Students 2017

Students 2017

A list of all students who started within the IMPRS in 2017 (start of PhD project in 2018).
I’m from Palestine where I did my bachelor in Medical Laboratory sciences at Arab American University. I received a DAAD scholarship for my master in Molecular biology and human genetics at Jordan University of Science and Technology in 2016. I worked for one year at the Natural History museum in Palestine. I was always interested in learning more about evolution, so now I started my PhD with Dr. Linda Odenthal-Hesse at the Evolutionary Genetics Department. My work focuses on meiotic recombination and hybrid sterility in mice.In my free time I enjoy cooking, reading, learning German and travelling.

Khawla Abualia

I’m from Palestine where I did my bachelor in Medical Laboratory sciences at Arab American University. I received a DAAD scholarship for my master in Molecular biology and human genetics at Jordan University of Science and Technology in 2016. I worked for one year at the Natural History museum in Palestine. I was always interested in learning more about evolution, so now I started my PhD with Dr. Linda Odenthal-Hesse at the Evolutionary Genetics Department. My work focuses on meiotic recombination and hybrid sterility in mice.
In my free time I enjoy cooking, reading, learning German and travelling.
I was born in the city of New Delhi, in the Indian subcontinent. I hold a Bachelor's degree in Botany from the Hindu College, University of Delhi, and a Master's degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore. For my Master's thesis I worked to elucidate the role of the cryptic RNAi machinery in the human pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. My interest in evolution brought me to the International Max Planck Research School for Evolutionary Biology where I am pursuing my doctoral studies in the group of Prof. Dr. Hinrich Schulenburg. My work focuses on the evolution of resistance to antibiotics in the opportunistic bacterial pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In my leisure time, I enjoy reading, listening to music, dancing and spending time with friends and family.

Aditi Batra

I was born in the city of New Delhi, in the Indian subcontinent. I hold a Bachelor's degree in Botany from the Hindu College, University of Delhi, and a Master's degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore. For my Master's thesis I worked to elucidate the role of the cryptic RNAi machinery in the human pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. My interest in evolution brought me to the International Max Planck Research School for Evolutionary Biology where I am pursuing my doctoral studies in the group of Prof. Dr. Hinrich Schulenburg. My work focuses on the evolution of resistance to antibiotics in the opportunistic bacterial pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
In my leisure time, I enjoy reading, listening to music, dancing and spending time with friends and family.
I was born in Lahore, Pakistan. I received my undergraduate degree in Plant Pathology from University of the Punjab (2013) and afterwards completed my masters (2015) in Biotechnology from National Institute for Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering (NIBGE). My research project during my Masters was focused on the diversity of plant viruses (Geminiviridae) and the development of resistance against cotton leaf curl virus in model plant (Nicotiana benthamiana). Plant pathogen interaction in disease development was the turning point where I started focusing on studying evolutionary biology. After my Masters, I joined Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in 2016, where I explored the role of zkt gene in Arabidopsis thaliana, PDZ domain containing proteins in plants and also part of mango ripening in the post genomic era project. Currently, I am working with Dr. Julien Dutheil in department of evolutionary genetics at the MPI. In my PhD project, I will develop new methods for the inference of selection in protein sequences and study co-evolution at amino acid level considering biochemical constraints. Based on our prediction, we are looking for the candidates genes in E. coli to be evaluated in the laboratory.Outside of my scientific world, I would like to enjoy music, visit culturally rich places and road trips.

Muhammad Bilal Haider

I was born in Lahore, Pakistan. I received my undergraduate degree in Plant Pathology from University of the Punjab (2013) and afterwards completed my masters (2015) in Biotechnology from National Institute for Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering (NIBGE). My research project during my Masters was focused on the diversity of plant viruses (Geminiviridae) and the development of resistance against cotton leaf curl virus in model plant (Nicotiana benthamiana). Plant pathogen interaction in disease development was the turning point where I started focusing on studying evolutionary biology. After my Masters, I joined Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in 2016, where I explored the role of zkt gene in Arabidopsis thaliana, PDZ domain containing proteins in plants and also part of mango ripening in the post genomic era project. Currently, I am working with Dr. Julien Dutheil in department of evolutionary genetics at the MPI. In my PhD project, I will develop new methods for the inference of selection in protein sequences and study co-evolution at amino acid level considering biochemical constraints. Based on our prediction, we are looking for the candidates genes in E. coli to be evaluated in the laboratory.
Outside of my scientific world, I would like to enjoy music, visit culturally rich places and road trips.
I am from Seville (Spain) but I completed both my BSc and MSc in the UK. I first studied Marine Biology at the University of Liverpool and I then obtained a master’s degree in Freshwater and Marine Ecology at QMUL in London. I am currently doing my PhD at the Community Dynamics Group, supervised by Dr. Lutz Becks, where I aim to disentangle the eco-evolutionary dynamics of different species interactions using the algae Chlorella variabilis as the focal species. Following an experimental approach I will look at population dynamics and evolutionary adaptations, supported by genomic analyses and ecological modelling. In my spare time I like to travel, read, watch movies or simply hang out with friends.

Elena Horas Martin

I am from Seville (Spain) but I completed both my BSc and MSc in the UK. I first studied Marine Biology at the University of Liverpool and I then obtained a master’s degree in Freshwater and Marine Ecology at QMUL in London. I am currently doing my PhD at the Community Dynamics Group, supervised by Dr. Lutz Becks, where I aim to disentangle the eco-evolutionary dynamics of different species interactions using the algae Chlorella variabilis as the focal species. Following an experimental approach I will look at population dynamics and evolutionary adaptations, supported by genomic analyses and ecological modelling.
In my spare time I like to travel, read, watch movies or simply hang out with friends.
I am from Izmir, Turkey. I received both my B.Sc. and M. Sc. degrees in Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Middle East Technical University, Turkey. During my masters, I studied the initial phases of sheep domestication by using ancient DNA. However, readings on ancient epidemics drew my attention to the area of host-pathogen coevolution and I have decided to change my focus area. Currently I am doing my PhD under the supervision of Dr. Tobias Lenz. My research focus is on the selective forces responsible for the maintenance of MHC diversity in natural populations. I spend my free time on both outdoor activities like hiking and nature photography and indoor activities like board games.

Onur Özer

I am from Izmir, Turkey. I received both my B.Sc. and M. Sc. degrees in Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Middle East Technical University, Turkey. During my masters, I studied the initial phases of sheep domestication by using ancient DNA. However, readings on ancient epidemics drew my attention to the area of host-pathogen coevolution and I have decided to change my focus area. Currently I am doing my PhD under the supervision of Dr. Tobias Lenz. My research focus is on the selective forces responsible for the maintenance of MHC diversity in natural populations.
I spend my free time on both outdoor activities like hiking and nature photography and indoor activities like board games.
I was born in Sasolburg, South Africa. I grew up in Johannesburg and studied in Pretoria. I completed my B.Sc. in Biotechnology at the University of Pretoria (UP) at the end of 2013. I continued with my B.Sc. (Hons) in Genetics in 2014 and was assigned a mycology project in the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at UP. I continued with the project for my M.Sc. but opted for a purely bioinformatic approach to characterise and compare a pectinase within and between species in the Agaricales. This sealed the fate of my ongoing interest in fungi.Here I study in the Environmental Genomics group led by Prof. Dr. Eva Stukenbrock. I am working on Cercospora beticola and have moved from the land of pectinases to genomics. Using genomics we aim to answer questions regarding the differences between populations of C. beticola.In my spare time I enjoy traveling, watching live music, geocaching, playing games with friends, and watching movies.

Lizel Potgieter

I was born in Sasolburg, South Africa. I grew up in Johannesburg and studied in Pretoria. I completed my B.Sc. in Biotechnology at the University of Pretoria (UP) at the end of 2013. I continued with my B.Sc. (Hons) in Genetics in 2014 and was assigned a mycology project in the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at UP. I continued with the project for my M.Sc. but opted for a purely bioinformatic approach to characterise and compare a pectinase within and between species in the Agaricales. This sealed the fate of my ongoing interest in fungi.
Here I study in the Environmental Genomics group led by Prof. Dr. Eva Stukenbrock. I am working on Cercospora beticola and have moved from the land of pectinases to genomics. Using genomics we aim to answer questions regarding the differences between populations of C. beticola.
In my spare time I enjoy traveling, watching live music, geocaching, playing games with friends, and watching movies.
I was born in Germany and studied at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, where I received my B. Sc. in Biology, with a specialization in Neurosciences, and my M. Sc. in Molecular Life Sciences. My interest in an evolutionary perspective began then during my Bachelor and Master Thesis in the Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology. Following, I worked as a research associate in the Biomaterials Department at Innovent e.V. Technology Development in Jena. Currently, I am a PhD student within the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology in the research group Biological Clocks and there under the supervision of Dr. Tobias Kaiser. In my PhD project I focus on the role of sexual communication and chromosomal rearrangements for driving sympatric population divergence in the marine midge Clunio.

Sina Schirmer

I was born in Germany and studied at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, where I received my B. Sc. in Biology, with a specialization in Neurosciences, and my M. Sc. in Molecular Life Sciences. My interest in an evolutionary perspective began then during my Bachelor and Master Thesis in the Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology. Following, I worked as a research associate in the Biomaterials Department at Innovent e.V. Technology Development in Jena. Currently, I am a PhD student within the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology in the research group Biological Clocks and there under the supervision of Dr. Tobias Kaiser. In my PhD project I focus on the role of sexual communication and chromosomal rearrangements for driving sympatric population divergence in the marine midge Clunio.
I studied Biology in my hometown Münster (Germany) and moved to Kiel for a master course in Biological Oceanography. I finished in 2017, after working on the adaptation of different marine invertebrates to the environmental conditions in the Baltic Sea. Currently, I am a PhD student at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel in the working group of Prof. Ute Hentschel. I am investigating the interaction of the Baltic sponge Halichondria panicea with its associated symbionts. In my free time, I enjoy nature, cycling and yoga.

Lara Schmittmann

I studied Biology in my hometown Münster (Germany) and moved to Kiel for a master course in Biological Oceanography. I finished in 2017, after working on the adaptation of different marine invertebrates to the environmental conditions in the Baltic Sea.
Currently, I am a PhD student at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel in the working group of Prof. Ute Hentschel. I am investigating the interaction of the Baltic sponge Halichondria panicea with its associated symbionts.
In my free time, I enjoy nature, cycling and yoga.
I was born and raised in Guanajuato, Mexico. There, I got a BSc in Biotechnological Engineering from the National Polytechnic Institute after a dissertation on modeling microbial antagonism. Afterwards, I got an MRes in Biosciences from University College London after a dissertation on modeling de-novo design of mutualisms. On January 2018, I started my PhD in the Department of Evolutionary Theory at the MPI for Evolutionary Biology, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Arne Traulsen and Dr. Michael Sieber. Here, we are studying the eco-evolutionary dynamics of the holobiont (host + microbiota) using multiple theoretical approaches. Apart from Science, I enjoy cinema, doing DIY electronics projects, and traveling.

Román Ulises Zapién Campos

I was born and raised in Guanajuato, Mexico. There, I got a BSc in Biotechnological Engineering from the National Polytechnic Institute after a dissertation on modeling microbial antagonism. Afterwards, I got an MRes in Biosciences from University College London after a dissertation on modeling de-novo design of mutualisms.
On January 2018, I started my PhD in the Department of Evolutionary Theory at the MPI for Evolutionary Biology, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Arne Traulsen and Dr. Michael Sieber. Here, we are studying the eco-evolutionary dynamics of the holobiont (host + microbiota) using multiple theoretical approaches.
Apart from Science, I enjoy cinema, doing DIY electronics projects, and traveling.
 
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