Max Planck Research Groups

Max Planck Research Groups offer postdocs a first-class form of support on their scientific career path; a rigorous, centrally controlled selection process precedes the filling of group leadership positions. Here you can find an overview of the Max Planck Research Groups at our institute in Plön.

Despite the centrality of the cell in living systems, the evolutionary origin and diversification of different cellular features remain poorly understood. This represents a major deficiency in our understanding of the process of evolution, as the establishment and modification of such features have surely constituted important substrates for evolution ever since the emergence of the first cell. In our lab, we aim to contribute towards bridging the gap between cell and evolutionary biology, through the study of the emergence and diversification of the dynamic cellular features that characterize bacterial endospore formation. [more]

Our research group aims to address three central questions in contemporary evolutionary developmental biology:

1) How can a defined set of conserved genes orchestrate the formation of fundamentally different structures, and how does morphological variability arise?
2) How did vertebrate cell types evolve, and to what extent did de novo genes contribute to this process?
3) What is the basis of co-evolution and co-development of the brain and skull? [more]
Our group explores under which conditions individuals cooperate. To this end, we translate social interactions into strategic games. These games can then be explored mathematically, with computer simulations, and with behavioral experiments. [more]
With our research we want to identify and map the genes behind the components shaping the migratory phenotype. We want to understand: What is the genetic basis of migration, and which signalling pathways are associated with variation of the migratory phenotype? [more]
Nature is structured in time by the continuous cycles of the seasons, night and day, the moon phases and the tides. Most organisms use endogenous biological clocks to anticipate these regular changes in their environment. To date we have a good understanding of the molecular basis of circadian clocks, which control the daily rhythms of physiology and behaviour. However, the molecular clockworks underlying seasonal, lunar and tidal rhythms are still largely enigmatic. [more]
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