Kiel Marine Science

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. h. c. Thomas Bosch

Am Botanischen Garten 1-9, 24118 Kiel
Phone: +49 431 880-4170

Personal website

Information about Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. h. c. Thomas Bosch


Thomas Bosch studied Biology at the University of Munich and Swansea University College in the UK from 1976 to 1983. He earned his doctorate from the University of Munich in 1986. From 1986 to 1988, Bosch held a postdoctoral position at the University of California, Irvine, USA. After a position as research associate at the University of Munich, he was appointed to professorship for Zoology at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena in 1997.

Since 2000 Bosch is Professor of General Zoology at Kiel University. From 2010 to 2013 he served as Vice-President of Kiel University and was responsible for Kiel University’s institutional strategy and international relations. Bosch is managing editor of ‘Zoology’. He is also a member of several national and international Academic Committees and Boards. His awards include a Dr. honoris causa degree from St. Petersburg State University, Russia (2004).

Research questions

For a long time, the main purpose of host-associated microbiology was to study pathogenic bacteria and infectious disease; the potential benefit of good bacteria remained unrecognized. In the last 10 years, biology has made revolutionary advances from century-old debates about the relative importance of non-pathogenic bacteria. Today we know that individuals are not solitary, homogenous entities but consist of complex communities of many species that likely evolved during a billion years of coexistence. Many questions arise when considering an organism a multispecies metaorganism.

For example:

  • How has the immune system been shaped by the need to accommodate symbionts?
  • How does it coevolve with a symbiotic microbiota to both shape and accommodate community assembly?
  • How do the resident symbionts influence fitness and thus ecologically important traits of their hosts?
  • Is there a mutual intertwining between the stem cell regulatory machinery of the host and the resident symbiotic microbe composition, such that disturbances in either trigger a restructuring and resetting of the other?
Current Research

KMS on campus



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