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Ugo Marzocchi

Assistant Professor
Department of Biology, Section for Microbiology


I investigate the main factors that regulate macronutrients cycling in aquatic systems. I am particularly fascinated by the activity of electro-active bacteria, their geochemical impact, diversity and their potential technological application.
By mediating electric currents, filamentous (“cable”) bacteria can significantly alter geochemical reactions in sediments. In an EU-funded project, I explored how cable bacteria impact benthic nitrogen cycling and their distribution and diversity in the Baltic Sea.

I apply a broad range of sensing and isotopic techniques. Our results show that cable bacteria stimulate nitrate reduction to ammonium, thereby contributing to the recycling of nitrogen in aquatic systems. We also demonstrated that electrically connecting the surface sediment with the deeper layers by means of biological or inert conductors helps to accelerate hydrocarbon degradation.