Organisms play an important role in groundwater, as they influence the abiotic and biotic conditions. However, qualitative and quantitative processes are little investigated yet. In particular, the minimum energy requirements of groundwater animals and their functional role in bioremediation are not understood yet.

Using COMSOL I investigated theoretically the role of colony pattern for contaminant degradation on the micro scale. Most models may overpredict microbial contaminant degradation because they do not take into account the configuration at which degrading cells actually occur.

Curriculum vitae

  • 2009-2011: Marie Curie IE Fellow at the CSB (Centre for Systems Biology), Department of Biosciences, at the University of Birmingham, UK
  • 2006-2009: Post Doc at the Institute for Groundwater Ecology at the HelmholtzZentrum München, Neuherberg (Germany)
  • 2005-2006: Researcher at the BfG (Federal Institute for Hydrology), Koblenz (Germany)
  • 2004-2005: Researcher in the Division for Invertebrates at the Museum for Natural History at the SNSD (Federal Natural Historical Collections), Dresden (Germany)
  • 2000-2005: PhD student in Biology (grants from the Ulrich-Neumann and FAZIT foundations) at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Campus Landau; field and laboratory work at the Division for Land & Water, CSIRO, Floreat (Australia); Title of the thesis: "Surface water/groundwater interactions and their association with sediment fauna in a Western Australian catchment."
  • 1996-2000: Studies and "Diplom" (equivalent to MSc) in Biology at the Technical University of Dresden (Germany)

PhD Co-supervision

  • Marko Huenniger (2007-2011): "Application of tracer techniques for the evaluation of disturbances of the hydraulic flow field resulting from sediment sampling systems in porous aquifer models."
  • Maria Avramov (2009-): "The significance of invertebrates for the natural attenuation potential in contaminated groundwater ecosystems."
Both at Helmholtz-Zentrum München, Germany.


  • September/October 2010: "Statistics and Experimental Design using R" within MSc Analytical Genomics, MSc Molecular Biotechnology, MRes in Conservation and Utilisation of Plant Genetic Resources, and 1st year PhD students, University of Birmingham
  • December 2009: "Advanced Methods of Genomic Data Analysis II" within MSc Analytical Genomics, University of Birmingham

Selected Publications

  • Schmidt, S.I. & H.J. Hahn (2012): What is groundwater and what does this mean to fauna? Limnologica 42, 1, 1-6.
  • Schmidt, S.I., C. Picioreanu, B. Craenen, R. Mackay, J.-U. Kreft, G. Theodoropoulos (2011): "A Multi-Scale Agent-based Distributed Simulation Framework for Groundwater Pollution Management", 15th IEEE International Symposium on Distributed Simulation and Real Time Applications (DS-RT'11), Salford, Manchester, UK, September 4-7 2011.
  • Griebler, C., C. Kellermann, H. Stein, H. Brielmann, S. I. Schmidt, D. Selesi, C. Steube, S. Berkhoff, A. Fuchs, H. J. Hahn (2010): Ecological assessment of groundwater ecosystems - vision or illusion? Environmental Engineering 36, 9, 1174-1190. DOI:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2010.01.010
  • Stein, H., C. Kellermann, S. I. Schmidt, H. Brielmann, C. Steube, A. Fuchs, H. J. Hahn, S. E. Berkhoff, B. Thulin & C. Griebler (2010): The potential use of fauna and bacteria as ecological indicators for the assessment of groundwater ecosystems. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 12. 242-254. DOI:10.1039/B913484K.
  • Brielmann, H., C. Griebler, S.I. Schmidt, T. Lueders (2009): Effects of thermal energy discharge on shallow groundwater ecosystems. FEMS Microbial Ecology 68, 3, 273-286.
  • Schmidt, S.I., M. König-Rinke, K. Kornek, C. Winkelmann, M.A. Wetzel, J.H.E. Koop & J. Benndorf (2009): Finding appropriate reference sites in large-scale aquatic field experiments. Aquatic Ecology 43, 1, 169-179.
  • Schmidt, S.I., H.J. Hahn, T.J. Hatton & W.F. Humphreys (2007): Do faunal assemblages reflect the exchange intensity in groundwater zones? Hydrobiologia 583, 1, 1-17. - DOI 10.1007/s10750-006-0405-8.
  • Schmidt, S.I., J. Hellweg, H.J. Hahn, T.J. Hatton & W.F. Humphreys (2007): Does groundwater influence the sediment fauna beneath a small, sandy stream? Limnologica 37, 208-225.
  • Schmidt, S.I., H.J. Hahn, T.J. Hatton, G. Watson & R.J. Woodbury (2004): The net sampler – an efficient and inexpensive way to sample fauna of stream sediments and groundwater. Acta hydrochimica et hydrobiologica 32, 2, 131-137.

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