Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Phone number
+31 (0)222 36 9387
Guest researcher
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Lipidomics

Dr. Su Ding

Guest researcher


Lipid biomarkers have proved to be an excellent tool in many marine biogeochemical studies as they provide species, process specific information, or reflect environmental variables such as temperature and pH. One of the greatest strengths of lipid biomarkers, as opposed to other biological molecules, is their preservation potential over millions of years in the geological record. In order to unlock all potential information stored in preserved lipids, we need to know who produced them and under what conditions. As the vast majority of microorganisms are uncultured, associating lipids with their producers has in many cases been impossible. My aim is to enrich our understanding of which microorganisms produce which lipids and under what conditions in the ocean. In order to do this, I used two omic approaches, one established, genomics and one which is in its infancy in the field of biogeochemistry, lipidomics. Recently, we successfully developed a “non-targeted lipidomic” approach to comprehensive lipidome profiling. The next step is to establish a work-flow that combines comprehensive profiling of microbial communities and of biomarker lipids in a variety of marine environments. This novel workflow will provide not only more comprehensive recognition of novel lipid biomarkers from uncultivated microbes but will also shed light on globally important biogeochemical processes.


Research experience

12. 2019 - present     Postdoc researcher at NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

04. 2019 - 12. 2019   Postdoc researcher at Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena

10. 2018                     Research stay in Prof. Welti lab, Kansas State University, U.S.

08. 2017 – 11. 2017  Research stay in Prof. Hinrichs Lab, Marum, University of Bremen, Germany




Ph.D. in the research group of Molecular Biogeochemistry at Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena.
Thesis: Sources and environmental controls of microbial membrane lipids in soils and groundwater
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Georg Pohnert (Friedrich Schiller University Jena), Prof. Dr. Gerd Gleixner (Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry) 

google scholar:

Linked news

Monday 29 April 2024
Archaea can be picky parasites
A parasite that not only feeds of its host, but also makes the host change its own metabolism and thus biology. NIOZ microbiologists Su Ding and Joshua Hamm, Nicole Bale, Jaap Sinninghe Damsté and Anja Spang have shown this for the very first time in…

Linked blogs

Monday 22 August 2022
BLOG I-Nano cruise | Exploring deep-sea nanomaterials
Nanomaterials and nanoparticles are usually connected with high-tech industrial processes. But they have been a natural part of our planet from the very beginning, they show unique catalytic capabilities that may have (had) a major influence on…

NIOZ publications