Short CV/Education and training

  • 1962
    Year of birth

  • 1982 – 1985
    Studied biology, sociology and languages (English, French), University of Aachen, Germany

  • 1986 – 1988
    Studied biology: microbiology, immunology and genetics, University of Konstanz, Germany

  • 1988 – 1989
    Diplom degree in biology, University of Konstanz, Germany

  • 1989 – 1993
    Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany. Doctorate (PhD) in the laboratory of Dr Wolfram Zillig

  • 1994 – 1995
    Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany. Postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr Wolfram Zillig

  • 1996
    California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, and Agouron Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA. Postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr Melvin Simon

  • 1996 – 1997
    University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), CA, USA. Postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr Edward DeLong

  • 1998 – 2004
    Group leader (assistant professor) at the University of Darmstadt, Germany, at the Institute of Microbiology and Genetics

  • 2002
    Habilitation (postdoctoral qualification) and venia legendi (authorisation to teach) in microbiology and genetics

  • 2004 – 2007
    Professor of microbiology, University of Bergen, Norway

  • Since 2007
    Head of Department: Genetics in Ecology, University of Vienna, Austria

Selected publications

  • Schleper C: Microbial ecology: Metabolism of the deep. In: Nature 456(7223), 2008. S. 712-714.

  • Urich T, Lanzén A, Qi J, Juson D, Schleper C, Schuster S: Simultaneous assessment of soil microbial community structure and function through analysis of the meta-transcriptome. In: PLoS ONE 3(6), 2008. e2527.

  • Leininger S, Urich T, Schloter M, Schwark L, Qi J, Nicol G, Prosser J, Schuster S, Schleper C: Archaea predominate among ammonia-oxidizing prokaryotes in soils. In: Nature 442(7104), 2006. S. 806-809.

  • Nicol G, Schleper C: Ammonia-oxidising Crenarchaeota: important players in the nitrogen cycle? In: Trends Microbiol. 14(5), 2006. S. 207-212.

  • Hallam S, Mincer T, Schleper C, Preston C, Roberts K, Richardson P, DeLong E.: Pathways of carbon assimilation and ammonia oxidation suggested by environmental genomic analyses of marine Crenarchaeota. In: PLoS Biol. 4(4), 2006. e95.

  • Schleper C, Jurgens G, Jonuscheit M: Genomic Analyses of Uncultivated Archaea. In: Nature Reviews Microbiology 3(6), 2005. S. 479-488.

  • Treusch A, Leininger S, Schuster S, Kletzin A, Klenk H, Schleper C: Novel genes for nitrite reductase and Amo-related proteins indicate a role of uncultivated mesophilic crenarchaeota in nitrogen cycling. In: Environm. Microbiol. 7(12), 2005. S. 1985-1995.

  • Jonuscheit M, Martusewitsch E, Stedman K, Schleper C: A reporter gene system for the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus based on a selectable and integrative shuttle vector. In: Molec. Microbiol. 48, 2003. S. 1241-52.

  • Schleper C, Pühler G, Kühlmorgen B: Life at extremely low pH. In: Nature 375, 1995. S. 741-742.

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses of ammonia oxidizing archaea in terrestrial environments and marine sponges

  • Metatranscriptomic analyses of the microbial community in cryoturbated arctic soils

  • Cultivation and genomic characterisation of ammonia oxidizing archaea from soil

  • CRISPR-mediated immune response of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM)

  • German Association of University Professors and Lecturers (DHV – Deutscher Hochschulverband)

  • American Society for Microbiology (ASM)

  • Member of the editorial board of: Environmental Microbiology and the ISME Journal

Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Soft Skills

Project Management:

  • Main coordinator of the interdisciplinary national project "Inflammobiota" within the Austrian Genome Programme GEN-AU, since 2008

  • Main coordinator of the international SysMo (Systems Biology of Microorganisms)-Era-Net project: SulfoSYS (, 2007 – 2010

Organisation of international conferences:

  • International conference: Thermophiles, 2007 Bergen, Norway, Sept. 23-27th, 2007 (Co-organiser)

  • International meeting: Archaea, the first generation. June 2-4 2005, in Munich, Germany (Co-organiser)

  • The first International Workshop on Metagenomics: Metagenomics 2003: June 12th/13th, 2003 in Darmstadt, Germany (Main organiser)


  • Co-organiser of the international seminar series: "Women in Biosciences," University of Darmstadt, Germany, 2001 – 2002

  • Mentor in the Women Mentoring Program for Scientists, Frankfurt/Darmstadt, Germany, 1998 – 2004


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    277 senior researchers received an ERC Advanced Grant, among them are Susanne Albers, Gabriela Constantin, Rachel Griffith, Martina Havenith, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Mercedes Maroto-Valer (photo), Eva Schinnerer, Christa Schleper, Dr. Maria Sibilia, Ingrid Van Keilegom, and Hanna Vehkamäki. Congratulations!