MIT EAPS Directory

Benedict Borer

Postdoctoral Associate

I’m an environmental microbiologist with a keen interest to understand the bilateral interaction between microbial metabolism and the physico-chemical habitat both at the single cell level and at scales relevant to regional and global biogeochemical cycles. During my PhD, I have developed mathematical approaches to capture bacterial life in complex natural habitats such as soil by combining constraint based modeling with individual based approaches and complemented these in silico approaches with wetlab experiments. These efforts increased our understanding of how bacteria spatially organize in response to self-engineered patchy and dynamic nutrient landscapes with consequences for community stability and function.

After receiving a BSc in Environmental Sciences from ETH (2012), an MSc in Hydrology and Water Resources from Impercial College London (2014) and a PhD in Soil Physics from ETH (2020), I joined the Babbin lab at MIT as a Postdoctoral Associate to study the biochemistry of marine sinking particles using computational and experimental approaches with a focus on the denitrification pathway.


Benedict Borer, Robin Tecon and Dani Or. "Spatial organization of bacterial populations in response to oxygen and carbon counter-gradients in pore networks." Nature communications 9.1 (2018): 1-11.

Benedict Borer, Meriç Ataman, Vassily Hatzimanikatis and Dani Or. "Modeling metabolic networks of individual bacterial agents in heterogeneous and dynamic soil habitats (IndiMeSH)." PLoS computational biology 15.6 (2019).

Sami Ben Said, Robin Tecon, Benedict Borer, and Dani Or. "The engineering of spatially linked microbial consortia–potential and perspectives." Current opinion in biotechnology 62 (2020): 137-145.

Benedict Borer, Joaquin Jimenez-Martinez, Roman Stocker and Dani Or. "Reduced gravity promotes bacterially mediated anoxic hotspots in unsaturated porous media." Scientific Reports 10, 2020: 8614


Contact Information