Meet Prof. Matthias Horn, Co-Editor-in-Chief of microLife (1 of 4)


We are pleased to announce that there will be four new Co-Editors-in-Chief of microLife – The journal of the FEMS European Academy of Microbiology. Here we introduce the first of our new Editors-in-Chief: Professor Matthias Horn, as he talks to us about his career and his vision for the new open access journal of the European Academy of Microbiology (EAM).

Prof. Matthias Horn, University of Vienna (Austria)
  • Institution: Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science, University of Vienna (Austria)
  • Research Interests: Biology and evolution of intracellular microbes; Ecology of host-associated microbes; Mechanisms of microbe-host interactions; Microbial genome evolution

What encouraged you to pursue a career in the field of microbiology?

My interest in microbiology started late – during my studies of biology at the Technische Universität München, Germany. In the basic microbiology courses I became fascinated by the hidden world of microbes that exists beyond our senses. I was intrigued both by the power and importance of microbes for any living being on the one hand and our lack of knowledge about these organisms on the other.”

What do you think are the challenges being faced by researchers today, and in particular by Early Career Scientists?

The major challenge is the acceleration of science during the past two decades. Driven by the development of new technology, microbiology has progressed at an extremely fast pace. It is now a discipline with major impact on diverse areas of science and society, including global change and  public health. This requires a broad expertise and the ability to work in interdisciplinary teams.

To excel as young scientist in microbiology, large data sets and comprehensive experimental approaches are required for publishable studies. Keeping up with technological developments and the requirement to publish high impact papers leaves too little time for reading papers and creative thinking. The general focus on impact factors and the power of few influential journals that determine scientific careers further contribute to a highly competitive and challenging research environment.”

How would you describe microLife in your own words?

microLife is a journal from scientists for scientists, dedicated to publish highest quality science without commercial interests or exploitative business and publishing models.”

What makes microLife unique for the community, and why should scientists submit their manuscripts?

microLife strives to provide a forum for the best science in the field, requires minimal formatting for initial submissions and provides fair assessments and reviews of work submitted for publication.”

How do you see the future of microLife in 5, 10, 20 years, and what would you consider a success for it?

microLife starts in a difficult period, in which much of our attention, scientific activities and resources are devoted to coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope that the microLife team and its supporters will have enough endurance to establish the journal in these challenging times. microLife is a success if it became a reliable resource for some of the best papers in the diverse fields of microbiology.”

microLife – The journal of the FEMS European Academy of Microbiology

As the journal of the European Academy of Microbiology (EAM)microLife will be the platform for leading experts in microbiology, publishing outstanding papers of the highest standard, novelty, and significance. All microbes are covered, including bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists, parasites, and viruses. The journal is fully gold open access and all articles are free to read.


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