For the first day three speakers were invited. Dr. Andreas Brachmann, leader of the Microbial Functional Genomics Group at LMU, held a lecture about the evidence for the sexual origin of heterokaryosis in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Subsequent Prof. Brigitte Helmreich from the chair of urban water systems engineering at TUM spoke about the bioremediation of waste water and heavy metal contaminated soil. Last, Dr. Kilian Stoecker, who is working at the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology in Munich, provided insights into the diagnosis of Ebola during the epidemics in 2014 and the work done by the European mobile laboratory project. Besides the training of presentation skills, lectures on different methods were prepared by the PhD students and the postdocs. These included an introduction on HPLC/MS, a summary on different methods of data visualisation and a comparison of the available sequencing methods. For the fun part of the retreat the members of the group attended a guided brewery tour in order to also extend their knowledge about beer. A special thanks to HELENA for the support.