Main Research Interests
In my Ph.D studies I investigate the symbiosis of the marine catenulid flatworms Paracatenula and their chemosynthetic bacteria. Adult Paracatenula worms lack a mouth and a digestive system. Instead, they are associated with alphaproteobacterial symbionts located in their trophosomes. The thioautotrophic symbionts are strictly vertically transmitted between host generations and have highly reduced genomes.
My first project focuses on the physiology of the Paracatenula symbionts combining genome based physiological modelling and validation with experiments. The second project is a comparative genomics study investigating the evolutionary processes that lead to genome reduction across the diversity Paracatenula symbionts.
For further information on the Paracatenula symbiosis please refer to the Symbiosis Department webpage.
May 2014 - Present: Doctoral student, Symbiosis Department, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology. Topic: Molecular and biochemical characterization of shallow water symbioses
Oct 2012 - Mar 2014: M.Sc. Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology. Topic: Experimental molecular and biochemical characterization of the Paracatenula symbiosis
Oct 2009 - Aug 2012: B.Sc. Biology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen