Cells in the Cold Laboratory

We study microorganisms with key roles in the global carbon cycle, focusing on cold ecosystems, consequences of global warming, and the methane cycle. We are part of the Microorganisms & Plants research group within the Department of Arctic and Marine Biology at the Arctic University of Norway located in Tromsø.


Former members, visiting scientists & graduated students

Laureen S. Ahlers (Research Assistent, September 2023 - December 2023)

Ezequiel Teran (visiting PhD candidate, National University of the Center of the Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, May 2023 - November 2023)

Kathrin M. Bender (graduated PhD, November 2022)

Jill De Visscher (visiting PhD candidate, Ghent University, Belgium, October 2023 - November 2023)

Julia Brzykcy (Erasmus fellow (MSc) from the University of Warsaw, Poland, July 2023 - September 2023)

Laureen S. Ahlers (graduated MSc, June 2023)

Julia Brzykcy (Erasmus fellow (BSc) from the University of Warsaw, Poland, August 2022 - November 2022)

Edda M. Rainer (graduated PhD, June 2022)

Thea Ramona Olsen (graduated BSc, June 2022)

Asgeir Westby (graduated BSc, June 2022)

Vincent Carrier (graduated PhD, November 2021)

Dimitri Kalenitchenko (former postdoctoral member, finished in July 2021)

Lisa-Marie Delpech (Intern; finished in June 2021)

Yngvild Bjørdal (graduated MSc, June 2021)

Christophe Seppey (former postdoctoral member, finished in December 2020)

Pernille M. Skaset Fåne (graduated MSc, September 2020)

Anne Margriet Mol (visiting student, Saxion University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands; graduated BSc, July 2020)

Franziska Nagel (graduated MSc, June 2020)

Joana Séneca (visiting PhD candidate, University of Vienna, Austria, August 2019 - October 2019)

Maialen Barret (sabbatical stay, March 2019 - July 2019)

Jeanette Grunnvåg (graduated MSc, June 2019)

Yngvild Bjørdal (graduated BSc, December 2018)


Alexander T. Tveit (Head of the Cells in the Cold Laboratory)

Email: alexander.t.tveit@uit.no

In 2018 the Cells in the Cold Laboratory was founded with the start of the Tromsø Research Foundation Project Cells in the Cold (CECO).

Ever since we are interested in: The physiology of atmospheric methane oxidizing bacteria (LoAir), physiological responses of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms to short-, medium-, and long-term warming, short-term temperature fluctuations and seasonal changes (ForHot and Time & Energy), and the link between above ground herbivory and the soil microbial foodweb in Arctic wetlands (InterAct).


In 2022 we started our "Green Laboratories and Sustainable Reserach" initiative to step-wise integrate more sustainable work practices in our daily life. Read more about it here.


Laboratory and Fieldwork Infrastructure



The Cells in the Cold Laboratory is involved in various teaching and training activities, including courses and seminars as well as bachelor and master thesis supervision. Get in contact if you are interested in available bachelor and master thesis projects.



We are a highly active research group and in the following we tried to collect news and activities from the Cells in the Cold Laboratory ranging from scientific publications and (upcoming) presentations to novel acquisitions and social activities.

Open positions and available master projects will be announced under "Upcoming".




Life on Air: On the Physiological Basis of Atmospheric Methane Oxidizing BacteriaTilman Schmider. 2024. PhD Thesis

Microorganisms in subarctic soils are depleted of ribosomes under short-, medium-, and long-term warming. Andrea Söllinger, Laureen S. Ahlers, Mathilde Borg Dahl, Páll Sigurðsson, Coline Le Noir de Carlan, Biplabi Bhattarai, Christoph Gall, Victoria S. Martin, Cornelia Rottensteiner, Liabo L. Motleleng, Eva Marie Breines, Erik Verbruggen, Ivika Ostonen, Bjarni D Sigurdsson, Andreas Richter, and Alexander T. Tveit. 2024. The ISME Journal

Physiological basis for atmospheric methane oxidation and methanotrophic growth on air. Tilman Schmider, Anne Grethe Hestnes, Julia Brzykcy, Hannes Schmidt, Arno Schintlmeister, Benjamin R. K. Roller, Ezequiel Jesús Teran, Andrea Söllinger, Oliver Schmidt, Martin F. Polz, Andreas Richter, Mette M. Svenning, and Alexander T. Tveit. 2024. Nature Communications


Impacts of Vegetation and Temperature Changes on Carbon Cycling Microbial Communities in Arctic WetlandsKathrin M. Bender. 2023. PhD Thesis

Biogeography of microbial communities in high-latitude ecosystems: Contrasting drivers for methanogens, methanotrophs and global prokaryotesChristophe V. W. Seppey, Léa Cabrol, Frederic Thalasso, Laure Gandois, Céline Lavergne, Karla Martinez-Cruz, Armando Sepulveda-Jauregui, Polette Aguilar-Muñoz, María Soledad Astorga-España, Rolando Chamy, Bruna Martins Dellagnezze, Claudia Etchebehere, Gilberto J. Fochesatto, Oscar Gerardo-Nieto, Andrés Mansilla, Alison Murray, Maxime Sweetlove, Nikita Tananaev, Roman Teisserenc, Alexander T. Tveit, Anton Van de Putte, Mette M. Svenning, and Maialen Barret. 2023. Environmental Microbiology

Abrupt permafrost thaw triggers activity of copiotrophs and microbiome predators. Maria Scheel, Athanasios Zervas, Ruud Rijkers, Alexander T Tveit, Flemming Ekelund, Francisco Campuzano Jiménez, Torben R Christensen and Carsten S Jacobsen. 2023. FEMS Microbiology Ecology

Microbial responses to warming and seasonal temperature changes in sub-Arctic forest and grassland soils. Laureen S. Ahlers. 2023. Master thesis

Long-term warming-induced trophic downgrading in the soil microbial food web. Mathilde Borg Dahl, Andrea Söllinger, Páll Sigurðsson, Ivan Janssens, Josep Peñuelas, Bjarni D. Sigurdsson, Andreas Richter, Alexander Tveit, and Tim Urich. 2023. Soil Biology and Biochemistry

Thermal acclimation of methanotrophs from the genus MethylobacterAlexander T. TveitAndrea SöllingerEdda Marie Rainer, Alena Didriksen, Anne Grethe HestnesLiabo Motleleng, Hans-Jörg Hellinger, Thomas Rattei and Mette M. Svenning. 2023. The ISME Journal


A combined microbial and biogeochemical dataset from high-latitude ecosystems with respect to methane cycle. Maialen Barret, …, Mette M. Svenning, Christophe Seppey, Alexander T. Tveit, et al. 2022. Scientific Data

Draft genome sequence data of a psychrophilic tundra soil methanotroph, Methylobacter psychrophilus Z-0021 (DSM 9914). Antti J. Rissanen, Rahul Mangayil, Mette M. Svenning and Ramita Khanongnuch. 2022. Data in Brief

Characterization and genome analysis of a psychrophilic methanotroph representing a ubiquitous Methylobacter spp. cluster in boreal lake ecosystems. Ramita Khanongnuch, Rahul Mangayil, Mette M. Svenning and Antti J. Rissanen. 2022. ISME Communications 

The root zone of graminoids: A niche for H2-consuming acetogens in a minerotrophic peatland. Anja B. Meier, Sindy Oppermann, Harold L. Drake and Oliver Schmidt. 2022. Frontiers in Microbiology

Deposit-feeding of Nonionellina labradorica (foraminifera) from an Arctic methane seep site and possible association with a methanotroph. Christiane Schmidt, Emmanuelle Geslin, Joan M. Bernhard, Charlotte LeKieffre, Mette M. Svenning, Helene Roberge, Magali Schweizer, Giuliana Panieri. 2022. Biogeosciences

Abrupt permafrost thaw triggers microbial bloom and increased activity of microbial predators. Maria Scheel, Athanasios Zervas, Alexander Tøsdal Tveit, Ruud Rijkers, Flemming Ekelund, Carsten Suhr Jacobsen, Torben Røjle Christensen. 2022. Preprint

Response and resilience of the microbial methane filter to ecosystem changes in Arctic peatlandsEdda M. Rainer. 2022. PhD Thesis

Batch Experiments Demonstrating a Two-Stage Bacterial Process Coupling Methanotrophic and Heterotrophic Bacteria for 1-Alkene Production From Methane. Ramita Khanongnuch, Rahul Mangayil, Ville Santala, Anne Grethe Hestnes, Mette M. Svenning, Antti J. Rissanen. 2022. Frontiers in Microbiology

Down-regulation of the bacterial protein biosynthesis machinery in response to weeks, years, and decades of soil warming. Andrea Söllinger, Joana Séneca, Mathilde Borg Dahl, Liabo L. Motleleng, Judith Prommer, Erik Verbruggen, Bjarni D. Sigurdsson, Ivan Janssens, Josep Peñuelas, Tim Urich, Andreas Richter, Alexander T. Tveit. 2022. Science Advances 

Five decades of terrestrial and freshwater research at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. Åshild Ønvik Pedersen, …, Mette M. Svenning, Alexander T. Tveit, et al. 2022. Polar Research

Latitude, Elevation, and Mean Annual Temperature Predict Peat Organic Matter Chemistry at a Global Scale. Brittany A. Verbeke, Louis J. Lamit, …, Mette M. Svenning, et al. 2022. Global Biogeochemical Cycles


Full Genome Sequence of a Methanomassiliicoccales Representative Enriched from Peat Soil. Micha Weil, Katharina J. Hoff, Walter Meißner, Fabian Schäfer, Andrea Söllinger, Haitao Wang, Lisa Hagenau, Andreas W. Kuss, Tim Urich. 2021. Microbiology Resource Announcements

Microbial carbon use and associated changes in microbial community structure in high-Arctic tundra soils under elevated temperature. Aline Frossard, Lotte De Maeyer, Magdalene Adamczyk, Mette M. Svenning, Elie Verleyen, Beat Frey. 2021. Soil Biology and Biochemistry

Increased microbial expression of organic nitrogen cycling genes in long-term warmed grassland soils. Joana Séneca, Andrea Söllinger, Craig W. Herbold, Petra Pjevac, Judith Prommer, Erik Verbruggen, Bjarni D. Sigurdsson, Josep Peñuelas, Ivan A. Janssens, Tim Urich, Alexander T. Tveit, Andreas Richter. 2021. ISME Communications

Biomethanation of Carbon Monoxide by Hyperthermophilic Artificial Archaeal Co-Cultures. Aaron Zipperle, Barbara Reischl, Tilman Schmider, Michael Stadlbauer, Ivan Kushkevych, Christian Pruckner, Monika Vítezová, Simon K.-M. R. Rittmann. 2021. Fermentation

Organic carbon from graminoid roots as a driver of fermentation in a fen. Anja B. Meier, Sindy Oppermann, Harold L. Drake, Oliver Schmidt. 2021. FEMS Microbiology Ecology

The Influence of Above-Ground Herbivory on the Response of Arctic Soil Methanotrophs to Increasing CH4 Concentrations and Temperatures. Edda M. Rainer, Christophe V.W. Seppey, Caroline Hammer, Mette M. Svenning, Alexander T. Tveit. 2021. Microorganisms

Decoupling of microbial community dynamics and functions in Arctic peat soil exposed to short term warming. Sizhong Yang, Susanne Liebner, Mette M. Svenning, Alexander T. Tveit. 2021. Molecular Ecology

Rapid microbial responses to temperature changes in Arctic anoxic peat soil. Yngvild Bjørdal. 2021. Master thesis

Seasonal shifts of microbial methane oxidation in Arctic shelf waters above gas seeps. Friederike Gründger, David Probandt, Katrin Knittel, Vincent Carrier, Dimitri Kalenitchenko, Anna Silyakova, Pavel Serov, Bénédicte Ferré, Mette M. Svenning, Helge Niemann. 2021. Limnology and Oceanography

Microbial responses to herbivory-induced vegetation changes in a high-Arctic peatland. Kathrin M. Bender, Mette M. Svenning, Yuntao Hu, Andreas Richter, Julia Schückel, Bodil Jørgensen, Susanne Liebner, Alexander T. Tveit. 2021. Polar Biology

The soil microbial food web revisited: Predatory myxobacteria as keystone taxa? Sebastian Petters, Verena Groß, Andrea Söllinger, Michelle Pichler, Anne Reinhard, Mia Maria Bengtsson, Tim Urich. 2021. The ISME Journal

Hyperthermophilic methanogenic archaea act as high-pressure CH4 cell factories. Lisa-Maria Mauerhofer, Sara Zwirtmayr, Patricia Pappenreiter, Sébastien Bernacchi, Arne H. Seifert, Barbara Reischl, Tilman Schmider, Ruth-Sophie Taubner, Christian Paulik, Simon K.-M. R. Rittmann. 2021. Communications Biology

Simultaneous Oxidation of Atmospheric Methane, Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen for Bacterial Growth. Alexander T. Tveit, Tilman Schmider, Anne Grethe Hestnes, Matteus Lindgren, Alena Didriksen, Mette M. Svenning. 2021. Microorganisms


Environmental patterns of brown moss- and Sphagnum-associated microbial communities. Alexander T. Tveit, Andrea Kiss, Matthias Winkel, Fabian Horn, Tomáš Hájek, Mette M. Svenning, Dirk Wagner, Susanne Liebner. 2020. Scientific Reports

The Impact of Methane on Microbial Communities at Marine Arctic Gas Hydrate Bearing Sediment. Vincent Carrier, Mette M. Svenning, Friederike Gründger, Helge Niemann, Pierre-Antoine Dessandier, Giuliana Panieri, Dimitri Kalenitchenko. 2020. Frontiers in Microbiology

Methanotroph populations and CH4 oxidation potentials in high-Arctic peat are altered by herbivory induced vegetation change. Edda M. Rainer, Christophe V.W. Seppey, Alexander T. Tveit, Mette M. Svenning. 2020. FEMS Microbiology Ecology

Anaerobic oxidation of methane and associated microbiome in anoxic water of Northwestern Siberian lakes. Léa Cabrol, Frédéric Thalasso, Laure Gandois, Armando Sepulveda-Jauregui, Karla Martinez-Cruz, Roman Teisserenc, Nikita Tananaev, Alexander T. Tveit, Mette M. Svenning, Maialen Barret. 2020. Science of The Total Environment

Frenulate siboglinids at high Arctic methane seeps and insight into high latitude frenulate distribution. Arunima Sen, Alena Didriksen, Stéphane Hourdez, Mette M. Svenning, Tine L. Rasmussen. 2020. Ecology and Evolution


Methylotrophic methanogens everywhere — physiology and ecology of novel players in global methane cycling. Andrea Söllinger & Tim Urich. 2019. Biochemical Society Transactions

Comparative vegetation survey with focus on cryptogamic covers in the high Arctic along two differing catenas. Ramona Kern, Vivien Hotter, Aline Frossard, Martin Albrecht, Christel Baum, Bjorn Tytgat, Lotte De Maeyer, David Velazquez, Christophe Seppey, Beat Frey, Michael Plötze, Elie Verleyen, Antonio Quesada, Mette M. Svenning, Karin Glase, Ulf Karsten. 2019. Polar Biology

Methane-fuelled biofilms predominantly composed of methanotrophic ANME-1 in Arctic gas hydrate-related sediments. Friederike Gründger, Vincent Carrier, Mette M. Svenning, Giuliana Panieri, Tobias R. Vonnahme, Scott Klasek, Helge Niemann. 2019. Scientific Reports

Time dependent temperature effects on methane production in Arctic peat soils. Jeanette Slettnes Grunnvåg. 2019. Master thesis

Widespread soil bacterium that oxidizes atmospheric methane. Alexander T. Tveit, Anne Grethe Hestnes, Serina L. Robinson, Arno Schintlmeister, Svetlana N. Dedysh, Nico Jehmlich, Martin von Bergen, Craig Herbold, Michael Wagner, Andreas Richter, Mette M. Svenning. 2019. PNAS

Characterization of the cecum microbiome from wild and captive rock ptarmigans indigenous to Arctic Norway. Alejandro Salgado-Flores, Alexander T. Tveit, Andre-Denis Wright, Phil B. Pope, Monica A. Sundset. 2019. PLoS One


Cryptic frenulates are the dominant chemosymbiotrophic fauna at Arctic and high latitude Atlantic cold seeps. Arunima Sen, Sébastien Duperron, Stéphane Hourdez, Bérénice Piquet, Nelly Léger, Andrey Gebruk, Anne-Sophie Le Port, Mette M. Svenning, Ann C. Andersen. 2018. PLoS One 

Holistic Assessment of Rumen Microbiome Dynamics through Quantitative Metatranscriptomics Reveals Multifunctional Redundancy during Key Steps of Anaerobic Feed Degradation. Andrea Söllinger, Alexander T. Tveit, Morten Poulsen, Samantha Joan Noel, Mia Bengtsson, Jörg Bernhardt, Anne Louise Frydendahl Hellwing, Peter Lund, Katharina Riedel, Christa Schleper, Ole Højberg, Tim Urich. 2018. mSystems



At the Cells in the Cold Laboratory, we aim to reach out locally, nationally, and internationally to a broad scientific audience, but also to a non-scientific audience to raise awareness on the importance of studying microorganisms and understanding their role in a changing world.

Cells in the Cold Laboratory

Biology Building, Framstredet 39, 9019 Tromsø
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