PhD representatives within the IMPRS

Rossy Johana  Fajardo Castro
Rossy Johana Fajardo Castro
PhD student (MPI)
Phone:+49 4522 763-274
Nico Fuhrmann
Nico Fuhrmann
PhD student (MPI)
Phone:+49 4522 763-283
Maxime Godfroid
PhD student (CAU)
Phone:+49 431 880-5744
Jamie Parker
Jamie Parker
PhD student (Geomar)
Phone:+49 431 600-4573
Lizel Potgieter
PhD student (CAU)

PhD representative for the PhDnet

Maria Bargués i Ribera
Maria Bargués i Ribera
PhD student (MPI)
Phone:+49 4522 763-571

Current PhD Students

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Current PhD students

Currently, 50 students are working on their PhD project at CAU, the MPI and the Geomar.
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.Contact: abualia@evolbio.mpg.de

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.

Contact: abualia@evolbio.mpg.de
I was born in India where I did my bachelors in computer engineering in 2010. Then I worked as software engineer for more than 2 years. Subsequently, I moved to Paris to do my masters in bioinformatics and mathematical modeling at University Pierre and Marie Curie. During that time, I developed a profound interest in molecular evolution and diseases. Then I worked at Center of Molecular Medicine (CeMM) in Vienna for about a year. Presently, I am doing my doctoral research in the lab of Dr. Tobias Lenz at Max Planck Institute in Plön. My work focuses on the co-evolution of Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) locus and pathogens. Beside research work, I enjoy cooking, dancing and the discussions over coffee.Contact: arora@evolbio.mpg.de

Jatin Arora

I was born in India where I did my bachelors in computer engineering in 2010. Then I worked as software engineer for more than 2 years. Subsequently, I moved to Paris to do my masters in bioinformatics and mathematical modeling at University Pierre and Marie Curie. During that time, I developed a profound interest in molecular evolution and diseases. Then I worked at Center of Molecular Medicine (CeMM) in Vienna for about a year. Presently, I am doing my doctoral research in the lab of Dr. Tobias Lenz at Max Planck Institute in Plön. My work focuses on the co-evolution of Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) locus and pathogens. Beside research work, I enjoy cooking, dancing and the discussions over coffee.

Contact: arora@evolbio.mpg.de
Coming from Barcelona, I started on the lab bench during my degree in Human Biology, but now computers have become my hands for doing science. During my masters, I got experience in modelling biological processes in the fields of cognitive science and synthetic biology, and I decided to become a theoretical biologist. Currently, I am pursuing my PhD under the supervision of Dr. Chaitanya Gokhale, in the Evolutionary Theory department. My project aims to integrate eco-evolutionary dynamics in agriculture, to design novel strategies for crop rotations. Hobbies? Music as the key piece of the puzzle.Contact: bargues@evolbio.mpg.de

Maria Bargués i Ribera

Coming from Barcelona, I started on the lab bench during my degree in Human Biology, but now computers have become my hands for doing science. During my masters, I got experience in modelling biological processes in the fields of cognitive science and synthetic biology, and I decided to become a theoretical biologist. Currently, I am pursuing my PhD under the supervision of Dr. Chaitanya Gokhale, in the Evolutionary Theory department. My project aims to integrate eco-evolutionary dynamics in agriculture, to design novel strategies for crop rotations. Hobbies? Music as the key piece of the puzzle.

Contact: bargues@evolbio.mpg.de
I was born in Brazil, where I received my Bsc. in Biology from the Regional University of Blumenau and then my Msc. in Genetics and Evolution from the University of São Paulo. After that, I spent two years playing online poker full time. In the second semester of 2015 I joined the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology as an intern, working under the supervision of Dr. Julien Dutheil. We investigated the evolutionary aspects of Stochastic Gene Expression inside the mouse genome. As of 2016, I started my PhD on Population Genomics, where I will develop a model to account for spatial heterogeneity of parameters in the coalescent process. In my free time, I enjoy watching sports as well as playing Football, Chess, Poker and MtG.Contact: gvbarroso@evolbio.mpg.de

Gustavo Barrosso

I was born in Brazil, where I received my Bsc. in Biology from the Regional University of Blumenau and then my Msc. in Genetics and Evolution from the University of São Paulo. After that, I spent two years playing online poker full time. In the second semester of 2015 I joined the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology as an intern, working under the supervision of Dr. Julien Dutheil. We investigated the evolutionary aspects of Stochastic Gene Expression inside the mouse genome. As of 2016, I started my PhD on Population Genomics, where I will develop a model to account for spatial heterogeneity of parameters in the coalescent process. In my free time, I enjoy watching sports as well as playing Football, Chess, Poker and MtG.

Contact: gvbarroso@evolbio.mpg.de

Caren Bascon Cardozo

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.Contact: abatra@zoologie.uni-zoologie.de

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.

Contact: abatra@zoologie.uni-zoologie.de
My birthplace is Pune, India, where I also completed my bachelors in Microbiology at Fergusson College, Pune University (2012). My masters was also in Microbiology in the MS University of Baroda, Gujarat, India (2014). During my masters I developed interest in evolutionary biology and hence I joined an evolutionary biology lab in the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India. I worked at the Institute as a project fellow for a year (2015). Now, I work with Prof. Dr. Diethard Tautz at the MPI iin Plön as an IMPRS student. My project deals with de-novo gene evolution in prokaryotic systems (mostly bacteria).During free time, I would prefer to travel to different places.Contact: bhave@evolbio.mpg.de

Devika Bhave

My birthplace is Pune, India, where I also completed my bachelors in Microbiology at Fergusson College, Pune University (2012). My masters was also in Microbiology in the MS University of Baroda, Gujarat, India (2014). During my masters I developed interest in evolutionary biology and hence I joined an evolutionary biology lab in the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India. I worked at the Institute as a project fellow for a year (2015). Now, I work with Prof. Dr. Diethard Tautz at the MPI iin Plön as an IMPRS student. My project deals with de-novo gene evolution in prokaryotic systems (mostly bacteria).
During free time, I would prefer to travel to different places.

Contact: bhave@evolbio.mpg.de

Joanna Bonczarowska

Andrea Bours

Aleksa Cepic

I was born in California, USA, and raised in Korea. I earned my B.Sc in Animal Science at UC Davis, California, USA, in 2011. Then, I did my masters in behavioral ecology at Seoul National University, Korea, assessing and studying various effects of a pesticide on toad tadpoles. I worked in the molecular ecology group at Yeungnam University, Korea, until I joined the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology for my PhD. Here, my research is supervised by Prof. Dr. John Baines of the Evolutionary Genomics group. I will focus on host-microbiome interaction and variation in mouse lung, establishing the concept of lung microbiota by examining the role of host genetic variation. I personally enjoy cooking, listening to music of various genres, and traveling.Contact: cjchung@evolbio.mpg.de

Juryung Cecilia Chung

I was born in California, USA, and raised in Korea. I earned my B.Sc in Animal Science at UC Davis, California, USA, in 2011. Then, I did my masters in behavioral ecology at Seoul National University, Korea, assessing and studying various effects of a pesticide on toad tadpoles.
I worked in the molecular ecology group at Yeungnam University, Korea, until I joined the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology for my PhD. Here, my research is supervised by Prof. Dr. John Baines of the Evolutionary Genomics group. I will focus on host-microbiome interaction and variation in mouse lung, establishing the concept of lung microbiota by examining the role of host genetic variation.
I personally enjoy cooking, listening to music of various genres, and traveling.

Contact: cjchung@evolbio.mpg.de
I am originally from the Netherlands but I have lived in the UK since I was little. I read Zoology at the University of Sheffield, completing both my bachelor’s and master’s there in 2014. In January 2017, I joined the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön as a doctoral student under the supervision of Dr Miriam Liedvogel. My project aims to shed light on the molecular underpinnings of migratory traits in the blackcap, Sylvia atricapilla. In my spare time, I enjoy horse riding, reading, theatre, concerts and visiting museums and galleries.Contact: gdurieux@evolbio.mpg.de

Gillian Durieux

I am originally from the Netherlands but I have lived in the UK since I was little. I read Zoology at the University of Sheffield, completing both my bachelor’s and master’s there in 2014.
In January 2017, I joined the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön as a doctoral student under the supervision of Dr Miriam Liedvogel. My project aims to shed light on the molecular underpinnings of migratory traits in the blackcap, Sylvia atricapilla.
In my spare time, I enjoy horse riding, reading, theatre, concerts and visiting museums and galleries.

Contact: gdurieux@evolbio.mpg.de

Artemis Efstratiou

I was born in Hanau, Germany and received my Master Degree in "Molecular and Cellular Biology" at the Philipps University Marburg in 2014. Since summer 2014 I'm working as a PhD student in the group "Environmental Genomics"  at the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, supervised by Prof. Dr. Eva Stukenbrock and I'm an associated member of the IMPRS.My PhD project is about the evolutionary genomics and functional characterization of the fungal grass pathogen Zymoseptoria brevis and the other members of the Zymoseptoria species complex.In my freetime I like to read good books and go fishing.Contact: ceschenbrenner@bot.uni-kiel.de

Christoph Eschenbrenner

I was born in Hanau, Germany and received my Master Degree in "Molecular and Cellular Biology" at the Philipps University Marburg in 2014. Since summer 2014 I'm working as a PhD student in the group "Environmental Genomics"  at the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, supervised by Prof. Dr. Eva Stukenbrock and I'm an associated member of the IMPRS.
My PhD project is about the evolutionary genomics and functional characterization of the fungal grass pathogen Zymoseptoria brevis and the other members of the Zymoseptoria species complex.
In my freetime I like to read good books and go fishing.

Contact: ceschenbrenner@bot.uni-kiel.de
I was born in Bogotá, Colombia, but I studied Biology at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, where I received my B.Sc. in Biology with emphases in biochemistry and molecular biology. After returning to my home country, I joined the Evolutionary Immunology and Immunogenetics research group at the National University of Colombia, where I got my Master’s degree on 2014. In between my studies, I have worked in different areas of the private and public sector. On January 2017, I started my PhD at the Evolutionary Genetics group under the direction of Prof. Dr. Diethard Tautz. With my project I aim to get a better understanding of the mechanisms of evolution of de novo genes using an eukaryote system. In my free time, I enjoy reading, learning languages, dancing and traveling.Contact: jfajardo@evolbio.mpg.de

Rossy Johana Fajardo Castro

I was born in Bogotá, Colombia, but I studied Biology at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, where I received my B.Sc. in Biology with emphases in biochemistry and molecular biology. After returning to my home country, I joined the Evolutionary Immunology and Immunogenetics research group at the National University of Colombia, where I got my Master’s degree on 2014. In between my studies, I have worked in different areas of the private and public sector.
On January 2017, I started my PhD at the Evolutionary Genetics group under the direction of Prof. Dr. Diethard Tautz. With my project I aim to get a better understanding of the mechanisms of evolution of de novo genes using an eukaryote system.
In my free time, I enjoy reading, learning languages, dancing and traveling.

Contact: jfajardo@evolbio.mpg.de
I started my PhD project in the research group of Tobias Kaiser in the beginning of 2017. I want to investigate the loss of biological clocks in northern populations of non-biting midgets using molecular methods. I studied biology at the University of Leipzig with a strong focus on animal evolution and systematic. In my bachelor thesis I used molecular biological methods to search for a specific toxin in venomous marine Polychaetes. My master thesis had a bioinformatic background, in which I identified various toxins in the transcriptome of robber flies in order to describe their venom composition.Contact: fuhrmann@evolbio.mpg.de

Nico Fuhrmann

I started my PhD project in the research group of Tobias Kaiser in the beginning of 2017. I want to investigate the loss of biological clocks in northern populations of non-biting midgets using molecular methods.
I studied biology at the University of Leipzig with a strong focus on animal evolution and systematic. In my bachelor thesis I used molecular biological methods to search for a specific toxin in venomous marine Polychaetes. My master thesis had a bioinformatic background, in which I identified various toxins in the transcriptome of robber flies in order to describe their venom composition.

Contact: fuhrmann@evolbio.mpg.de
I was born close to Kaiserslautern, Germany. I did my Bachelor in Biology at the University of Erlangen and my Masters in Behavioural Neurobiology at the University of Groningen (Netherlands). I am currently doing my PhD within the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology working on the Molecular basis of speciation in three-spined stickleback. My work is part of the Evolutionary Ecology department of Prof. Dr. Manfred Milinski at the Max-Planck Institute in Plön.Contact: gahr@evolbio.mpg.de

Christoph Gahr

I was born close to Kaiserslautern, Germany. I did my Bachelor in Biology at the University of Erlangen and my Masters in Behavioural Neurobiology at the University of Groningen (Netherlands). I am currently doing my PhD within the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology working on the Molecular basis of speciation in three-spined stickleback. My work is part of the Evolutionary Ecology department of Prof. Dr. Manfred Milinski at the Max-Planck Institute in Plön.

Contact: gahr@evolbio.mpg.de

Ana Garoña

I was born in Chicago, and finished my bachelors studying animal sciences at Purdue University (USA) in 2013. I then moved to Germany to pursue research, focusing on microbiology at the University of Würzburg. I am currently working on the evolution of antibiotic resistance for my PhD, in the group of Prof. Dr. Hinrich Schulenburg.  My research interests center on alternative antibiotic therapies that limit the resistance of evolution in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In my free time, I love to do anything outdoors, to hike and explore new landscapes, and to spend time with any sort of animals.Contact: agedon@zoologie.uni-kiel.de

Ashley Gedon

I was born in Chicago, and finished my bachelors studying animal sciences at Purdue University (USA) in 2013. I then moved to Germany to pursue research, focusing on microbiology at the University of Würzburg. I am currently working on the evolution of antibiotic resistance for my PhD, in the group of Prof. Dr. Hinrich Schulenburg.  My research interests center on alternative antibiotic therapies that limit the resistance of evolution in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In my free time, I love to do anything outdoors, to hike and explore new landscapes, and to spend time with any sort of animals.

Contact: agedon@zoologie.uni-kiel.de

Maxime Godfroid

My hometown Rothenburg/Oberlausitz is situated in the far east of Germany and close to the polish border. I did my Master in Marine Biology at the University of Rostock. Afterwards, I worked as field assistant for several research institutes. My PhD project is based in the pipefish group of Dr. Olivia Roth at the Geomar and supervised by Dr. Carolin Wendling. It focuses on rapid evolutionary adaptation in response to anthropogenic stressors in a three-way host-parasite interaction. The model system consists of pipefish Syngnathus typhle as final host, bacteria of the genus Vibrio, and their associated temperate phages. I like to spend my free time outside playing beach volleyball, diving or exploring nature.Contact: hgoehlich@geomar.de

Henry Göhlich

My hometown Rothenburg/Oberlausitz is situated in the far east of Germany and close to the polish border. I did my Master in Marine Biology at the University of Rostock. Afterwards, I worked as field assistant for several research institutes. My PhD project is based in the pipefish group of Dr. Olivia Roth at the Geomar and supervised by Dr. Carolin Wendling. It focuses on rapid evolutionary adaptation in response to anthropogenic stressors in a three-way host-parasite interaction. The model system consists of pipefish Syngnathus typhle as final host, bacteria of the genus Vibrio, and their associated temperate phages. I like to spend my free time outside playing beach volleyball, diving or exploring nature.

Contact: hgoehlich@geomar.de

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.Contact: haider@evolbio.mpg.de

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.

Contact: haider@evolbio.mpg.de
I am from the East Coast of Canada, where I completed both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology at the University of New Brunswick. From these studies, my interest in host-microbe interactions grew and this is how I’ve found myself studying the evolution of the microbiota-gut-brain axis within the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology. My work is done under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Thomas Bosch at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel. When I’m not behind the bench, I prefer to be outside, either hiking, climbing or taking photos.Contact: dharris@zoologie.uni-kiel.de

Danielle Harris

I am from the East Coast of Canada, where I completed both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology at the University of New Brunswick.
From these studies, my interest in host-microbe interactions grew and this is how I’ve found myself studying the evolution of the microbiota-gut-brain axis within the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology. My work is done under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Thomas Bosch at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel.
When I’m not behind the bench, I prefer to be outside, either hiking, climbing or taking photos.

Contact: dharris@zoologie.uni-kiel.de
I was born in Cairo (Egypt) and studied Biology/Biochemistry at Ain Shams University in Egypt, where I received my M.Sc. degree in 2009. In 2010, I assigned to the National Research Centre (NRC) of Egypt as an Assistant Researcher. I am currently doing my PhD within the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology in the Department of Molecular Physiology at the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, supervised by Prof. Dr. Thomas Roeder. I am working on the Drosophila model for human inflammatory bowel disease.In my free time, I like doing voluntary work, and practicing sports.Contact: mohsenhegab@daad-alumni.de

Mohsen M. Hegab

I was born in Cairo (Egypt) and studied Biology/Biochemistry at Ain Shams University in Egypt, where I received my M.Sc. degree in 2009. In 2010, I assigned to the National Research Centre (NRC) of Egypt as an Assistant Researcher. I am currently doing my PhD within the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology in the Department of Molecular Physiology at the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, supervised by Prof. Dr. Thomas Roeder. I am working on the Drosophila model for human inflammatory bowel disease.
In my free time, I like doing voluntary work, and practicing sports.

Contact: mohsenhegab@daad-alumni.de

I come from Hamburg, Germany and studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in both Kiel and Berlin. For my master thesis I worked at the MPI in Plön in the Community Dynamics group of the Evolutionary Ecology Department. I have now started my PhD project with Dr. Linda Odenthal-Hesse of the Evolutionary Genetics Department, working on meiotic recombination in canids. When I’m not at work I play volleyball and beachvolleyball and I love the ocean and the beaches around Kiel.Contact: jeschke@evolbio.mpg.de

Alina Jeschke

I come from Hamburg, Germany and studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in both Kiel and Berlin. For my master thesis I worked at the MPI in Plön in the Community Dynamics group of the Evolutionary Ecology Department. I have now started my PhD project with Dr. Linda Odenthal-Hesse of the Evolutionary Genetics Department, working on meiotic recombination in canids. When I’m not at work I play volleyball and beachvolleyball and I love the ocean and the beaches around Kiel.

Contact: jeschke@evolbio.mpg.de
I was born and grow up in Aleppo, Syria. I graduated from Aleppo University in 2010 as a biotechnology engineer. I received my master’s degree in AgriGenomics in 2015 from Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel (CAU), Germany. Currently, I am a PhD candidate at the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology, working within the genomic microbiology group at Kiel University under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Tal Dagan. My main research focus is to study lateral gene transfer using networking and computational approaches. In my free time I go to the gym, play Xbox, ride bicycle and climb.Contact: kadibalban@evolbio.mpg.de

Ahmad Samer Kadib Alban

I was born and grow up in Aleppo, Syria. I graduated from Aleppo University in 2010 as a biotechnology engineer. I received my master’s degree in AgriGenomics in 2015 from Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel (CAU), Germany. Currently, I am a PhD candidate at the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology, working within the genomic microbiology group at Kiel University under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Tal Dagan. My main research focus is to study lateral gene transfer using networking and computational approaches. In my free time I go to the gym, play Xbox, ride bicycle and climb.

Contact: kadibalban@evolbio.mpg.de

Zahra Khomarbaghi

I started off my scientific journey by majoring in Biology at Haigazian University, in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2006. After which I pursued my Masters degree in Microbiology and Immunology, at the American University of Beirut. I defended my Master’s thesis on Anti- Aspergillus fumigatus IgY antibodies and their protective efficacy in cyclosporine A treated BALB/c mice, in 2013. Immediately thereafter, I proceeded to work as a research assistant, at the American University of Beirut Medical Center, in the department of experimental pathology, microbiology and immunology, where I was involved in various projects focused on antimicrobial resistance and the potential therapeutic options. From August 2016 onwards, I started my PhD studies in Kiel, in the group of Hinrich Schulenburg, supervised by Katja Dierking, where I study the tripartite interactions: microbiota-pathogen-host, and I dissect the protective efficacy of the natural microbiota members against pathogenic infections in the C. elegans host. I enjoy spending my spare time with furry animals, playing the piano and traveling around.Contact: kkissoyan@zoologie.uni-kiel.de

Kohar Annie Kissoyan

I started off my scientific journey by majoring in Biology at Haigazian University, in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2006. After which I pursued my Masters degree in Microbiology and Immunology, at the American University of Beirut. I defended my Master’s thesis on Anti- Aspergillus fumigatus IgY antibodies and their protective efficacy in cyclosporine A treated BALB/c mice, in 2013. Immediately thereafter, I proceeded to work as a research assistant, at the American University of Beirut Medical Center, in the department of experimental pathology, microbiology and immunology, where I was involved in various projects focused on antimicrobial resistance and the potential therapeutic options. From August 2016 onwards, I started my PhD studies in Kiel, in the group of Hinrich Schulenburg, supervised by Katja Dierking, where I study the tripartite interactions: microbiota-pathogen-host, and I dissect the protective efficacy of the natural microbiota members against pathogenic infections in the C. elegans host. I enjoy spending my spare time with furry animals, playing the piano and traveling around.

Contact: kkissoyan@zoologie.uni-kiel.de

I was born in Bogotá, Colombia. I received my BSc and Masters in Biology from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, where I studied the evolution of immune systems in primates. Currently, I am doing my PhD at the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, working on epigenetics and gene expression of different migration patterns of birds, in the Behavioral Genomics research group under the supervision of Dr. Miriam Liedvogel. We will use high throughput sequencing approaches to unravel the molecular mechanisms controlling different traits in the migratory behaviour using blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) as our model organism. I like to dedicate my leisure time to read, play clarinet and synthesizers or go to galleries and museums.Contact: lugor@evolbio.mpg.de

Juan Sebastian Lugo Ramos

I was born in Bogotá, Colombia. I received my BSc and Masters in Biology from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, where I studied the evolution of immune systems in primates. Currently, I am doing my PhD at the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, working on epigenetics and gene expression of different migration patterns of birds, in the Behavioral Genomics research group under the supervision of Dr. Miriam Liedvogel. We will use high throughput sequencing approaches to unravel the molecular mechanisms controlling different traits in the migratory behaviour using blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) as our model organism. I like to dedicate my leisure time to read, play clarinet and synthesizers or go to galleries and museums.

Contact: lugor@evolbio.mpg.de
Born and raised in Northern Germany, I graduated from the University of Kiel in 2015 with a master’s degree in Evolutionary Biology & Ecology. In my master thesis I investigated the collateral effects of antibiotic resistance in bacteria isolated from cystic fibrosis patients and compared it to those found in in-vitro evolved strains. Being inspired by evolutionary research on antibiotic resistance, I decided to return to the University of Kiel to pursue my PhD on the influence of periodic bottlenecks on experimental antibiotic resistance evolution under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Hinrich Schulenburg. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, reading, spending time outside and playing team sports (basketball, football).Contact: nmahrt@zoologie.uni-kiel.de

Niels Mahrt

Born and raised in Northern Germany, I graduated from the University of Kiel in 2015 with a master’s degree in Evolutionary Biology & Ecology. In my master thesis I investigated the collateral effects of antibiotic resistance in bacteria isolated from cystic fibrosis patients and compared it to those found in in-vitro evolved strains. Being inspired by evolutionary research on antibiotic resistance, I decided to return to the University of Kiel to pursue my PhD on the influence of periodic bottlenecks on experimental antibiotic resistance evolution under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Hinrich Schulenburg.
In my free time, I enjoy cooking, reading, spending time outside and playing team sports (basketball, football).

Contact: nmahrt@zoologie.uni-kiel.de
I am from Portugal and and started my PhD in the Evolutionary Genetics department, under the supervision of Dr. Julien Dutheil in 2017. I am a biologist from the University of Porto in Portugal, and I got my M.Sc. degree from CIBIO, Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, University of Porto. For my Master thesis project I studied the Evolutionary History of a desert specialist, Jaculus jaculus, by applying a multi-locus approach to infer species phylogenetic signal of differentiation and potential processes driving speciation. During last year I collaborated in a research project in the University of Oulu in Finland, which involved screening bank voles' samples for signs of adaptation to environmental radioactivity derived from Chernobyl. For my PhD project, I will research the impact of the structure of biomolecules on sequence evolution by applying a population genetics approach.Contact: moutinho@evolbio.mpg.de

Ana Filipa Moutinho

I am from Portugal and and started my PhD in the Evolutionary Genetics department, under the supervision of Dr. Julien Dutheil in 2017.
I am a biologist from the University of Porto in Portugal, and I got my M.Sc. degree from CIBIO, Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, University of Porto. For my Master thesis project I studied the Evolutionary History of a desert specialist, Jaculus jaculus, by applying a multi-locus approach to infer species phylogenetic signal of differentiation and potential processes driving speciation. During last year I collaborated in a research project in the University of Oulu in Finland, which involved screening bank voles' samples for signs of adaptation to environmental radioactivity derived from Chernobyl. For my PhD project, I will research the impact of the structure of biomolecules on sequence evolution by applying a population genetics approach.

Contact: moutinho@evolbio.mpg.de
I am from Kolkata, India. I did B.Sc. in Microbiology from Lady Brabourne College, University of Calcutta and then pursued a Master’s degree in Biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. I am a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute in Plön, supervised by Dr. Jenna Gallie. My work will focus on understanding the evolutionary origins of codon usage bias using Pseudomonas fluorescens as our model organism. I am an avid reader and enjoy travelling.Contact: mukherjee@evolbio.mpg.de

Anuradha Mukherjee

I am from Kolkata, India. I did B.Sc. in Microbiology from Lady Brabourne College, University of Calcutta and then pursued a Master’s degree in Biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
I am a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute in Plön, supervised by Dr. Jenna Gallie. My work will focus on understanding the evolutionary origins of codon usage bias using Pseudomonas fluorescens as our model organism.
I am an avid reader and enjoy travelling.

Contact: mukherjee@evolbio.mpg.de

My research career began with studying Biology at the Free University Berlin. Inspired by social interactions in bacteria, I focused on Evolutionary Biology and completed my Masters at the University of Groningen. I am currently working on the evolution of interactions C. elegans and bacterial members of its microbiota in the group of Prof. Dr. Hinrich Schulenburg. Here I am particularly interested to understand how bacteria change when they adopt a host-associated life style.Contact: nobeng@zoologie.uni-kiel.de

Nancy Obeng

My research career began with studying Biology at the Free University Berlin. Inspired by social interactions in bacteria, I focused on Evolutionary Biology and completed my Masters at the University of Groningen.
I am currently working on the evolution of interactions C. elegans and bacterial members of its microbiota in the group of Prof. Dr. Hinrich Schulenburg. Here I am particularly interested to understand how bacteria change when they adopt a host-associated life style.

Contact: nobeng@zoologie.uni-kiel.de
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 Istanbul, Turkey. I studied Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara. I received my B.Sc. in 2014 and continued my education at the faculty of Biology in the same university where I obtained my M.Sc. diploma in 2015. I am currently Ph.D. student at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön, working within the Environmental Genomics group, supervised by Dr. Eva Stukenbrock. I am currently working on the domestication-driven microbiome evolution of wheat. Besides, I am working on the genome evolution of hybrid fungi species Zymoseptoria Pseudotritici.Contact: ozkurt@evolbio.mpg.de

Ezgi Özkurt

I was born in Istanbul, Turkey. I studied Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara. I received my B.Sc. in 2014 and continued my education at the faculty of Biology in the same university where I obtained my M.Sc. diploma in 2015. I am currently Ph.D. student at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön, working within the Environmental Genomics group, supervised by Dr. Eva Stukenbrock. I am currently working on the domestication-driven microbiome evolution of wheat. Besides, I am working on the genome evolution of hybrid fungi species Zymoseptoria Pseudotritici.

Contact: ozkurt@evolbio.mpg.de

Jamie Parker

Carolina Peralta

I was born in Germany and studied Biology at the University of Hamburg and the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, both Germany. I conducted my master thesis at the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (Geomar) and received my Masters Degree in 2013.
Currently, I am a PhD student within the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology working on the interaction between the tapeworm Schistocephalus solidus and the three-spined stickleback. I am part of the Parasitology Group of Dr. Martin Kalbe at the Max Planck Institute in Plön.Contact: apiecyk@evolbio.mpg.de

Agnes Piecyk

I was born in Germany and studied Biology at the University of Hamburg and the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, both Germany. I conducted my master thesis at the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (Geomar) and received my Masters Degree in 2013.

Currently, I am a PhD student within the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology working on the interaction between the tapeworm Schistocephalus solidus and the three-spined stickleback. I am part of the Parasitology Group of Dr. Martin Kalbe at the Max Planck Institute in Plön.

Contact: apiecyk@evolbio.mpg.de
I was born in Rome (Italy) where I studied Human Biology and Evolution at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. I conducted my master thesis at Centre for Human Palaeoecology & Evolutionary Origins at University of York (UK) and received my Masters Degree in 2013. In 2014 I joined as a visiting student the Paleogenomics Lab at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (Spain). I am currently a PhD student within the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology working on the evolution and function of adaptive immunogenetic diversity in humans in the group of Dr. Tobias Lenz.
Contact: pierini@evolbio.mpg.de

Federica Pierini

I was born in Rome (Italy) where I studied Human Biology and Evolution at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. I conducted my master thesis at Centre for Human Palaeoecology & Evolutionary Origins at University of York (UK) and received my Masters Degree in 2013. In 2014 I joined as a visiting student the Paleogenomics Lab at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (Spain). I am currently a PhD student within the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology working on the evolution and function of adaptive immunogenetic diversity in humans in the group of Dr. Tobias Lenz.


Contact:
 pierini@evolbio.mpg.de

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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 India and studied at the Madurai Kamaraj University, India, where I received my Masters Degree in Biotechnology. I am currently a PhD student within the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology working on the role of FoxO in tissue homeostasis in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, at the Department of Zoophysiology II at the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, supervised by Prof. Dr. Thomas Roeder. I like reading, travelling and I enjoy cooking.Contact: rraveendran@zoologie.uni-kiel.de

Reshmi Raveendran

I was born in India and studied at the Madurai Kamaraj University, India, where I received my Masters Degree in Biotechnology. I am currently a PhD student within the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology working on the role of FoxO in tissue homeostasis in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, at the Department of Zoophysiology II at the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, supervised by Prof. Dr. Thomas Roeder.
I like reading, travelling and I enjoy cooking.

Contact: rraveendran@zoologie.uni-kiel.de

I was born in Chennai, India. I did my BSc in Physics from Delhi University. I later joined an Erasmus Mundus programme through which I graduated from Ghent University, Belgium with an MSc in Nuclear Fusion and Engineering Physics. While doing my numerical projects related to computational physics and out of general curiosity, I read about nonlinear dynamics, evolutionary dynamics and game theory in particular that are used in mathematical biology and all these attracted me to the field of evolutionary biology. I am mainly interested in developing models (mostly based on game theory) for social evolution, life-history evolution etc. I work in the Department of Evolutionary Theory under Dr. Chaitanya S. Gokhale's Research Group for Theoretical Models in Eco-Evolutionary dynamics. My other passions are reading (and discussing) books, poetry, cinema, music, cooking and travelling.Contact: vandana@evolbio.mpg.de

Vandana Revathi Venkateswaran

I was born in Chennai, India. I did my BSc in Physics from Delhi University. I later joined an Erasmus Mundus programme through which I graduated from Ghent University, Belgium with an MSc in Nuclear Fusion and Engineering Physics. While doing my numerical projects related to computational physics and out of general curiosity, I read about nonlinear dynamics, evolutionary dynamics and game theory in particular that are used in mathematical biology and all these attracted me to the field of evolutionary biology. I am mainly interested in developing models (mostly based on game theory) for social evolution, life-history evolution etc. I work in the Department of Evolutionary Theory under Dr. Chaitanya S. Gokhale's Research Group for Theoretical Models in Eco-Evolutionary dynamics.
My other passions are reading (and discussing) books, poetry, cinema, music, cooking and travelling.

Contact: vandana@evolbio.mpg.de

Devani Romero Picazo

I was born in Kiel, Germany, where I studied theoretical physics at the Christian-Albrechts-University. I received my M.Sc. in 2018. During an internship with Dr. Arne Traulsen in 2017, Evolutionary Theory started to fascinate me. Currently, I am a PhD student at the Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön. I am part of the research group Stochastic Evolutionary Dynamics a.k.a. the “Rescue Team” led by Hildegard Uecker. The unofficial name stems from the fact that we develop models of evolutionary rescue. My work is about the role of plasmids in antibiotic resistance. What I enjoy most is the interdisciplinary work in the field of evolutionary biology. I like sports, hiking, and making music.Contact: santer@evolbio.mpg.de

Mario Santer

I was born in Kiel, Germany, where I studied theoretical physics at the Christian-Albrechts-University. I received my M.Sc. in 2018. During an internship with Dr. Arne Traulsen in 2017, Evolutionary Theory started to fascinate me. Currently, I am a PhD student at the Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön. I am part of the research group Stochastic Evolutionary Dynamics a.k.a. the “Rescue Team” led by Hildegard Uecker. The unofficial name stems from the fact that we develop models of evolutionary rescue. My work is about the role of plasmids in antibiotic resistance. What I enjoy most is the interdisciplinary work in the field of evolutionary biology.
I like sports, hiking, and making music.

Contact: santer@evolbio.mpg.de
I was born in India and studied at the Bharathidasan University, India, where I received my Masters Degree in Bioinformatics in 2010. I am currently a PhD student within the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology working on the evolution of homospermidine synthases in convolvulaceae in the group for Biochemical Ecology and Molecular Evolution with Prof. Dr. Dietrich Ober at the Botanical Institute of the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel.In my free time I like to read, travel, playing guitar and cycling.Contact: arunraj@bot.uni-kiel.de

Arunraj Saranya Prakashrao

I was born in India and studied at the Bharathidasan University, India, where I received my Masters Degree in Bioinformatics in 2010. I am currently a PhD student within the IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology working on the evolution of homospermidine synthases in convolvulaceae in the group for Biochemical Ecology and Molecular Evolution with Prof. Dr. Dietrich Ober at the Botanical Institute of the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel.
In my free time I like to read, travel, playing guitar and cycling.

Contact: arunraj@bot.uni-kiel.de

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 am from Hyderabad, India, and I have completed my Master’s degree in Biotechnology at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. I am a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute in Plön, supervised by Dr. Tobias Lenz. My work will focus on unravelling the genomic organisation of the Major Histocompatibility Complex in three-spined sticklebacks. My interests include literature, music, and cinema.Contact: malavi@evolbio.mpg.de

Malavi Sengupta

I am from Hyderabad, India, and I have completed my Master’s degree in Biotechnology at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. I am a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute in Plön, supervised by Dr. Tobias Lenz. My work will focus on unravelling the genomic organisation of the Major Histocompatibility Complex in three-spined sticklebacks. My interests include literature, music, and cinema.

Contact: malavi@evolbio.mpg.de

Ryszard Soluch

Si Tang

Leif Tüffers

Vaibhvi

Tanita Wein

Lei Yu

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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