About us

The focus of the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology (IPMB) is research and teaching on genetic, molecular, biochemical, developmental, evolutionary, and cellular aspects of plants and their interactions with other organisms, as well as on limnology, aquatic ecology, microbial ecology, and microbiology. Currently, IPMB has four Full Professors, one Associate Professor, and two Assistant Professors, both funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF): Leo Eberl (Microbiology), Ueli Grossniklaus (Plant Developmental Genetics), Beat Keller (Plant Molecular Biology), Enrico Martinoia (Molecular Plant Physiology), Jakob Pernthaler (Limnology, Aquatic Ecology), Rolf Kümmerli (Microbial Evolutionary Ecology), and Joop Vermeer (Plant Cell Biology).


IPMB is conducting fundamental and applied research at the forefront of modern biology, and it is tightly embedded in the international research community, as exemplified by numerous collaborations across the globe and about 1000 publications in the last ten years, regularly including publications in top-level journals like Science and Nature. An increasing strength of our research is the complementation of classical molecular genetics with emerging technologies, some of which have been established in-house thanks to support from the central units of UZH, the SNF, and other funding bodies. This allows the exploitation of fundamental questions in novel, interdisciplinary ways, often breaching not only traditional views of biological disciplines, but also the barrier between basic and applied science - be it towards mathematical modeling, agricultural breeding, micromechanical engineering, or medicine.