Alexander Eiler

Image of Alexander Eiler
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47 22854527
Mobile phone +47 46501671
Room 4321
Visiting address Blindernveien 31
Postal address Postboks 1066 Blindern 0316 Oslo

Research interests

Microorganisms shape the physical, chemical and biological state of our planet by facilitating the storage, transport, and turnover of key elements. While these activities are key to the production and consumption of greenhouse gases and water quality, approaches, theory and models that integrate microbial influence in the context of biogeochemical, ecosystem and climatic processes still need to be developed. Our ignorance about microbes is even the more astonishing given their interactions with all macroscopic life.

My main research interest is to understand how microbes shape aquatic food webs and ecosystem-scale biogeochemical transformations as for example the production of greenhouse gases. To obtain such systems-level understanding requires collaborations across the fields of aquatic ecology and biogeochemistry.

By combining omics (including DNA/RNA/protein sequencing and advanced computational approaches) and stable isotope tracer studies we intend to advance ecological (i.e. food web interactions) and biogeochemical (i.e. greenhouse gas production) frameworks to a more predictive understanding based on mechanisms. The need for such understanding has never been more relevant than now in the light of ongoing global climate warming and massive human-induced alterations of ecosystems.


My original training is that of an ecologist at the University of Vienna and of a microbial ecologist at Uppsala University where I worked on describing microbial diversity of inland waters and the mechanisms underlying patterns in microbial diversity. Later I was a post doc at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology working on marine microbes, in particular on abundant marine Pelagibacter. These intriguing bacteria have very small genomes resulting in the depletion of essential biosynthesis pathways besides of being free living. Studying the ecological implications of genome reduction has been the interest of our research group during my time as an Assistant Professor at Uppsala University.

Since 2018 I am Professor at the University of Oslo which led to a shift in my research focus to microbe and climate repercussions as well as the impacts of other anthropogenic disturbances on microbial functioning in aquatic systems.

Tags: Microbial Ecology, Microbial Evolution, Environmental DNA, Metagenomics, Bioinformatics, Experimental Evolution, Sweden, Finland, USA, Brazil


  • Allesson, Lina; Valiente, Nicolas; Dörsch, Peter; Andersen, Tom; Eiler, Alexander & Hessen, Dag Olav (2022). Drivers and variability of CO<inf>2</inf>:O<inf>2</inf> saturation along a gradient from boreal to Arctic lakes. Scientific Reports. ISSN 2045-2322. 12. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-23705-9.
  • Rieder, Jessica; Martin Sanchez, Pedro Maria; Osman, Omneya A.; Adrian-Kalchhauser, Irene & Eiler, Alexander (2022). Detecting aquatic pathogens with field-compatible dried qPCR assays. Journal of Microbiological Methods. ISSN 0167-7012. 202. doi: 10.1016/j.mimet.2022.106594.
  • Suarez, Carolina; Sedlacek, Christopher J.; Gustavsson, David J. I.; Eiler, Alexander; Modin, Oskar & Hermansson, Malte [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2022). Disturbance-based management of ecosystem services and disservices in partial nitritation-anammox biofilms. npj Biofilms and Microbiomes. ISSN 2055-5008. 8(1). doi: 10.1038/s41522-022-00308-w.
  • Valiente Parra, Nicolas; Eiler, Alexander; Allesson, Lina; Andersen, Tom; Clayer, Francois & Crapart, Camille Marie [Show all 13 contributors for this article] (2022). Catchment properties as predictors of greenhouse gas concentrations across a gradient of boreal lakes. Frontiers in Environmental Science. ISSN 2296-665X. 10. doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2022.880619. Full text in Research Archive
  • Fontaine, Laurent; Khomich, Maryia; Andersen, Tom; Hessen, Dag Olav; Rasconi, Serena & Davey, Marie Louise [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2021). Multiple thresholds and trajectories of microbial biodiversity predicted across browning gradients by neural networks and decision tree learning. ISME Communications. ISSN 2730-6151. 1. doi: 10.1038/s43705-021-00038-8.
  • Pin, Lorenzo; Eiler, Alexander; Fazi, Stefano & Friberg, Nikolai (2021). Two different approaches of microbial community structure characterization in riverine epilithic biofilms under multiple stressors conditions: Developing molecular indicators. Molecular Ecology Resources. ISSN 1755-098X. 21(4), p. 1200–1215. doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.13341. Full text in Research Archive
  • Eriksson, KM; Sanli, Kemal; Nilsson, RH; Eiler, Alexander; Corcoll, N & Johansson, CH [Show all 9 contributors for this article] (2020). Triclosan changes community composition and selects for specific bacterial taxa in marine periphyton biofilms in low nanomolar concentrations. Ecotoxicology. ISSN 0963-9292. 29, p. 1083–1094. doi: 10.1007/s10646-020-02246-9.
  • Zha, Yinghua; Lindström, Eva S.; Eiler, Alexander & Svanback, Richard (2020). Different roles of environmental selection, dispersal, and drift in the assembly of intestinal microbial communities of freshwater fish with and without a stomach. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. ISSN 2296-701X. 8, p. 1–15. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2020.00152. Full text in Research Archive
  • Fernandez, Leyden; Peura, Sari; Eiler, Alexander; Linz, Alexandra M; McMahon, Kathrine D & Bertilsson, Stefan (2020). Diazotroph Genomes and Their Seasonal Dynamics in a Stratified Humic Bog Lake. Frontiers in Microbiology. ISSN 1664-302X. 11, p. 1–16. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.01500. Full text in Research Archive
  • Juottonen, Heli; Fontaine, Laurent; Wurzbacher, Christian; Drakare, Stina; Peura, Sari & Eiler, Alexander (2020). Archaea in boreal Swedish lakes are diverse, dominated by Woesearchaeota and follow deterministic community assembly. Environmental Microbiology. ISSN 1462-2912. 22(8), p. 3158–3171. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.15058. Full text in Research Archive
  • Allesson, Lina; Andersen, Tom; Dörsch, Peter; Eiler, Alexander; Wei, Jing & Hessen, Dag Olav (2020). Phosphorus availability promotes bacterial DOC-mineralization, but not cumulative CO2-production. Frontiers in Microbiology. ISSN 1664-302X. 11. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.569879. Full text in Research Archive
  • Peura, Sari; Wauthy, Maxime; Simone, Domenico; Eiler, Alexander; Einarsdottir, Karolina & Rautio, Milla [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2020). Ontogenic succession of thermokarst thaw ponds is linked to dissolved organic matter quality and microbial degradation potential. Limnology and Oceanography. ISSN 0024-3590. 65(1), p. S248–S263. doi: 10.1002/lno.11349. Full text in Research Archive
  • Garcia, Sarahi L.; Buck, Moritz; Hamilton, Joshua J.; Wurzbache, Christian; Grossart, Hans-Peter & McMahon, Katherine D. [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2018). Model Communities Hint at Promiscuous Metabolic Linkages between Ubiquitous Free-Living Freshwater Bacteria. mSphere. ISSN 2379-5042. 3(3). doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00202-18.
  • Peura, Sari; Buck, Moritz; Aalto, SL; Morales, Sergio E; Nykänen, Hannu & Eiler, Alexander (2018). Novel Autotrophic Organisms Contribute Significantly to the Internal Carbon Cycling Potential of a Boreal Lake. mBio. ISSN 2161-2129. 9. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00916-18.
  • Bagatini, Inessa Lacativa; Eiler, Alexander; Bertilsson, Stefan; Klaveness, Dag; Tessarolli, Leticia Piton & Vieira, Armando Augusto Henriques (2014). Host-Specificity and Dynamics in Bacterial Communities Associated with Bloom-Forming Freshwater Phytoplankton. PLOS ONE. ISSN 1932-6203. 9(1). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085950.

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  • Carlsen, Eira Catharine Lødrup; Hylland, Ketil; Gomes, Tania; Sørensen, Lisbet; Booth, Andrew & Eiler, Alexander (2022). Plastic leachates as drivers for bacterial community structure and functioning, including antibiotic resistance.
  • Allesson, Lina; Andersen, Tom; Dörsch, Peter; Eiler, Alexander; Wei, Jing & Hessen, Dag Olav (2020). Corrigendum: Phosphorus Availability Promotes Bacterial DOC-Mineralization, but Not Cumulative CO2-Production (Front.Microbiol, (2020), 11, (569879), 10.3389/fmicb.2020.569879). Frontiers in Microbiology. ISSN 1664-302X. 11. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.614974.
  • Carlsen, Eira Catharine Lødrup; Eiler, Alexander; Hylland, Ketil & Gomes, Tania (2022). Double trouble: plastic leachates as drivers for increased adaptations to antibiotics? The effects of plastic leachates and ciprofloxacin on the sea urchin microbiome. Department of BioSciences, University of Oslo.
  • Hjelset, Sverre; Eiler, Alexander; Hylland, Ketil & Gomes, Tania (2021). Weak toxicity of chemical additives extracted from car tire rubber on the microbiome of Atlantic cod and Norway pout. University of Oslo.
  • Finstad, Anders Gravbrøt; Boer, Hugo de; Brurberg, May Bente; Dahle, Geir; Edgar, Kristin Skarsfjord & Eiler, Alexander [Show all 25 contributors for this article] (2020). Kriterier for lagring av miljø-DNA prøver og data, herunder henvisning til referansemateriale. Criteria for depositing eDNA samples and data, including vouchered specimens. Miljødirektoratet.

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Published Apr. 25, 2018 12:59 PM - Last modified May 4, 2022 3:22 PM