Evolutionary biology and venomics


Mar 2022 – Feb 2023
Jan 2022 –
Guest scientist at working group of Applied Bioinformatics, Faculty of Life Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt
Apr 2018 – Dec 2021
Research associate, group leader at Institute for Insect Biotechnology, Justus Liebig University Gießen/Fraunhofer IME & coordinator of Animal Venomics in LOEWE Center for Translational Biodiversity Genomics, Senckenberg Frankfurt
Oct 2015 – Mar 2019
Scientific associate at the Natural History Museum, Department of Life Sciences, London.
Oct 2015 – Mar 2018 Research associate (“Assistant Professor”) and group leader at Institute of Biology, University Leipzig.
Jan 2015 – Jul 2015 Postdoc at the Center for Molecular Biodiversity, Researchmuseum Koenig (ZFMK) Bonn.
Nov 2014 – Jan 2015 Research Fellow at the Natural History Museum, London.
Oct 2012 – Sep 2014 Postdoc at the Natural History Museum, London, DFG Research Grant.
Feb 2010 – Jun 2012 Postdoc position at the Researchmuseum Koenig (ZFMK) Bonn

University – PhD

Feb 2020 Dr. rer. nat. habil. (Habilitation) “Phylogenomics and venomics of remipede crustaceans and evolutionary venomics of other neglected invertebrates” University of Leipzig (03.02)
Oct 2005–Jan 2010 Dr. (PhD) [Magna cum laude] “Molecular insights to crustacean phylogeny” within DFG priority program: “Deep Metazoan Phylogeny “, at University Bonn/Researchmuseum Koenig (ZFMK)
Mar 2004–Mar 2005 Diplom (Master) [Sehr gut] “Phylogeography of the Zygaena angelicae/transalpina complex based on phylogenetic and Nested Clade Analysis using mt-DNA”, at Researchmuseum Koenig (ZFMK)
Feb 2004 Master exam: Zoology. Cell Biology and Chemistry
Oct 1999–Jan 2003 Study of Biology at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität, Bonn

Competitive funding/grant proposals

Apr 2020 EU COST Action CA19144: EUVEN (European Venom Network).
Secondary proposer, Management committee member for Germany, WG2 leader
Apr 2018 DFG grant (RE-3454/6-1):”Assessing venom variation and toxin evolution in solitary and eusocial aculeate hymenopterans by genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics
Feb 2017 DFG grant (RE-3454/4-1):”Venom evolution in robber flies: An integrative approach applying functional morphology in venomics
May 2016 Paul Scherer Institut Switzerland (PSI Synchrotron Tomcat Beamline, proposal 20160644)
Apr 2016 Co-PI: Doktorandenförderplatz Universität Leipzig, PhD project: “Comparative venom evolution of robber flies
Jun 2015 DAAD congress grant (Invited talk, International Society of Toxinology, Oxford, UK)
May 2015 NHM DIF bid, “First characterisation of robber fly venom composition by transcriptomics and proteomics
Jan 2015 DFG grant (RE-3454/2-1, Rückkehrstipendium), own position
Nov 2014 – Jan 2015 NHM DIF bid, own position
May 2014 DAAD travel grant (SMBE congress 2014), successful but I had to decline
Apr 2014 Paul Scherer Institute Switzerland (PSI Synchrotron Tomcat Beamline, proposal 20140194), successful but I had to decline
Sep 2013 NHM DIF bid (Cave diving expedition to Mexico to explore and collect the first venomous crustacean)
Oct 2012 – Sep 2014 DFG Research Grant (RE- 3454/1-1, 1-2), own position. “On the trail of the first venomous crustacean: venom gland transcriptome profiling of Remipedia
2009 Raiffeisenbank Rhein Sieg, Bonn, material expenses
2008 Alexander Koenig Stiftung, travel allowance
2004 Alexander Koenig Stiftung, travel allowance
Equipment Poseidon Tauchprodukte GmbH (Sponser 2008), Protec Sardinia (Sponser 2008 -2012)

Unsuccessful Grant proposals

Oct 2018 Böhringer Ingelheim Exploration Grant. Stirred stings: alter pesticides toxin expression in bumblebee venom?
Feb 2017 Sächsische Landesstiftung Natur und Umwelt Naturschutzfonds. Diversität und räumliche Verteilung von Fledermäusen im Leipziger Auwald.
Jul  2016 VW Experiment!  Stirred stings: do pesticides alter bumblebee venoms and their toxin expression?
Dec 2016 iDiv Flexible pool. Venom evolution in sawflies, wood wasps and parasitoid wasps: Toxin variation as key adaptations for early hymenopteran diversity. 1st Co-PI.
Jul 2016 DAAD Australia PPP exchange program. Comparative venom evolution and biology in flied (Diptera).
Jun 2016 VW Stiftung Experiment! Venom variation and neurotoxin evolution in adult robber flies and their predatory larvae tackled by an interdisciplinary venomics approach.
Feb 2012 DAAD researcher grant.On the trail of the first venomous crustacean: venom gland transcriptome profiling of Remipedia.

Teaching experience (Details/evaluations see “teaching”)

Jul 2019-2021 Co-Lecturer: Milestones of Insect biotechnology and bioresource, “Evolutionary and applied venomics I & II”, 2 hours
Jul 2019-2020 Co-Lecturer: Entomology II“NGS Sequencing atechniques and biodiversity assessment”, 1hour
Nov 2018 Co-Lecturer: Entomology I“Molecular evolution and systematics”, 1hour
Jan-Feb 2016 – 2018 Lecturer & Organizer: Practical and seminar (M. Sc., Biology), 3 weeks
“Molecular systematics & phylogeny, transcriptomics and phylogenomics“
Oct-Jan 2015 – 2018 Lecturer and organizer: Literature seminar, “Methods of scientific working”, 1hour/week
Jul 2016 – 2017 Lecturer & Organizer: Field course for magister/bachelor students “Spezielle Zoologie”, 1 week
Topics: Biological & chemical water quality, insect ecology, bat ecology, general invertebrate zoology, biology and diversity.
Jan-Feb 2017 – 2018
Co-Lecturer: Evolutionary Ecology, M. of Sc., Biology, 3 lectures
Dec 2016 – 2017 Co-lecturer: Evolution – Sequence analyses and molecular systematics, B. Sc., Biology, 2 days
Oct-Jan 2016/2016 Co-lecturer: “Biologisches Grundpraktium I, Allgemeine Zoologie” (General practical zoology), 2days/week
1st semester B. Sc.
Oct 2013/2014 Lecturer for M. Res. at UCL/NHM London (Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation): “Data quality in phylogenetics and phylogenomics“, 1day
July 2009 Teaching assistant: ”Marine Arthropoda and Annelida“, 2 weeks
May 2007/July 2008 Teaching assistant: “Marine Invertebrate Zoology“, 2 weeks
Dec 2005/2006 Teaching assistant: “Phylogeny and Systematics“, 2 weeks
Generally: introduction of students into principles of evolutionary theory and laboratory molecular work

Fieldwork – Research Stays (only > 5 days)

Jul 2019/2020 Collection of assassin bugs, hymenopterans and robber flies [Germany]
Jul 2016 Collection of robber flies [South of France/Eastern Germany]
Jun 2014 Collection of robber flies [Germany/France]
Mar 2014 Cave diving expedition to collect remipedes for proteomic work [Yucatan, Mexico]
Jul 2012 – Sep 2012 Research stay/cave explorations to collect crustaceans and hexapods [Sardinia, Italy]
Jan 2012 Cave diving expedition [Yucatan, Mexico]
Aug 2011 Deeper diving ’Meiofauna’-exploration (Cephalocarida), Cala Gonnone [Sardinia, Italy]
Oct 2010 Coastal diving ’Meiofauna’-exploration (Cephalocarida), Cala Gonnone [Sardinia, Italy]
Aug 2010 Material collection “Interstitialfauna’ (Mystacocarida), Biological Marine Station Ferrol, [Galicia, Spain]
Sep 2009 Material collection ’Interstitialfauna’ (Mystacocarida, Crustacea), Biological Marine Station Ferrol, [Galicia, Spain]
Jul 2009 Research stay at DESY Hamburg (Synchroton scanning of crustaceans) [Germany]
Jan 2009 Material collection ’Interstitial – and Benthosfauna’ (Mystacocarida, Leptostraca), Biological Marine Station Ferrol [Galicia, Spain]
Nov 2008 Cave diving expedition to collect Remipedia [Yucatan, Mexico]
Sep 2008 Collecting Crustacea by Scuba Diving [Sardinia, Italy]
Jul 2008 Collecting Crustacea (Leptostraca, Ostracoda, Cephalocarida) by Scuba Diving [Giglio, Italy]
Jun 2008 Research Stay Rutgers University, [New Jersey, USA]
Jul 2007 Research Stay TAMUG University, [Texas, USA] / Cave diving [Yucatan, Mexico]
May 2007 Collection of Crustacea by Meiofauna sampling, [Giglio, Italy]
May 2006 Research Stay at DZMB Wilhelmshaven, “Meionord-Expeditionon Research Vessel ’Heincke (benthic/pelagic meiofauna collection), [Germany]
Mar 2006 Collecting Mystacocarida and other Crustacea, Biological Marine Station Ferrol [Galicia, Spain]
Jun – Jul 2004 Collection of butterflies, [Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Greece]
Aug 1997 International nature conservation project [Portugal]: “Vulture protection in the nature conservation area “Parque natural do Tejo International (PNTI)“

Review – Membership Activity

Memberships Systematics Association, SMBE
Reviewer for MPE (Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution), MBE (Molecular Biology and Evolution), BMC Evolutionary Biology, BMC Genomics, Journal of Crustacean Biology, JZSEB (Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research), Integrative and Comparative Biology

Workshops (Own and participated)

09. – 12. Okt 2023
Naturschutz Kompakt (Umweltinstitut Offenbach): Gesetze (BNatSch, EU), Verfahren, Umweltprüfung, Eingriffsregelungen, Schutzgüter, Gebiets/Artenschutz, Landschaftsplanung
Apr – Jun 2023
Data Science Bootcamp (LeWagon): “Junior Data Scientist”. Python, API, SQL, Statistics, Calulus, Modelling, Machine & Deep Learning
31. May 2022
Dealing with Nagoya regulations (EU COST Action “EUVEN” Workshop), course organisator/moderator
15. – 19. Nov 2021
Eucaryotic genome assembly using PacBio and Hi-C (Physalia courses)
01. – 12. Nov 2021
RNA-Seq data analysis with R/Biodconductor (Physalia courses)
03. Dec 2018 The Nagoya protocol – challenges and perspectives (Das Nagoya Protokoll – Herausforderungen und Perspektiven, VBU, Dechema and VBIO, Frankfurt)
16. – 19. May 2017 Organizer of the 3D reconstruction workshop in Leipzig (16.05. – 19.05.): “From synchrotron based µ-CT scans to 3D reconstructions and beyond”, cooperation with A. Blanke.
21. Jan 2014 Introduction to Project Management, NHM HR, London, United Kingdom.
11. Dec 2013 Scientific Simulation and High Performance Computing, QMUL, London, United Kingdom.
25. Feb 2012 High quality 3D reconstruction for everyone: open-source solutions and their workflow to analyse and publish microCT data.
Feb 2008 Co-organizer of the 5th “European Basal Hexapod Workgroup meeting” and the 1st  “Arthropod Primer Toolbox Meeting”, ZFMK Bonn
Nov 2007 Organizer of the workshop “Alignment masking and analyses of secondary structures”, ZFMK Bonn
Jul 2007 “Tropical Marine Ecology” course Texas A&M University (TAMUG, USA)
Nov 2006 Co-organizer of the “3rd European Basal Hexapod Workgroup meeting”, ZFMK Bonn
Feb 2006 Co-organizer of the “ 2nd European Basal Hexapod Workgroup meeting”, ZFMK Bonn
Apr 2007 Phylogeny workshop: “tree alignment and databases”, Vienna. Austria
May 2006 Laboratory workshop: “cDNA libraries and cloning”. Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics. Berlin. Germany

Non Universitary Employment and Education

Jul 2005 – Sep 2005 Scientific assistant for network and computational administration at the ZFMK, Bonn
Aug 1999 –Apr 2005 Student assistant at “Informatikzentrum der Sparkassenorganisation (SIZ) GmbH Bonn“
Oct 1997 Training course at the Nature Conservation Academy NABU Deutschland: Nature and Species conservation, Public relations
Sep 1997 –Sep 1998 Zivildienst (Civilian Service) at Naturschutzbund (NABU Bonn-Rhein-Sieg): Habitat protection and preservation, field mapping, public relations, excursions
May 1997 Degree “Allgemeine Hochschulreife” [Final Mark: 1.6]
Jun 1994 Stay at College Karl Marx, Villejuef, Paris [France]
Mar 1990 Stay at Forfar Academy, Secondary School, Speyside Destrict [Scotland]

Non Universitary Activities

Mar 2011 – Mar 2012 Economic Course (AKAD): Project management & decision techniques.
Since May 2007 Scuba diving (PADI: OW, AOWD, Nitrox), Technical diving (Tech Essential, IANTD/NACD: Full Cave diver, IANTD: Sidemount Diver).
1998 – 2006 Founder and member of the “Bonner Arbeitskreis für Fledermausschutz, (BAFF)”: Research and protection of local bat fauna, Diversity in local cave systems
Language skills English fluently. French basic knowledge