Stream Biofilm and Ecosystem Research Laboratory SBER

Owing to global change, the ecological integrity of streams and rivers is at threat worldwide. At SBER (ɛspɛʁ, phonetics of the French word “espère”), we conduct insight-driven and fundamental research that cuts across the physical, chemical and biological domains of alpine stream ecosystems. We study biofilms, the dominant form of microbial life in streams, including the structure and function of their microbiome, and their orchestration of ecosystem processes. We also study stream ecosystem processes and biogeochemistry, including whole-ecosystem metabolism and related carbon fluxes — from the small to the global scale. We blend environmental sciences and ecology, and combine fieldwork with experiments and modeling to gain a better mechanistic understanding of stream ecosystem functioning.