Dr. Martin Kreutz
Thank you for visiting my website “Real Micro Life”. Many readers may want to know something about the author behind this website for freshwater microorganisms. Therefore I would like to introduce myself briefly.
I grew up in a region called “Bergisches Land” near Cologne (Germany). I have been interested in microscopy since my early childhood. It started with a small toy microscope from the department store, which I got from my parents for Christmas when I was about 10 years old. One of those with a pickled bee and brine shrimp eggs. You know the kind! Although I could only see dim outlines through that microscope, I was fascinated by the fact that there were obviously living creatures there that were so small I couldn’t see them and that I had no idea about. Unfortunately, I did not keep my first microscope.
At the age of 16 – 18, I then trained as a biological-technical assistant in Cologne. During this time I came into contact with laboratory microscopes of higher quality. At the age of 18 I bought the “VB 165” from “Will” (today the manufacturer “Hund”). It was a lot of money for me at that time, but with its higher optical performance I could observe microscopic organisms in detail for the first time and the desire to identify and name them arose immediately. As I had to experience, this clearly was the most difficult part with microscopy! In addition, the desire arose in me to take photos of what I saw. I took my very first photos through a microscope in 1980. To capture moving objects I made a mirror box out of wood and a cosmetic mirror. The pilot light was a 12V bulb from my father’s car. I took my first flashed microphotos with this construction in July 1983.
After my apprenticeship, I began studying chemistry at the University of Siegen, which I completed with a doctorate in 1991. I got my first job in 1992 at a pharmaceutical company in Constance on Lake Constance. There I was lab manager in pharmaceutical analytics. Later I worked in quality assurance. In the summer of 1993 I discovered the Simmelried with its great diversity of proto- and metazoans. It was only 4 km away from where I lived at that time.
In 1994 I decided to buy a research microscope, as it was clear to me that I would be involved in microscopy for the rest of my life. At that time I decided to buy the Olympus BX50, which had been launched just 1 year before. All the photos you see on my website were taken with this microscope.
In June 1995, I met Prof. Wilhelm Foissner at a microscopists’ meeting in Dorfibm/Austria. My contact to him should last until his death in 2020. He inspired me and sensitized me for the ciliates, which you will probably be able to tell by the number of ciliate species on my website. In 2003 he proposed to publish a book about the biodiversity in the Simmelried, which was published in 2006.
Since 2021 I have been in early retirement and have started to build up the website “Real Micro Life”, where I want to show the species I have found over the years in Simmelried and the surrounding areas. Since many of these species have never been photographed before, it is a great motivation for me to show them here and compare them with the drawings of the earlier discoverers and researchers.
I wish all visitors of my website interesting insights into the microscopic world present there and profit from it. Maybe one or the other will be sufficiently motivated by this to have a look at this microscopic world themselves, which would make me especially happy.