Birthe is interested in how marine microbial communities interact with organic matter and can thereby influence global biogeochemical cycles. A special focus are the interactions between microbes and microgels, such as Transparent Exopolymer Particles (TEP).
As part of her PhD project, Birthe analysed microbial communities in the sea surface microlayer and during two cruises to the Peruvian upwelling region and the Mediterranean Sea.
Now, Birthe is focusing on the Arctic Ocean and will be primarily part of WP1 (Microbial community structure and function) in the Micro-ARC project, assessing the microbial community in the water column and on microgels. Together with Michael Cunliffe, she will work on new methods of microgel analysis and characterize the Arctic microbial community.