Eckert Ester

Permanent researcher


  • Viale Tonolli 50
    28922 Verbania (VB)


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  • +39 0323 518321 (Telephone)
  • +39 0323 556513 (Fax)

Other information

Research Interests:

  • Bacterial diversity and ecophysiology
  • Interactions of bacteria with organisms of other trophic levels
  • Organic carbon transfer through the food web mediated by bacteria
  • Microbial collaboration and competition

My former projects have mainly centred on the development and diversity of bacteria during phytoplankton blooms. I have studied the ecophysiology of various aquatic phylotypes and the impact of microbial carbon uptake on the aquatic food web.

Currently I am involved in a multidisciplinary project evaluating the presents of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the human gut of people with different dietary habits. Therein my part consist of evaluating the bacterial diversity using NGS and relating bacterial phylotypes to potential functions in the gut.


Oct 2005 – Nov 2008
Bachelor studies in biology at the Unversity of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Jul – Sep 2008
Research internship in microbial ecology, Under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Grossart,
Leibniz Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fishery
Neuglobsow, Germany
Nov 2008 – Jan 2012
Master thesis in Biology (Microbiology) entitled: Dynamics and ecophysiology of bacteria during a phytoplankton spring bloom in Lake Zurich
Under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Jakob Pernthaler
Limnological Station,
Institute of Plant Biology University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Mar 2010 – Oct 2013
PhD studies in Natural Sciences (Biology, Microbiology) entitled: Organic carbon uptake by bacteria with different live strategies – Successions and unexplored food web interactions
Under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Jakob Pernthaler
Limnological Station,
Institute of Plant Biology University of Zurich, Switzerland
Since Mar 2014
Post-doc position at the CNR - Institute of Ecosystem Study Verbania in the research group of Dr. Gianluca Corno

Extramural Activities:

  • Member of the local organizing committee of the 1st EMBO Conference on Aquatic Microbial Ecology (SAME13), 2013, Stresa, Italy
  • Member of the local organizing committee of the 33rd Congress of the International Society of Limnology (SIL 33), 2016, Turin, Italy
  • External expert within the category ‘biology and environment’ for the national competition of the foundation Schweizer Jugend Forscht (the Swiss youth in science foundation), 2013 & 2014


Eckert EM, Salcher MM, Posch T, Eugster B & Pernthaler J (2012) Rapid successions affect microbial N-acetyl-glucosamine uptake patterns during a lacustrine spring phytoplankton bloom. Environmental Microbiology 14: 794-806.

Eckert EM, Baumgartner M, Huber IM & Pernthaler J (2013) Grazing resistant freshwater bacteria profit from chitin and cell-wall-derived organic carbon. Environmental Microbiology 15: 2019-2030.

Callieri C, Coci M, Eckert EM, Salcher MM, Bertoni R (2014). Archaea and Bacteria in deep lake hypolimnion: in situ dark inorganic carbon uptake. Journal of Limnology 73: 31-38.

Eckert EM & Pernthaler J (in press) Bacterial epibionts of Daphnia are a potential route for the efficient transfer of dissolved organic carbon within freshwater food webs. ISME Journal