Thorsten is a microbial ecologist with focus on microbial communities and processes. He uses this expertise to reveal the function(ing) of diverse ecosystems from extreme environments to oceans and lakes. He then exploits this basic knowledge for a variety of practical applications including environmental monitoring with bioindicators and for industrial processes in which microbial communities play a key role. The latter includes among others the production of biogas by microbial communities through anaerobic fermentation of organic material. Thorsten is head of the research group Microbial Ecology at the University of Kaiserslautern and also works as a consultant for industry and environmental management.