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Philipp Siegel

Philipp Siegel
Philipp Siegel



I finished a B.Sc. in Biology with a focus on marine biology at the University of Bremen in 2013. In 2015 I completed a M.Sc. in Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development at the Stockholm Resilience Center. I have a strong research interest in whole system processes and how microbial communities are shaped by environmental changes and external stresses. I find it of utmost importance to understand how future changes will affect microbial communities since they form the basis of many ecosystems in the Anthropocene. I have experiences in field sampling (ecological monitoring and measurement of abiotic and biotic parameters), laboratory work (analysis of bacterial communities), and statistical analysis of community data.

In the future I would like to expand my research to better understand what role changes on the microbial community level play for the greater socio-ecological system they are a part of.

Current research

For my Ph.D. I will investigate how phytoplankton communities (assemblies of microscopic photosynthetic organisms such as algae and cyanobacteria) are shaped by multiple environmental stresses. These communities account for half of the world's produced oxygen and form the basis of many aquatic food webs by fixing carbon from CO2 and making it available to other organisms.

The research will be conducted both in the lab under controlled environmental conditions as well as in the field to gain a better understanding of natural community dynamics.

Understanding the role of multiple stresses on the dynamics of phytoplankton communities is important since environmental changes will become more extreme and frequent in the future and stress on aquatic ecosystems will only increase. Greater insights into phytoplankton community dynamics will allow improved ecosystem management and provide a better basis for environmental policy making.


September 2015: International Symposium on Urban Ecology in Bogota, Colombia, which was organized by the Society for Urban Ecology (SURE) in collaboration with the Humboldt Institute Colombia.

Research group

Etienne Low-Decarie and Richard Geider, Environmental and Plant Research Group, University of Essex.

Other relevant activities

Together with my friend Fernando Remolina, with whom I studied at the Stockholm Resilience Center, I am currently in the process of founding a company which will aim at connecting communities from Colombia with sustainable energy companies and other sustainability science ideas from Europe. The aim is to alleviate poverty, improve human well-being and ensure sustainable ecosystems to foster socio-ecological resilience in a rapidly-changing world.