic carbon reflect utilization of different carbon sources by microbial communities in two limestone aquifer assemblages. HESS 21(9): 4283-4300.

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Schwab, V. F., Herrmann, M., Roth, V. N., Gleixner, G., Lehmann, R., Pohnert, G., Trumbore, S., Küsel, K., and Totsche, K. U. 2017. Functional diversity of microbial communities in pristine aquifers inferred by PLFA- and sequencing-based approaches. Biogeosciences 14(10): 2697-2714.

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Starke, R., Müller, M., Gaspar, M., Marz, M., Küsel, K., Totsche, K. U., von Bergen, M., and Jehmlich, N. 2017. Candidate Brocadiales dominates C, N and S cycling in anoxic groundwater of a pristine limestone-fracture aquifer. Journal of Proteomics 152: 153-160.

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European Commission, Joint Research Centre. 2016. Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas - Earth Sciences Research - EU Bookshop. Contributors: Küsel, K., Totsche, K. U., Trumbore, S. E., Buscot, F.; Chapter III - Geographical and temporal distribution, p. 73.

Miot, J., Lu, S., Morin, G., Adra, A., Benzerara, K., and Küsel, K. 2016. Iron mineralogy across the oxycline of a lignite mine lake. Chem. Geol. 434: 28-42.

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Rughöft, S., Herrmann, M., Lazar, C. S., Cesarz, S., Levick, S., Trumbore, S., and Küsel, K. 2016. Community composition and abundance of nitrifiers and total bacterial and archaeal populations in savanna soils on contrasting bedrock material in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Front. Microbiol. 7: 1638. (Corrigendum: Front. Microbiol. 7: 1954.)

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Nawaz, A., Purahong, W., Lehmann, R., Herrmann, M., Küsel, K., Totsche, K. U., Buscot, F., and Wubet, T. 2016. Superimposed pristine limestone aquifers with marked hydrochemical differences exhibit distinct fungal communities. Front. Microbiol. 7: 666.

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Küsel, K., Totsche, K. U., Trumbore, S. E., Lehmann, R., Steinhäuser, C., and Herrmann, M. 2016. How deep can surface signals be traced in the Critical Zone? Merging biodiversity with biogeochemistry research in a central German Muschelkalk landscape. Front. Earth Sci. 4: 32.

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Bohu, T., Akob, D. M., Abratis, M., Lazar, C. S., and Küsel, K. 2016. Biological low pH Mn(II) oxidation in a manganese deposit influenced by metal-rich groundwater. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 82(10): 3009-3021.

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Mori, J. F., Lu, S., Händel, M., Totsche, K. U., Neu, T. R., Vlad Iancu, V., Tarcea, N., Popp, J., and Küsel, K. 2016. Schwertmannite formation at cell junctions by a new filament-forming Fe(II)-oxidizing isolate affiliated with the novel genus Acidithrix. Microbiology 162: 62-71.

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Beulig, F., Urich, T., Nowak, M., Trumbore, S. E., Gleixner, G., Gilfillan, G. D., Fjelland, K. E., and Küsel, K. 2016. Altered carbon turnover processes and microbiomes in soils under long-term extremely high CO2 exposure. Nature Microbiology 1: 15025.

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Fabisch, M., Freyer, G., Johnson, C. A., Büchel, G., Akob, D. M., Neu, T. R., and Küsel, K. 2016. Dominance of ‘Gallionella capsiferriformans’ and heavy metal association with Gallionella-like stalks in metal-rich pH 6 mine water discharge. Geobiology 14(1): 68-90.

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Lu, S., Peiffer, S., Lazar, C. S., Oldham, C., Neu, T. R., Ciobotă, V., Näb, O., Lillicrap, A., Rösch, P., Popp, J., and Küsel, K. 2016. Extremophile microbiomes in acidic and hypersaline river sediments of Western Australia. Environmental Microbiology and Environmental Microbiology Reports 8(1): 58-67.
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Mori, J. F., Neu, T. R., Lu, S., Händel, M., Totsche, K. U., and Küsel, K. 2015. Iron encrustations on filamentous algae colonized by Gallionella-related bacteria in a metal-polluted freshwater stream. Biogeosciences 12(18): 5277-5289.
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Johnson, C., Murayama, M., Küsel, K., and Hochella Jr., M. F. 2015. Polycrystallinity of green rust minerals and their synthetic analogs: Implications for particle formation and reactivity in complex systems. American Mineralogist 100(10): 2091-2105.
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Sitte, J., Löffler, S., Burkhardt, E.-M., Goldfar, K. C., Büchel, G., Hazen, T. C., Küsel, K. Metals other than uranium affected microbial community composition in a historical uranium-mining site. 2015. Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. 22(24): 19326-19341.
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Bohu, T, Santelli, C. M., Akob, D. M., Neu, T. R., Ciobotă, V., Rösch, P., Popp, J., Nietzsche, S., and Küsel, K. 2015. Characterization of pH dependent Mn(II) oxidation strategies and formation of a bixbyite-like phase by Mesorhizobium australicum T-G1. Front. Microbiol. 6: 734.
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Nowak, M., Beulig, F., von Fischer, J., Muhr, J., Küsel, K., & Trumbore, S. E. 2015. Autotrophic fixation of geogenic CO2 by microorganisms contributes to soil organic matter formation and alters isotope signatures in a wetland mofette. Biogeosciences 12(23): 7169-7183.
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Beulig, F., Heuer, V. B., Akob, D. M., Viehweger, B., Elvert, M., Herrmann, M., Hinrichs, K. U., and Küsel, K. 2015. Carbon flow from volcanic CO2 into soil microbial communities of a wetland mofette. ISME J. 9: 746-759.
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Keiner, R., Herrmann, M., Küsel, K., Popp, J., and Frosch, T. 2015. Rapid monitoring of intermediate states and mass balance of nitrogen during denitrification by means of cavity enhanced Raman multi-gas sensing. Analytica Chimica Acta 864: 39-47.
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Herrmann, M., Rusznyak, A., Akob, D. M., Schulze, I., Opitz, S., Totsche, K. U., and Küsel, K. 2015. Large fractions of CO2-fixing microorganisms in pristine limestone aquiers appear to be involved in the oxidation of reduced sulfur and nitrogen compounds. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 81(7): 2384-2394.
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Majzlan, J., Plášil, J., Škoda, R., Gescher, J., Kögler, F., Rusznyak, A., Küsel, K., Neu, T. R., Mangold, S., and Rothe, J. 2014. Arsenic-rich acid mine water with extreme arsenic concentration: Mineralogy, geochemistry, microbiology, and environmental implications. Environ. Sci. Technol. 48(23): 13685-13693.
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Mehlhorn, J., Beulig, F., Küsel, K., Planer-Friedrich, B. 2014. Carbon dioxide triggered metal(loid) mobilisation in a mofette. Chem. Geol. 382: 54-66.
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Johnson, C. A., Freyer, G., Fabisch, M., Caraballo, M. A., Küsel, K., Hochella Jr., M. F. 2014. Observations and assessment of iron oxide and green rust nanoparticles in metal-polluted mine drainage within a steep redox gradient. Environ. Chem. 11(4): 377-391.
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Eusterhues, K., Hädrich, A., Neidhardt, J., Küsel, K., Keller, T. F., Jandt, K. D. and Totsche, K. U. 2014. Reduction of ferrihydrite with adsorbed and coprecipitated organic matter: microbial reduction by Geobacter bremensis vs. abiotic reduction by Na-dithionite. Biogeosciences 11(18): 4953-4966.
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Eusterhues, K., Neidhardt, J., Hädrich, A., Küsel, K., and Totsche, K. U. 2014. Biodegradation of ferrihydrite-associated organic matter. Biogeochemistry 119(1-3): 45-50.
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Akob, D. M., Bohu, T., Beyer, A., Schäffner, F., Händel, M., Johnson, C. A., Merten, D., Büchel, G., Totsche, K. U., and Küsel, K. 2014. Identification of Mn(II)-oxidizing bacteria from a low pH contaminated former uranium mine. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 80(16): 5086-5097.
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Wang, J., Sickinger, M., Ciobotă, V., Herrmann, M., Rasch, H., Rösch, P., Popp, J., and Küsel, K. 2014. Revealing the microbial community structure of clogging materials in dewatering wells differing in physico-chemical parameters in an open-cast mining area. Water Res. 63: 222-233.
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Opitz, S., Küsel, K., Spott, O., Totsche, K. U., and Herrmann, M. 2014. Oxygen availability and distance to surface environments determine community composition and abundance of ammonia-oxidizing prokaroytes in two superimposed pristine limestone aquifers in the Hainich region, Germany. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 90(1): 39-53.
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Drake, L., Küsel, K., Matthies, C. 2013. Acetogenic prokaryotes. In: Rosenberg, E., DeLong, E. F., Lory, S., Stackebrandt, E., Thompson, F. (eds) The Prokaryotes: Prokaryotic Physiology and Biochemistry. 4th edn. Springer: Berlin Heidelberg, pp 3-60.

Fabisch, M., Beulig, F., Akob, D. M., and Küsel, K. 2013. Surprising abundance of Gallionella-related iron oxidizers in creek sediments at pH 4.4 or at high heavy metal concentrations. Front. Microbiol. 4: 390.
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Keiner, R., Frosch, T., Hanf, S., Rusznyak, A., Akob, D. M., Küsel, K., and Popp, J. 2013. Raman spectroscopy - an innovative and versatile tool to follow the respirational activity and carbonate biomineralization of important cave bacteria. Anal. Chem. 85(18): 8708-8714.
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Ciobotă, V., Lu, S., Tarcea, N., Rösch, P., Küsel, K., and Popp, J. 2013. Quantification of the inorganic phase of the pelagic aggregates from an iron contaminated lake by means of Raman spectroscopy. Vib. Spectrosc. 68: 212-219. 
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Lu, S., Chourey, K., Reiche, M., Nietzsche, S., Shah, M. B., Neu, T. R., Hettich, R. L., and Küsel, K. 2013. Insights into the structure and metabolic function of microbes that shape pelagic iron-rich aggregates ("iron snow"). Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 79(14): 4272-4281.
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Risse-Buhl, U., Herrmann, M., Lange, P., Akob, D. M.,  Pizani, N., Schönborn, W., Totsche, K. U., and Küsel, K. 2013. Phagotrophic protist diversity in the groundwater of a karstic aquifer - morphological and molecular analysis. J. Eukaryot. Microbiol. 60(5): 467-479.
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Sitte, J., Pollok, K., Langenhorst, F., and Küsel, K. 2013. Nanocrystalline nickel and cobalt sulfides formed by a heavy metal-tolerant, sulfate-reducing enrichment culture. Geomicrobiol. J. 30(1): 36-47.
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Liu, X., Eusterhues, K., Thieme, J., Ciobotă, V., Höschen, C., Mueller, C. W., Küsel, K., Kögel-Knabner, I., Rösch, P., Popp, J., and Totsche, K. U. 2013. STXM and NanoSIMS investigations on EPS fractions before and after adsorption to goethite. Environ. Sci. Technol. 47(7): 3158-3166.
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Herrmann, M., Hädrich, A., and Küsel, K. 2012. Predominance of thaumarchaeal ammonia oxidizer abundance and transcriptional activity in an acidic fen. Environ. Microbiol.14(11): 3013-3025.
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Akob, D. M.*, Lee, S. H.*, Sheth, M., Küsel, K., Watson, D. B., Palumbo, A. V., Kostka, J. E., and Chin, K.-J. 2012. Gene expression correlates with process rates quantified for sulfate- and Fe(III)-reducing bacteria in U(VI)-contaminated sediments. Frontiers. Microbiol. 3: 280. *Equal contribution.
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Hädrich, A., Heuer, V. B., Herrmann, M., Hinrichs, K.-U., and Küsel, K. 2012. Origin and fate of acetate in an acidic fen. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 81(2): 339-354.
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Rusznyák, A., Akob, D. M., Nietzsche, S., Eusterhues, K., Totsche, K. U., Neu, T. R., Frosch, T., Popp, J., Keiner, R., Geletneky, J., Katzschmann, L., Schulze, E.-D., and Küsel, K. 2012. Calcite biomineralization by bacterial isolates from the recently discovered pristine karstic Herrenberg cave. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 78(4): 1157-1167.
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Risse-Buhl, U., Trefzger, N., Gleixner, G., Schönborn, W., and Küsel, K. 2012. Tracking the autochthonous carbon transfer in stream biofilm food webs. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 79(1): 118-131.
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Akob, D. M. and Küsel, K. 2011. Where microorganisms meet rocks in the Earth's Critical Zone. Biogeosciences 8(12): 3531-3543.
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Akob, D. M., Kerkhof, L., Küsel, K., Watson, D. B., Palumbo, A. V., and Kostka, J. E. 2011. Linking specific heterotrophic bacterial populations to bioreduction of uranium and nitrate using stable isotope probing in contaminated subsurface sediments. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77(22): 8197-8200.
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Avrahami, S., Jia, Z., Neufeld, J. D., Murrell, J. C., Conrad, R., and Küsel, K. 2011. Active autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria in biofilm enrichments from simulated creek ecosystems at two ammonium concentrations respond to temperature manipulation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77(20): 7329-7338.
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Chakraborty, R., Hazen, T. C., Joyner, D. C., Küsel, K., Singer, M. E., Sitte, J., and Torok, T. 2011. Use of immunomagnetic separation for the detection of Desulfovibrio vulgaris from environmental samples. J. Microbiol. Methods 86(2): 204-209.
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Reiche, M., Lu, S., Ciobotă, V., Neu, T. R., Nietzsche, S., Rösch, P., Popp, J., and Küsel, K. 2011. Pelagic boundary conditions affect the biological formation of iron-rich particles (Iron Snow) and their microbial communities. Limnol. Oceanogr. 56(4): 1386-1398.
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Burkhardt, E. M., S. Bischoff, D. M. Akob, G. Büchel, and K. Küsel. 2011. Heavy metal tolerance of Fe(III)-reducing microbial communities in a contaminated creek bank soil. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77(9): 3132-3136.
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Herrmann, M., Scheibe, A., Avrahami, S., and Küsel, K. 2011. Ammonium availability affects the ratio of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria to ammonia-oxidizing archaea in simulated creek ecosystems. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77(5): 1896-1899.
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Küsel, K., Drake, L. 2011. Acetogens. In: Reitner, J., Thiel, V. (eds.) Encyclopedia of Geobiology. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series. Springer, Dordrecht.
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Pohlon, E., Marxsen, J., and Küsel, K. 2010. Pioneering bacterial and algal communities and potential extracellular enzyme activities of stream biofilms. FEMS Microbiol. Ecology 71(3): 364-373.
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Reiche, M., Gleixner, G., and Küsel, K. 2010. Effect of peat quality on microbial greenhouse gas formation in an acidic fen. Biogeosciences 7(1): 187-198.
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Augspurger, C., and Küsel, K. 2010. Flow velocity and primary production influences carbon utilization in nascent epilithic stream biofilms. Aquatic Sciences 72(2): 237-243.
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Lu, S., Gischkat, S., Reiche, M., Akob, D. M., Hallberg, K. B., and Küsel, K. 2010. Ecophysiology of Fe-cycling Bacteria in Acidic Sediments. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 76(24): 8174-8183.
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Ciobotă, V., Burkhardt, E.-M., Schumacher, E., Rösch, P., Küsel, K., and Popp, J. 2010. The influence of intracellular storage material on bacterial identification by means of Raman spectroscopy. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 397(7): 2929-2937.
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Lüdecke, C., Reiche, M., Eusterhues, K., Nietzsche, S., and Küsel, K. 2010. Acid-tolerant microaerophilic Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria promote Fe(III)-accumulation in a fen. Environ. Microbiol. 12(10): 2814-2825.
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Vishnivetskaya, T. A., Brandt, C. C., Madden, A. S., Drake, M. S., Kostka, J. E., Akob, D. M., Küsel, K., and Palumbo, A. V. 2010. Microbial community changes in response to ethanol or methanol amendments for U(VI) reduction. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 76(17): 5728-5735.
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Sitte, J., Akob, D. M., Kaufmann, C., Finster, K., Banerjee, D., Burkhardt, E.-M., Kostka, J. E., Scheinost, A., Büchel, G. and Küsel, K. 2010. Microbial Links between Sulfate Reduction and Metal Retention in Uranium- and Heavy Metal-Contaminated Soil. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 76(10): 3143-3152.
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Green, S. J., Prakash, O., Gihring, T. M., Akob, D. M., Jasrotia, P., Jardine, P. M., Watson, D. B., Brown, S. D., Palumbo, A. V., and Kostka, J. E. 2010. Denitrifying bacteria from the terrestrial subsurface exposed to mixed waste contamination. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 76(10): 3244-3254.
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Burkhardt, E.-M., Akob, D. M., Bischoff, S., Sitte, J., Kostka, J. E., Banerjee, D., Scheinost,A. C., Küsel, K. 2010. Impact of Biostimulated Redox Processes on Metal Dynamics in an Iron-rich Creek Soil of a former Uranium Mining Area. Environ. Sci.Technol. 44(1): 177-183.
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Burkhardt, E.-M., Meißner, S., Merten, D., Büchel, G., and Küsel, K. 2009. Heavy metal retention and microbial activities in geochemical barriers formed in glacial sediments subjacent to a former uranium mining leaching heap. Chemie der Erde - Geochemistry 69, S2: 21-34.
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Böhme, A., Risse-Buhl, U., and Küsel, K. 2009. Protists with different feeding modes change morphological biofilm characteristics. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 69(2): 158-169.
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Peiffer, S., Oldham, C., Salmon, U., Lillicrap, A., and Küsel, K. 2009. Does iron cycling trigger generation of acidity in groundwaters of western Australia? Environ. Sci. Technol. 43(17): 6548-6552. 
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Reiche, M., Hädrich, A., Lischeid, G., and Küsel, K. 2009. Impact of manipulated drought and heavy rainfall events on peat mineralization processes and source-sink functions of an acidic fen. J. Geophys. Res. 114: G02021. 13 PP.
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Risse-Buhl, U., and Küsel, K. 2009. Colonization dynamics of biofilm associated ciliate morphotypes at different flow velocities. Eur. J. Protistol. 45(1): 64-76.
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Risse-Buhl, U., Scherwass, A., Arndt, H., Kröwer, S., and Küsel, K. 2009. Detachment and motility of biofilm associated ciliates at increased flow velocities. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 55(3): 209-218.
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Akob, D. A., Mills, H. J., Gihring, T. M., Kerkhof, L., Stucki, J. W., Anastacío, A. S., Chin, K.-J., Küsel, K., Palumbo, A. V., Watson, D. B., and Kostka, J. E. 2008.  Functional diversity and electron donor dependence of microbial populations capable of U(VI) reduction in radionuclide-contaminated subsurface sediments. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74(10): 3159-3170.
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Augspurger, C., Gleixner, G., Kramer, C., and Küsel, K. 2008. Tracking carbon flow in a 2-week-old and 6-week-old stream biofilm food web. Limnol. Ocean. 53(2): 642-650.
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Blöthe, M., Akob, D. M., Kostka, J. E., Göschel, K., Drake, H. L., and Küsel, K. 2008. pH gradient-induced heterogeneity of Fe(III)-reducing microorganisms in coal mining-associated lake sediments. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74(4): 1019-1029.
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Küsel, K., Blöthe, M., Schulz, D., Reiche, M., and Drake, H. L. 2008. Microbial reduction of Fe(III) and porewater biogeochemistry in acidic peatlands. Biogeosciences 5(6): 1537-1549.
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Küsel, K., Burkhardt, E.-M., and Sitte, J. 2008. Effect of metal-reducing microorganisms on element fluxes in a former uranium-mining district. In: Liu, S.-J., and Drake, H. L. (eds.), Microbes in the Environment: Perspectives and Challenges, pp. 128-137. Science Press, Beijing.

Reiche, M., Torburg, G., and Küsel, K. 2008. Competition of Fe(III)-reduction and methanogenesis in a slightly acidic fen. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 65(1): 88-101.
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Schmalenberger, A., Tebbe, C. C., Kertesz, M., Drake, H. L. and Küsel, K. 2008. Two-dimensional single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) of 16S rRNA gene fragments reveals highly dissimilar bacterial communities in an acidic fen. Eur. J. Soil Biol. 44(5-6): 495-500.
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Edwards, L., Küsel, K., Drake, H. L., and Kostka, J. E. 2007. Electron flow in acidic subsurface sediments cocontaminated with nitrate and uranium. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 71(3): 643-654.
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Pohlon, E., C. Augspurger, U. Risse-Buhl, J. Arle, M. Willkomm, Halle, S., and Küsel, K. 2007. Querying the obvious: lessons from a degraded stream. Restoration Ecology 15(2): 312-316.
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Schmalenberger, A., Drake, H. L., and Küsel, K. 2007. High unique diversity of sulfate-reducing prokaryotes in a depth gradient in an acidic fen. Environ. Microbiol. 9(5): 1317-1328.
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Spänhoff, B., Augspurger, C., and Küsel, K. 2007. Comparing field and laboratory breakdown rates of coarse particulate organic matter: Effects of sediment dynamics can superimpose the impact of dissolved nutrients on mass loss of CPOM in streams. Aquat. Sci. 69(4): 495-502.
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Spänhoff, B., Bischof, R., Böhme, A., Lorenz, S., Neumeister, K., Nöthlich, A., and Küsel, K. 2007. Assessing the impact of effluents from a modern wastewater treatment plant on breakdown rates of coarse particulate organic matter and benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages in a lowland river. Water, Air & Soil Pollution 180(1-4): 119-129.
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Alewell, C., Paul, S., Lischeid, G., Küsel, K., and Gehre, M. 2006. Characterizing the redox status in three different forested wetlands with biogeochemical data. Environ. Sci. Technol. 40(24): 7609-7615.

Bodelier, P. L. E., Sorrell, B., Drake, H. L., Küsel, K., Hurek, T., Reinhold-Hurek, B., Lovell, C., Megonigal, P., Frenzel, P. 2006. Ecological aspects of microbes and microbial communities inhabiting the rhizosphere of wetland plants. In: Bobbink, R., Beltman, B., Verhoeven, J. T. A., and Whigham, D. F. (eds.), Wetlands as a Natural Resource, Vol. 2, Ecological Studies, Vol. 190, pp. 205-238. Springer-Verlag, New York, New York.

Drake, H. L., Küsel, K., and Matthies, C. 2006. Acetogenic Prokaryotes. In: Dworkin, M., Falkow, S., Rosenberg, E., Schleifer, K.-H., and Stackebrandt, E. (eds.), The Prokaryotes, Vol. 2, pp. 354-420. Springer-Verlag, New York.

Gebühr, C., Pohlon, E., Schmidt, A., and Küsel, K. 2006. Development of the microalgae communities in the phytotelmata of allochthonous populations of Sarracenia purpurea (Sarraceniaceae). Plant Biology 8(6): 849-860.

Gößner, A., Küsel, K., Schulz, D., Trenz, S., Acker, G., Lovell, C. R., and Drake, H. L. 2006. Trophic interaction of the aerotolerant anaerobe Clostridium intestinale and the acetogen Sporomusa rhizae sp. nov. isolated from the roots of the black needlerush Juncus roemerianus. Microbiology 152: 1209-1219.

Küsel, K., Trinkwalter, T., Drake, H. L., and Devereux, R. 2006. Comparative evaluation of anaerobic bacterial communities associated with roots of submerged macrophytes growing in marine or brackish water sediments. J. Exp. Marine Biol. Ecol. 337(1): 49-58.

Ogram, A., Bridgham, S., Corstanje, R., Drake, H., Küsel, K., Mills, A., Newman, S., Portier, K., Wetzel, R. 2006. Linkages between microbial community composition and biogeochemical processes across scales. In: Bobbink, R., Beltman, B., Verhoeven, J. T. A., and Whigham, D. F. (eds.), Wetlands as a Natural Resource, Vol. 2, Ecological Studies, Vol. 190, pp. 239-268. Springer-Verlag, New York, New York.

Paul, S., Küsel, K., and Alewell, C. 2006. Reduction processes in forest wetlands: tracking down heterogeneity of source/sink functions with a combination of methods. Soil Biol. Biochem. 38(5): 1028-1039.

Schnurr-Pütz, S., Baath, E., Guggenberger, G., Drake, H. L., and Küsel, K. 2006. Compaction of forest soil by logging machinery favours colonization by prokaryotes. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 58(3): 503-516.



Drake, H. L., and Küsel, K. 2005. Acetogenic clostridia. In: Dürre, P. (ed.), Handbook on Clostridia, pp. 719-746. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.



Koschorreck, M., Wendt-Potthoff, K., Chabbi, A., and Küsel, K. 2004. Mikrobielle Prozesse im Uferbereich von sauren Bergbauseen. In: Nixdorf, B., and Deneke, R. (eds.) Grundlagen und Maßnahmen zur biogenen Alkalinisierung von sauren Tagebauseen, pp. 119-137. Weißensee Verlag, Berlin.

Küsel, K., and Alewell, C. 2004. Riparian zones in a forested catchment: hot spots for microbial reductive processes. In: Matzner, E. (ed.) Biogeochemistry of two German forested catchments in a changing environment. Ecological Studies (Analysis and Synthesis), vol 172: 377-395. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Loy, A., Küsel, K., Lehner, A., Klein, M., Drake, H. L., and Wagner, M. 2004. Microarray and functional gene analyses of sulfate-reducing prokaryotes in low sulfate, acidic fens reveal co-occurrence of recognized genera and novel lineages. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70(12): 6998-7009.

Müller, V., Imkamp, F., Rauwolf, A., Küsel, K., and Drake, H. L. 2004. Molecular and cellular biology of acetogenic bacteria. In: Nakano, M. M., and Zuber, P. (eds) Strict and Facultative Anaerobes: Medical and Environmental Aspects, pp. 251-281. Horizon Scientific Press, United Kingdom.



Drake, H. L., and Küsel, K. 2003. How the diverse physiological potentials of acetogens determine their in situ realities. In: Ljungdahl L. G. et al., Biochemistry and Physiology of Anaerobic Bacteria, pp. 171-190. Springer-Verlag, New York.

Horn, M. A., Matthies, C., Küsel, K., Schramm, A., and Drake, H. L. 2003. Hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis by moderately acid-tolerant methanogens of a methane-emitting acidic peat. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69(1): 74-83.

Küsel, K., Chabbi, A., and Trinkwalter, T. 2003. Microbial processes associated with roots of bulbous rush coated with iron plaques. Microb. Ecol. 46(3): 302-311.

Küsel, K. 2003. Microbial cycling of iron and sulfur in acidic coal mining lake sediments. Water Air Soil Poll.: Focus 3(1): 67-90.



Drake, H. L., Küsel, K., and Matthies, C. 2002. Ecological consequences of the phylogenetic and physiological diversities of acetogens. Ant. van Leeuwenhoek 81(1-4): 203-213.

Karnholz, A., Küsel, K., Gößner, A., Schramm, A., and Drake, H. L. 2002. Tolerance and metabolic response of acetogenic bacteria toward oxygen. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 68(2): 1005-1009.

Küsel, K., Roth, U., and Drake, H. L. 2002. Microbial reduction of Fe(III) in the presence of oxygen under low pH conditions. Environ. Microbiol. 4(7): 414-421.

Küsel, K., Wagner, C., Trinkwalter, T., Gößner, A., and Drake, H. L. 2002. Microbial reduction of Fe(III) and turnover of acetate in Hawaiian soils. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 40(1): 73-81.

Regenspurg, S., Gößner, A., Peiffer, S., and Küsel, K. 2002. Potential remobilization of toxic anions during the reduction of arsenated and chromated schwertmannite by the dissimilatory Fe(III)-reducing bacterium Acidiphilium cryptum JF-5. In: Schmidt, N., and Stottmeister, U. (eds.) Biotechnological Remediation of Water Pollution. Water Air Soil Poll.: Focus 2(3): 57-67.

Reith, F., Drake, H. L., and Küsel, K. 2002. Anaerobic activities of bacteria and fungi in moderately acidic conifer and deciduous leaf litter. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 41(1): 27-35.



Küsel, K., Karnholz, A., Trinkwalter, T., Devereux, R., Acker, G., and Drake, H. L. 2001. Physiological ecology of Clostridium glycolicum RD-1, an aerotolerant acetogen isolated from sea grass roots. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 67(10): 4734-4741.

Küsel, K., Roth, U., Trinkwalter, T., and Peiffer, S. 2001. Effect of pH on the anaerobic microbial cycling of sulfur in mining-impacted freshwater lake sediments. Environ. Experim. Botany 46(3): 213-223.



Peine, A., Tritschler, A., Küsel, K., and Peiffer, S. 2000. Electron flow in an iron-rich sediment - evidence for an acidity driven iron cycle. Limnol. Ocean. 45(5): 1077-1087.

Küsel, K., and Dorsch, T. 2000. Effect of supplemental electron donors on the microbial reduction of Fe(III), sulfate, and CO2 in coal mining-impacted freshwater lake sediments. Microbiol. Ecol. 40(3): 238-249.

Küsel, K., Dorsch, T., Acker, G., Stackebrandt, E., and Drake, H. L. 2000. Clostridium scatologenes strain SL1 isolated as an acetogenic bacterium from acidic sediments. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 50: 537-546.



Küsel, K., Dorsch, T., Acker, G., and Stackebrandt, E. 1999. Microbial reduction of Fe(III) in acidic sediments: Isolation of Acidiphilium cryptum JF-5 capable of coupling the oxidation of glucose to the reduction of Fe(III). Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 65(8): 3633-3640.

Küsel, K., Pinkart, H. C., Drake, H. L., and Devereux, R. 1999. Acetogenic and sulfate-reducing bacteria inhabiting the rhizoplane and deeper cortex cells of the sea grass Halodule wrightii. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 65(11): 5117-5123.

Küsel, K., Wagner, C., and Drake, H. L. 1999. Enumeration and metabolic product profiles of the anaerobic microflora in the mineral soil and litter of a beech forest. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 29(1): 91-103.



Küsel, K., and Drake, H. L. 1998. Microbial turnover of low molecular weight organic acids during leaf litter decomposition. Soil Biol. Biochem. 31(1): 107-118.



Drake, H. L., Daniel, S. L., Küsel, K., Matthies, C., Kuhner, C., and Braus-Stromeyer, S. 1997. Acetogenic bacteria: what are the in situ consequences of their diverse metabolic versatilities? BioFactors 6(1): 13-24.



Küsel, K., and Drake, H. L. 1996. Anaerobic capacities of leaf litter. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 62: 4216-4219.



Küsel, K., and Drake, H. L. 1995. Effects of environmental parameters on the formation and turnover of acetate by forest soils. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 61: 3667-3675.

Pecher, K., Küsel, K., Fischer, U., and Herrmann, R. 1995. Reductive dehalogenation of chlorinated hydrocarbons during anaerobic stabilization of municipal wastes. Acta Hydrochim. Hydrobiol. 23: 271-279.



Drake, H. L., Daniel, S. L., Matthies, C., and Küsel, K. 1994. Acetogenesis: reality in the laboratory, uncertainty elsewhere. In: Drake, H.L. (ed.), Acetogenesis, pp. 273-302. Chapman and Hall, Inc., New York.

Küsel, K., and Drake, H. L. 1994. Acetate synthesis in soil from a Bavarian beech forest. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 60: 1370-1373.



Pecher, K., Fischer, U., and Küsel, K. 1993. Reduktive Dehalogenierung von Chlorkohlenwasserstoffen während der Mülldiagenese. In: Thome-Kozmiensky, K. J. (ed.), Biogas: Anaerobentechnik in der Abfalltechnik. EF-Verlag für Energie- und Umwelttechnik GmbH, Berlin.