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16: Microbiome diversity vs. microbiological control

Seminar / Seminar
english language

A microbiome is a community of microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses) that inhabit a particular multicellular organism, and, of course, the human microbiome is of special interest. Microbiomes are as indispensable for the normal functioning of our ecosystems as they are for the human body, and disruptions in either are associated with a loss in diversity of microorganisms. This seminar will examine if the human body can ‘control’ its own diversity. How is necessary microbial diversity established and maintained in the body? How is it affected by a hospital visit, and how can we control microorganisms in hospitals to reduce infection risks without causing resistance?
After introducing the participants to the field of microbiomes, the seminar will explore the question of how we might create a human space mission to Mars without contaminating that planet. Further, the seminar will ask how we can control our own microbiome during a space flight.


Planetary Protection Officer, European Space Agency, Noordwijk Chair
Professor for Interactive Microbiome Research, Medical University Graz Chair


Professor for Interactive Microbiome Research, Medical University Graz

 Since 2014 University professor for "Interactive Microbiome research", Medical University Graz/ BioTechMed, Austria
2007-2014 Scientist and project leader at the Institute for Microbiology and Archaea Center (University of Regensburg, Germany). Habilitation 2014.
2005-2006 PostDoc at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)/ California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, USA, Planetary Protection and Biotechnology Group.
2000-2004 PhD at the Institute for Microbiology and Archaea Center, University of Regensburg, Germany.

Seminar Week

show timetable


17:00 - 17:30Opening of the European Forum Alpbach 2018Plenary
17:30 - 18:30Opening speechPlenary
19:30 - 21:00Presentation of the seminarsPlenary


Seminar 01: The EU and its eastern and southern neighbours: resilience as a strategic prioritySeminar
Seminar 02: Digital transformation: Opportunities, risks, sustainability and resilienceSeminar
Seminar 03: Gender dynamics in changing societiesSeminar
Seminar 04: Imminent climate shocks - Resilience and diversity in climate changeSeminar
Seminar 05: Resilience and development policySeminar
Seminar 06: Precision medicine and its impact on societySeminar
Seminar 07: Minority politics in a comparative perspectiveSeminar
Seminar 08: How resilient to disturbances are ecosystem services?Seminar
Seminar 09: Economic shocksSeminar
Seminar 10: The unknown world of microbiomes: from the environment to the humansSeminar
Seminar 11: European Security - Moving towards resilience?Seminar
Seminar 12: Urban resilience to environmental challengesSeminar
Seminar 13: Mission to Mars - Education for changeSeminar
Seminar 14: Linguistic diversity: A resource for individual and communal resilienceSeminar
Seminar 15: Artificial intelligence and EthicsSeminar
Seminar 16: Microbiome diversity vs. microbiological controlSeminar
Seminar 17: Our work in our futureSeminar
Seminar 18: Reproductive RightsSeminar
Seminar 19: What can religions contribute to social justice?Seminar
Seminar 20: Spoken word poetry: The power of languageSeminar
Seminar 21: Why is it called a play?Seminar
Seminar 22: European Citizenship - Attitudes and Skills for a Democratic Youth CultureSeminar
Seminar 23: Warrior of the Heart - DojoSeminar
Seminar 24: European Neighbourhood Policy PhD Summer SchoolSeminar


19:00 - 20:00Global Muckraking: A guest lecture on investigative journalismPlenary


19:00 - 21:00ReceptionSocial