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Dr. Lars-Peter Wörmer



Organic Geochemistry


+49 421 218-65710


+49 421-218



MARUM I - 2570

Dr. Lars Wörmer

Research Interest

  • Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) of geobiomolecules
  • Deep biosphere
  • Bacterial endospores
  • Lipid biomarkers for cyanobacterial diazotrophy
  • Microbial (lipid) biomarkers
  • Chemical ecology

Academic Formation & scientific experience

from November 2015   Researcher and co-leader in the ZOOMECULAR project
at MARUM (Universität Bremen) (link)
Endospores in the deep marine biosphere: distribution, abundance and function (link)
October 2010 October 2015 Postdoctoral research at MARUM (Universität Bremen)
DARCLIFE project (link)
October 2009 October 2010 Postdoctoral research at the Department of Biology (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain)
October 22nd 2009   Ph.D. defense
September 2004 October 2009 Ph.D. at the Department of Biology (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain):
"Distribution and degradation of the cyanobacterial toxins microcystin and cylindrospermopsin in reservoirs"
Tutor: Dr. Antonio Quesada
July 2004 September 2004 NASA Planetary Biology Internship at Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, USA)
"Microbial degradation of organoarsenicals"
Supervisor: Dr John F. Stolz
September 1999 June 2004 Environmental Sciences student at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)


Third party funding as PI

Title: Establishing a platform to assess bacterial endospore abundance in the deep biosphere by quantification of the sporulation-related molecule dipicolinic acid.
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: Deep Carbon Observatory – Deep Life Community
Duration: March-November 2014


Book chapters

  • Wörmer L., Lipp J.S., Hinrichs KU. (2015) Comprehensive Analysis of Microbial Lipids in Environmental Samples Through HPLC-MS Protocols. In: McGenity T., Timmis K., Nogales B. (eds) Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology Protocols. Springer Protocols Handbooks. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg link

Scientific articles

2018 Schulze-Makuch D et al. (2018) Transitory microbial habitat in the hyperarid Atacama Desert. PNAS link
2017 Perez R, Wörmer L, Sass P, Maldener I. (2017) A highly asynchronous developmental program triggered during germination of dormant akinetes of filamentous diazotrophic cyanobacteria. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 94, 1 link
  Evans TW, Wörmer L, Lever MA, Lipp JS, Lin YS, Jorgensen BB, Hinrichs K-U. (2017) Size and composition of subseafloor microbial community in the Benguela upwelling area examined from intact membrane lipid and DNA analysis. Organic Geochemistry 111, 86-100 link
2016 Kellermann MY, Yoshinaga MY, Valentine RC, Wörmer L, Valentine DL. (2016) Important roles for membrane lipids in haloarchaeal bioenergetics. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Biomembranes 1858 (11), 2940-56.
  Gomez-Saez GV, Niggemann J, Dittmar T, Pohlabeln AM, Lang SQ, Noowong A, Pichler T, Wörmer L, Bühring SI. (2016) Molecular evidence for abiotic sulfurization of dissolved organic matter in marine shallow hydrothermal systems. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 190, 35-52
2015 Becker KW, Lipp JS, Wörmer L, Versteegh GJM, Hinrichs K-U (2015). Rapid and simultaneous analysis of three molecular sea surface temperature proxies and application to sediments of the Sea of Marmara. Organic Geochemistry 85, 42-43. (link)
  Yoshinaga MY, Gagen EJ, Wörmer L, Broda NK, Meador TB, Wendt J, Thomm M, Hinrichs K-U (2015). Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus modulates its membrane lipids in response to hydrogen and nutrient availability. Frontiers in Microbiology, 6, 5. (link)
2014 Wörmer L, Elvert M, Fuchser J, Lipp JS, Buttigieg PL, Zabel M, Hinrichs K-U. Ultra-high-resolution paleoenvironmental records via direct laser-based analysis of lipid biomarkers in sediment core samples. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS) 111, 15669-15674 (link)
  Cirés S, Wörmer L, Ballot A, Agha R, Wiedner C, Velázquez D, Casero MC, Quesada A. Phylogeography of cylindrospermopsin and paralytic shellfish toxin-producing Nostocales cyanobacteria from Mediterranean Europe (Spain). Applied and Environmental Microbiology 80, 1359-1370 (link)
  Bühring S I., Kamp A, Wörmer L, Ho S, Hinrichs K-U. Functional structure of laminated microbial sediments from a supratidal sandy beach of the German Wadden Sea (St. Peter-Ording). Journal of Sea Research 85, 463-473 (link)
2013 Zhu C, Lipp J S, Wörmer L, Becker K W, Schröder J, Hinrichs K-U. Comprehensive glycerol ether lipid fingerprints through a novel reversed phase liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry protocol. Organic Geochemistry 65, 53-62. (link)
  Zhu R, Evans T W, Wörmer L, Lin Y-S, Zhu C, Hinrichs K-U. Improved sensitivity of sedimentary phospholipid analysis resulting from a novel extract cleanup strategy. Organic Geochemistry 65, 46-52 (link)
  Wörmer L, Lipp JS; Schröder J, Hinrichs K-U. Application of two new LC-ESI-MS methods for improved detection of intact polar lipids (IPLs) in environmental samples. Organic Geochemistry 59, 10-21 (link)
  Agha R, Cirés S, Wörmer L, Quesada A. Limited Stability of Microcystins in Oligopeptide Compositions of Microcystis aeruginosa (Cyanobacteria): Implications in the Definition of Chemotypes. Toxins 5, 1089-1104 (link)
  Cirés S, Wörmer L, Agha R, Quesada A. Overwintering populations of Anabaena, Aphanizomenon and Microcystis as potential inocula for summer blooms. Journal of Plankton Research 35, 1254-1266 (link)
  Cirés S, Wörmer L, Carrasco D, Quesada A. Sedimentation Patterns of Toxin-Producing Microcystis Morphospecies in Freshwater Reservoirs. Toxins 5, 939-957 (link)
  Cirés S, Wörmer L, Wiedner C, Quesada A. Temperature-dependent dispersal strategies of Aphanizomenon ovalisporum (Nostocales, Cyanobacteria): Implications for the annual life cycle. Microbial Ecology 65, 12-21 (link)
2012 Wörmer L, Cirés S, Velázquez D, Quesada A, Hinrichs K-U. Cyanobacterial heterocyst glycolipids in cultures and environmental samples: Diversity and biomarker potential. Limnology & Oceanography 57(6), 1775-1788 (link)
  Yoshinaga M Y, Wörmer L, Elvert M, Hinrichs K U. Novel Cardiolipins from Uncultured Methane-Metabolizing Archaea. Archaea, doi:10.1155/2012/832097 (link)
  Agha R, Cirés S, Wörmer L, Domínguez J A, Quesada A. Multi-scale strategies for the monitoring of freshwater cyanobacteria: Reducing the sources of uncertainty. Water Research 46(9), 3043-3053 (link)
2011 Cirés S, Wörmer L, Timon J, Wiedner C, Quesada A. Cylindrospermopsin production and release by the potentially invasive cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon ovalisporum under temperature and light gradients. Harmful Algae 10(6), 668-675 (link)
  Wörmer L, Cirés S, Agha R, Verdugo M, De Hoyos C, Quesada A. First detection of cyanobacterial PSP (paralytic shellfish poisoning) toxins in Spanish freshwaters. Toxicon 57(6), 918-921 (link)
  Wörmer L, Cirés S, Quesada A. Importance of natural sedimentation in the fate of microcystins. Chemosphere 82, 1141-1146 (link)
2010 Wörmer L, Huerta-Fontela M, Cirés S, Carrasco D, Quesada A. Natural photodegradation of the cyanobacterial toxins microcystin and cylindrospermopsin. Environmental Science & Technology 44, 3002-3007 (link)
2009 Wörmer L, Carrasco D, Cires S, Quesada A. Advances in solid phase extraction of the cyanobacterial toxin cylindrospermopsin. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 7, 568-575. (link)
2008 Wörmer L, Cires S, Carrasco D, Quesada A. Cylindrospermopsin is not degraded by co-occurring natural bacterial communities during a 40-day study. Harmful Algae 7, 206-213. (link)
2007 Carrasco D, Moreno E, Paniagua T, de Hoyos C; Wörmer L, Sanchis D, Cires S, Martin-del-Pozo D, Codd GA; Quesada A. Anatoxin-a occurrence and potential cyanobacterial anatoxin-a producers in spanish reservoirs. Journal of Phycology 43, 1120-1125. (link)
  Stolz JF, Perera E, Kilonzo B, Kail B, Crable B, Fisher E, Ranganathan M, Wörmer L, Basu P. Biotransformation of 3-nitro-4-hydroxybenzene arsonic acid (roxarsone) and release of inorganic arsenic by Clostridium species. Environmental Science & Technology 41, 818-823. (link)
2006 Carrasco D, Moreno E, Sanchis D, Wörmer L, Paniagua T, Del Cueto A, Quesada A. Cyanobacterial abundance and microcystin occurrence, in Mediterranean water reservoirs in Central Spain: microcystins in the Madrid area. European Journal of Phycology 41, 281-291. (link)
  Quesada A, Moreno E, Carrasco D, Paniagua T, Wörmer L, De Hoyos C, Sukenik A. Toxicity of Aphanizomenon ovalisporum (Cyanobacteria) in a Spanish water reservoir. European Journal of Phycology 41, 39-45. (link)


Teaching Experience

(Co)supervised theses

  • Andreas Greve - MSc Thesis "High resolution imaging of spatially structured microbial communities with LDI-FTICR-MS and microXRF: biomarker distribution and elemental mapping in Antarctic microbial mats on the micrometer scale" (2016)
  • Stanislav Jabinski - BSc thesis "Erste Erkentnisse zu hochauflösenden bildgebenden Biomarker- und Elementanalysen anhand Sedimenten des Gotland Beckens" (2016)
  • Niroshan Gajendra - BSc thesis "Tiefenverteilungen von bakteriellen Endosporen in Sedimenten des östlichen Mittelmeeres" (2015)
  • Susanne Alfken - MSc Thesis "Laser-based assessment of shorte-term climate fluctuations: Validation and application of LDI FTICR-MS as a tool for ultra-high-resolution molecular stratigraphy" (2015)
  • Thomas Evans - MSc thesis "A new approach for the improved detection of phospholipids (PLs) in subseafloor sediments - The separation of PLs from the organic matrix and a case study in the Benguela upwelling area" (2012)
  • Stefan Braun - MSc thesis "New cell separation procedure improves the analysis of intact polar membrane lipids of sub-seafloor microbial communities" (2011)


  • since 2014: Biogeochemistry II (M.Sc. Marine Geosciences, Universität Bremen)
  • 2004-09: Department of Biology (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain)

Scientific Expeditions

DARCSEAS (Feb 2011)

Meteor M84/1 (DarcSeas): Deep subseafloor Archaea in the Eastern Mediterranean, Marmara, and Black Seas: carbon cycle, life strategies, and role in sedimentary ecosystems.
Cruise report

LIMNOPOLAR (January-February 2010)

Non-marine aquatic ecosystems in the polar regions and their reaction to potential climate change (Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island, Antartica)