Bernhard Huchzermeyer

Bernhard HuchzermeyerVisiting Professor

Department of Biology
Northeastern University
134 Mugar Life Sciences
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115 USA

Lab Website:

Academic Education

  • Ph.D. Biology, University of Hannover
  • M.Sc. Biology, Technical University of Hannover
  • B.Sc. Biology, Technical University of Hannover


  • Professor of Botany, Leibniz Universitaet Hannover (2008 – present)
  • Acting Chair of Botany, Leibniz Universitaet Hannover (2005-2008)
  • Associate Professor of Botany & Plant Biochemistry, Leibniz Universitaet Hannover (2000-2005)
  • Assistant Professor of Botany, School of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover (1990-2000)
  • Lecturer of Biochemistry & Plant Physiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover (1981-1990)

Other Professional Activities

Visiting Professor: Department of Biology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA

  • Editorial Board: K-12 Textbooks in Biology (since 1990, permanently)
  • Coordinator of the DAAD sponsored studies abroad project in Biology (Hannover-Boston, 1996 – present)
  • Board of examiners (applied education for technical assistants) of the Hannover Chamber of Trade and Commerce (1994 – present, chair since 2004)
    Speaker of the biochemistry workgroup in the EU COST project “From Genes to Ecosystems” (2009-2013)
  • Coordinator of the EU ERASMUS “Integrated Project: Cropping Energy” (2009-2010)
  • Coordinator of the DAAD “Summer school on Teaching & Research for Sustainability” (2008-2010)
  • Coordination of K-12 summer-academies in Biology (1993-2003)
  • Senator of the School of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (1987-1999)

Research Interests

Currently 40% of food crops are grown under irrigation, but on 30% of these acres crop yield is impaired by saline soil. Worldwide losses due to drought and salt stress are estimated higher than those brought about by pathogens and other pests, respectively. 
In crops, photosynthetic capacity is impaired by salt stress, resulting in retarded development and reduced crop yield. But under sub-lethal stress no increased salt concentrations have been found inside chloroplasts. Therefore, complex multi-factorial interactions of metabolic pathways and regulation steps have been predicted. This assumption agrees with the finding that stress sensitivity of plants is under the control of a high number of genes, and gene action is non-additive.

In our experiments we are using physiological and biochemical techniques to identify, individually for each pant species under investigation, indicators to measure and quantify stress perception. As a rule, these indicators resemble bottlenecks of metabolism and plant performance, specific for each species. Our investigations have to be closely linked to other groups working on signaling, molecular genetics, food quality, and analytics of organic compounds as well as soil science and plant nutrition.

Our experimental approach has resulted in permanent co-operations and recently has initiated a project on biomass production by micro-algae. In this new project we check at what extent results on higher plants apply for algae as well. Special tasks are (i) prediction of nutritive quality of algae, and (ii) prediction of contents of bioactive compounds.

Teaching Activities

  • Board of examiners of the pre-clinical education of students of veterinary medicine (1986-2000)
  • Board of the examiners for the State of Lower Saxony’s exam (Biology) of high-school teachers (since 1983)
  • Member of Committee of Studies: in the subjects Biochemistry (since 1981); Botany (since 1990); Plant Physiology (since 1995)

I am teaching, on Undergraduate and Graduate levels, the subjects General Biochemistry, Enzymology, Bioenergetics, and Plant Physiology since 1981. Since 1990 I am in charge of organizing teaching duties on my own responsibility. Due to German regulations my regular average teaching load is 8 hours per week during semesters. Contributing to committees, examinations and overseeing performance of B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. candidates is not included and will add to the teaching load.

I am contributing to university education of high school teachers and I am member of committees structuring design & contents of Biology textbooks and education curricula & examination levels of laboratory assistants, respectively. In contrast to the USA, curricula of high school education is regulated by countries while job oriented education is under the control of local chambers of trade and commerce or associations of craftsmen. Such regulation is going to be harmonized by national committees. This is a slow process that started two decades ago. The dream is to have a cross Europe harmonization.