Algae and bacteria have been living together in the ocean for millions of years. Marine bacteria have evolved various ways to interact with algae through physical attachment and secretion of small molecules. We wish to gain a comprehensive understanding of the various modes of algal-bacterial interactions. In the ocean, the metabolic exchange and spatial association between algae and bacteria is very hard to explore due to the many changing factors. This is why our lab uses simplified laboratory model systems that allow for a precisely controlled environment. Our experimental model systems are analyzed using approaches from both microbiology and the Earth sciences.