Environmental and Evolutionary Microbiology Group
Prof. Jan Roelof van der Meer
Department of Fundamental Microbiology / University of Lausanne
Environmental and Evolutionary Microbiology

My primary interest is the environment, the quality of our living resources and the ways that bacteria can help to manage and degrade human wastes and restore environmental health. Consequently, I am very interested in genetic adaptation processes in bacteria, the mechanisms by which they deal with toxic substances, how they react to pollution in general and how we can apply microbial processes in a useful way (like bacterial bioreporters, bioremediation, microbiome engineering).

September 07 2020

Congratulations to Nico, Vladimir, Lenka and Claire, for their new publication on the genome of Pseudomonas nitroreducens, the first bacterium to degrade 2-hydroxybiphenyl! In contrast to previous reports, we find that the P. nitroreducens genome has three replicons and two new exciting ICEs.

August 13 2020

Congratulations to Nico, Xavier, Sandra, François and Christian for our new publication in eLife, which describes the way how ICE bistability is regulated! Wonderful achievement!

Pass it on!

July 17 2020

Congratulations to Birge, Noushin and Ambrin on their newest publication on the concept to use trained algorithms to recognize bacterial cell types in known and unknown communities from multiparametric flow cytometry data! Brilliant!

July 10 2020

We are looking for an enthusiastic postdoctoral worker interested in studying microbial species-species interactions in mouse gut communities using high throughput bead technology. This collaborative project will be carried out within the newly started NCCR Microbiomes with the group of Sigi Hapfelmeier at the University of Bern. To apply, please contact me or submit your application directly on the UNIL recruitment site.

July 10 2020

Our new NCCR Swisswide project initiative on Microbiomes has started! As Director of this NCCR I am very excited to see this important research topic being pursued across Switzerland in multi-collaborative research. For more information, see the NCCR website.

See more

Jan Roelof van der Meer

Group leader

Nicolas Carraro


Andrea Daveri

PhD student

Marian Morales

PhD Student

Roxane Moritz

PhD Student

Xavier Richard

shared PhD student with Christian Mazza

Vladimir Sentchilo

Senior scientist

Diogo Tavares

PhD student

Andrea Vucicevic

PhD student

Senka Causevic

PhD student

Maxime Batsch

PhD Student

Gaïtan Géhin

PhD student shared with Jasqueline Peña

Isaline Guex

PhD student shared with Christian Mazza

Tania Miguel Trabajo

PhD student
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Jan Roelof van der Meer

See Jan van der Meer live at the 'Night of the Microbes' of the ISME meeting 2018. Lecture: Jan van der Meer's video talk called

Synthetic Biology: Principles and Applications is available on at


Latest publications

Greater topoclimatic control of above- versus below-ground communities.

Mod HK, Scherrer D, Di Cola V, Broennimann O, Blandenier Q, Breiner FT, Buri A, Goudet J, Guex N, Lara E, Mitchell EAD, Niculita-Hirzel H, Pagni M, Pellissier L, Pinto-Figueroa E, Sanders IR, Schmidt BR, Seppey CVW, Singer D, Ursenbacher S, Yashiro E, van der Meer JR, Guisan A.

Glob Chang Biol. 2020 Dec. 10.1111/gcb.15330

Insights into Mobile Genetic Elements of the Biocide-Degrading Bacterium Pseudomonas nitroreducens HBP-1.

Carraro N, Sentchilo V, Polák L, Bertelli C, van der Meer JR.

Genes (Basel). 2020 Aug 12. 10.3390/genes11080930

An analog to digital converter controls bistable transfer competence development of a widespread bacterial integrative and conjugative element.

Carraro N, Richard X, Sulser S, Delavat F, Mazza C, van der Meer JR.

Elife. 2020 Jul 28. 10.7554/eLife.57915

Bioluminescence-Triggered Photoswitchable Bacterial Adhesions Enable Higher Sensitivity and Dual-Readout Bacterial Biosensors for Mercury.

Chen F, Warnock RL, Van der Meer JR, Wegner SV.

ACS Sens. 2020 Jul 24. 10.1021/acssensors.0c00855


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