The aim of his research is to fathom generally valid physical principles of the dynamics and self-organisation of soft matter. For him, soft matter means not only classical fluids such as polymers, but especially active, living systems such as communities of living microorganisms. “How do the biological functionalities and the dynamic properties of individual cells give rise to phenomena of self-organisation at the population level? What roles do interfaces play in this process? How do motile microorganisms explore their environment, and how do they ultimately adhere to surfaces? I am fascinated by the fact that such fundamental questions always give rise to interesting technological issues of highly topical social relevance, for example in the field of sustainable energy and pharmaceutical drug research”, says the scientist.