Evolutionary biology and venomics

Work experience

01/2022 – Guest scientist at working group of Applied Bioinformatics, Faculty of Life Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt
03/2022 – 02/2023
04/2018 – 12/2021
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
10/2015 – 03/2019
Scientific associate at the Natural History Museum, Department of Life Sciences, London.
10/2015 – 03/2018 Research associate (“Assistant Professor”) and group leader at Institute of Biology, University Leipzig.
01/2015 07/2015 Postdoc at the Center for Molecular Biodiversity, Researchmuseum Koenig (ZFMK) Bonn.
10/2012 01/2015 Research Fellow at the Natural History Museum, London [United Kingdom].
07/2012 – 09/2012 Freelancing Researcher at Protec Sardina, Cala Gonone [Italy]
02/2010 06/2012 Postdoc position at the Researchmuseum Koenig (ZFMK) Bonn

University & education

04/2023 – 06/2023
Data Scientist. Data Science Bootcamp, Le Wagon. Python, API, SQL, Statistics, Calculus, Modelling, AI, Machine & Deep Learning
02/2020 Dr. rer. nat. habil. (Habilitation) “Phylogenomics and venomics of remipede crustaceans and evolutionary venomics of other neglected invertebrates” University of Leipzig (03.02)
10/2005 01/2010 Dr. (PhD) [Magna cum laude] “Molecular insights to crustacean phylogeny” within DFG priority program: “Deep Metazoan Phylogeny “, at University Bonn/Researchmuseum Koenig (ZFMK)
03/2004 03/2005 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)
02/2004 Master exam: Zoology. Cell Biology and Chemistry
10/1999 01/2003 Study of Biology at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität, Bonn
05/1997 Degree “Allgemeine Hochschulreife”, Kopernikus Gymnasium Lülsdorf-Ranzel [Final Mark: 1.6]
06/1994 Stay at College Karl Marx, Villejuef, Paris [France]
03/1990 Stay at Forfar Academy, Secondary School, Speyside Destrict [Scotland]

Non-universitary employment

07/2005 – 09/2005 Scientific assistant for network & computational administration at the ZFMK, Bonn
08/1999 – 04/2005 Student assistant at “Informatikzentrum der Sparkassenorganisation (SIZ) GmbH Bonn“
10/1997 Training course at the Nature Conservation Academy NABU Deutschland: Nature & Species conservation, Public relations
09/1997 – 1998 Zivildienst (Civilian Service) at Naturschutzbund (NABU Bonn-Rhein-Sieg): Habitat protection and preservation, field mapping, public relations, excursions

Competitive funding/grant proposals

04/2020 EU COST Action CA19144: EUVEN (European Venom Network).
Secondary proposer, Management committee member for Germany, WG2 leader
04/2018 DFG grant (RE-3454/6-1):”Assessing venom variation and toxin evolution in solitary and eusocial aculeate hymenopterans by genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics
02/2017 DFG grant (RE-3454/4-1):”Venom evolution in robber flies: An integrative approach applying functional morphology in venomics
05/2016 Paul Scherer Institut Switzerland (PSI Synchrotron Tomcat Beamline, proposal 20160644)
04/2016 Co-PI: Doktorandenförderplatz Universität Leipzig, PhD project: “Comparative venom evolution of robber flies
06/2015 DAAD congress grant (Invited talk, International Society of Toxinology, Oxford, UK)
05/2015 NHM DIF bid, “First characterisation of robber fly venom composition by transcriptomics and proteomics
01/2015 DFG grant (RE-3454/2-1, Rückkehrstipendium), own position
11/2014 – 01/2015 NHM DIF bid, own position
05/2014 DAAD travel grant (SMBE congress 2014), successful but I had to decline
04/2014 Paul Scherer Institute Switzerland (PSI Synchrotron Tomcat Beamline, proposal 20140194), successful but I had to decline
09/2013 NHM DIF bid (Cave diving expedition to Mexico to explore and collect the first venomous crustacean)
10/2012 09/2014 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

10/2018 Böhringer Ingelheim Exploration Grant. Stirred stings: alter pesticides toxin expression in bumblebee venom?
02/2017 Sächsische Landesstiftung Natur und Umwelt Naturschutzfonds. Diversität und räumliche Verteilung von Fledermäusen im Leipziger Auwald.
07/2016 VW Experiment!  Stirred stings: do pesticides alter bumblebee venoms and their toxin expression?
12/2016 iDiv Flexible pool. Venom evolution in sawflies, wood wasps and parasitoid wasps: Toxin variation as key adaptations for early hymenopteran diversity. 1st Co-PI.
07/2016 DAAD Australia PPP exchange program. Comparative venom evolution and biology in flied (Diptera).
06/2016 VW Stiftung Experiment! Venom variation and neurotoxin evolution in adult robber flies and their predatory larvae tackled by an interdisciplinary venomics approach.
02/2012 DAAD researcher grant.On the trail of the first venomous crustacean: venom gland transcriptome profiling of Remipedia.

Teaching experience (Details/evaluations see “teaching”)

07/2019 – 2021 Co-Lecturer: Milestones of Insect biotechnology and bioresource, “Evolutionary and applied venomics I & II”, 2 hours
07/2019 – 2020 Co-Lecturer: Entomology II“NGS Sequencing atechniques and biodiversity assessment”, 1hour
11/2018 Co-Lecturer: Entomology I“Molecular evolution and systematics”, 1hour
01/2016 – 02/2018 Lecturer & Organizer: Practical and seminar (M. Sc., Biology), 3 weeks
“Molecular systematics & phylogeny, transcriptomics and phylogenomics“
10/2015 – 01/2018 Lecturer and organizer: Literature seminar, “Methods of scientific working”, 1hour/week
07/2016 – 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.
01/2017 – 02/2018
Co-Lecturer: Evolutionary Ecology, M. of Sc., Biology, 3 lectures
12/2016 – 2017 Co-lecturer: Evolution – Sequence analyses and molecular systematics, B. Sc., Biology, 2 days
10/2015 – 01/2016 Co-lecturer: “Biologisches Grundpraktium I, Allgemeine Zoologie” (General practical zoology), 2days/week
1st semester B. Sc.
10/2013 – 2014 Lecturer for M. Res. at UCL/NHM London (Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation): “Data quality in phylogenetics and phylogenomics“, 1day
07/2009 Teaching assistant: ”Marine Arthropoda and Annelida“, 2 weeks
05/2007, 07/2008 Teaching assistant: “Marine Invertebrate Zoology“, 2 weeks
12/2005 – 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)

07/2019-2020 Collection of assassin bugs, hymenopterans and robber flies [Germany]
07/2016 Collection of robber flies [South of France/Eastern Germany]
06/2014 Collection of robber flies [Germany/France]
03/2014 Cave diving expedition to collect remipedes for proteomic work [Yucatan, Mexico]
07 – 09/2012 Research stay/cave explorations to collect crustaceans and hexapods [Sardinia, Italy]
01/2012 Cave diving expedition [Yucatan, Mexico]
08/2011 Deeper diving ’Meiofauna’-exploration (Cephalocarida), Cala Gonnone [Sardinia, Italy]
10/2010 Coastal diving ’Meiofauna’-exploration (Cephalocarida), Cala Gonnone [Sardinia, Italy]
08/2010 Material collection “Interstitialfauna’ (Mystacocarida), Biological Marine Station Ferrol, [Galicia, Spain]
09/2009 Material collection ’Interstitialfauna’ (Mystacocarida, Crustacea), Biological Marine Station Ferrol, [Galicia, Spain]
07/2009 Research stay at DESY Hamburg (Synchroton scanning of crustaceans) [Germany]
01/2009 Material collection ’Interstitial – and Benthosfauna’ (Mystacocarida, Leptostraca), Biological Marine Station Ferrol [Galicia, Spain]
11/2008 Cave diving expedition to collect Remipedia [Yucatan, Mexico]
09/2008 Collecting Crustacea by Scuba Diving [Sardinia, Italy]
07/2008 Collecting Crustacea (Leptostraca, Ostracoda, Cephalocarida) by Scuba Diving [Giglio, Italy]
06/2008 Research Stay Rutgers University, [New Jersey, USA]
07/2007 Research Stay TAMUG University, [Texas, USA] / Cave diving [Yucatan, Mexico]
05/2007 Collection of Crustacea by Meiofauna sampling, [Giglio, Italy]
05/2006 Research Stay at DZMB Wilhelmshaven, “Meionord-Expeditionon Research Vessel ’Heincke (benthic/pelagic meiofauna collection), [Germany]
03/2006 Collecting Mystacocarida and other Crustacea, Biological Marine Station Ferrol [Galicia, Spain]
06 – 07/2004 Collection of butterflies, [Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Greece]
08/1997 International nature conservation project [Portugal]: “Vulture protection in the nature conservation area “Parque natural do Tejo International (PNTI)“

Editorial & membership activity

Since 01/2024
Editorial board member, “Biologie in Unsere Zeit“, VBIO
Since 01/2022
Editorial board member, “Toxins“, MDPI
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 & participated)

Naturschutz Kompakt (Umweltinstitut Offenbach): Gesetze (BNatSch, EU), Verfahren, Umweltprüfung, Eingriffsregelungen, Schutzgüter, Gebiets/Artenschutz, Landschaftsplanung, 09. – 12.2023.
Dealing with Nagoya regulations (EU COST Action “EUVEN” Workshop), course organiser/moderator, 31.05.2022
Eucaryotic genome assembly using PacBio and Hi-C (Physalia courses, 15. – 19.11.2021).
RNA-Seq data analysis with R/Biodconductor (Physalia courses, 01. – 12.11.2021).
12/2018 The Nagoya protocol – challenges and perspectives (Das Nagoya Protokoll – Herausforderungen und Perspektiven, VBU, Dechema and VBIO, Frankfurt, 03.12.2018).
05/2017 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.
01/2014 Introduction to Project Management, NHM HR, London, United Kingdom (21.01.2014).
12/2013 Scientific Simulation and High Performance Computing, QMUL, London, United Kingdom (11.12.2013).
02/2012 High quality 3D reconstruction for everyone: open-source solutions and their workflow to analyse and publish microCT data (25.02.2012)
02/2008 Co-organizer of the 5th “European Basal Hexapod Workgroup meeting” and the 1st  “Arthropod Primer Toolbox Meeting”, ZFMK Bonn
11/2007 Organizer of the workshop “Alignment masking and analyses of secondary structures”, ZFMK Bonn
07/2007 “Tropical Marine Ecology” course Texas A&M University (TAMUG, USA)
11/2006 Co-organizer of the “3rd European Basal Hexapod Workgroup meeting”, ZFMK Bonn
02/2006 Co-organizer of the “ 2nd European Basal Hexapod Workgroup meeting”, ZFMK Bonn
04/2007 Phylogeny workshop: “tree alignment and databases”, Vienna. Austria
05/2006 Laboratory workshop: “cDNA libraries and cloning”. Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics. Berlin. Germany

Non-universitary activities & skills

03/2011 03/ 2012 Economic Course (AKAD): Project management & decision techniques.
Since 05/2007 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