Funded by:

FWF research project P24565-B22 Thiotrophic ciliate mutualism between Cand. Thiobios zoothamnicoli and Zoothamnium niveum – cooperation goes empirical


This was our 5th stay at the Marine Biology Station of the Slovenian National Institute of Biology in the city of Piran. This time, we found many colonies of Zoothamnium thriving in the canal of Sv. Jerney and also in the subtidal areas of the mudflat of Strunjan. During this stay we performed further cultivation experiments of our symbiotic model and tested our new cultivations devices. We also completed our sample set for the population genetic analyses covering a full year at different sites. In addition to the 14C pulse/chase experiments already performed we did parallel stable isotope incubations (pulse and chase) using carbon and nitrogen. The marine ecology course for Master students was also held during this time. The students concentrated on in situ experiments using artificial sulfide emitting settlement devices in the field and in the lab on the effects of salinity on the survival of the symbiosis and on re-infection experiments.


Monika Bright

Salvador Espada Hinojosa

Ingrid Kolar

Jean-Marie Volland

+ 9 students of the Master course

Andrea D. Nussbaumer (lector)

Florian Scharhauser (tutor)


The flow through respirometer cultivation system


Zoothamnium niveum growing on a piece of wood.