People

Group leader

Prof. Dr. Shuqing Xu

Shuqing Xu obtained his PhD from ETH Zürich under the supervision of Prof. Florian Schiestl and Prof. Alex Widmer in 2011. His PhD thesis focused on the evolution of floral signals in a specialized pollination system. Between 2012 and 2017, he moved to Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena as a project group leader in the Department of Molecular Ecology (led by Prof. Ian Baldwin), where he worked on the evolutionary genetics of plant defences. In 2018, he was appointed as an associate professor (W2) at the University of Münster. Since April 2022 he is the department chair of evolutionary plant sciences at the University of Mainz. He is a father of three children.

 

 

 

Secretary

Angelika Ristchel

Postdoc / junior group leader

Dr Martin Schäfer

E-mail: mschaefer@uni-mainz.de

Martin joined the group in May 2018. He received his PhD from the University of Jena and Max-Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology (Prof. Ian Baldwin) in 2015. He has extensive experience with analytic chemistry and is interested in studying the mechanisms and functions of plant chemical defences. He is currently in charge of the molecular and analytic platforms in the group. He is also working on an ongoing project that investigates whether and how aphids herbivory on duckweed affects the evolution of aquatic communities.

 

 

 

Dr Pablo Duchen

E-mail: pduchnbo@uni-mainz.de

Pablo joined the group in May 2021. He received his PhD in theoretical population genetics at the University of Munich (Prof. Wolfgang Stephan), Germany in 2013. His research concerns the evolution of adaptation at both the genomic and phenotypic levels, as well as the link between these levels. His approach is computational and theoretical, with direct applications to real biological datasets. He is currently leading a sub research group in the department.

 

 

 

Dr Nijat Narimanov

E-mail: nnariman@uni-mainz.de

Nijat joined the group in June 2022. He received his PhD in community and behavioural ecology at the  University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany in 2022. He is interested in understanding the mechanisms and consequences of animal behaviour. He is currently working on the role of niche choice on host plant adaptation in Colorado potato beetles. His project is part of the NC3 initiative.

 

 

 

 

PhD student

 Laura Böttner

E-mail: boettner@uni-muenster.de

Laura started her PhD in April 2018. She is interested in understanding how microbiome and herbivores jointly shape the evolution of plant defences. She uses both dandelion and duckweed as her study systems. She is co-supervised by Dr Meret Huber and Prof. Dirk Prüfer.

 

 

 

 

Yangzi Wang

E-mail: ywang@uni-mainz.de

Yangzi joined the group in April 2019, after working as a bioinformatician at BGI. He is interested in understanding the evolution of organisms by decoding genomic data. He is currently working on analyzing the population genomic data of S. polyrhiza.

 

 

 

 

 

Martin Höfer

E-mail: mahoefer@uni-mainz.de

Martin joined the group in February 2020 after receiving his master's degree at the University of Jena, Germany. He is interested in molecular mechanisms of stress resistance. He is currently working on deciphering the molecular mechanisms of non-targeted herbicide resistance in S. polyrhiza. He has been also working on optimizing the transformation protocol in duckweed. He is working on the MapNTSR project.

 

 

 

 

Alitha Edison

E-mail: aedison@uni-mainz.de

Alitha joined the group in December 2019 after her master's degree from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research. She is interested in understanding the mechanisms of behavioural resistance in Colorado potato beetles. Her project is part of the NC3 initiative.

 

 

 

 

Sara Nouere

E-mail: snouere@uni-mainz.de

Sara joined the group in May 2021. She received her master's degree from the International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies in Bari, Italy. She is interested in understanding how microbes affect the function and evolution of plant defences. He is working on the EvolTroph project.

 

 

 

 

Léonore Wilhelm

E-mail: lwilhe02@uni-mainz.de

Léonore joined the group in July 2022, after receiving her master's degree at Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris. She is interested in using molecular tools to understand the evolution of important traits. She is currently working on the evolution of a neurotoxin in Colorado potato beetles. Her project is part of the GenEvo research training group. She is co-supervised by Prof. Marion Silies.

 

 

 

 

Technical assistant

Ursula Martine

E-mail: u.martine@uni-mainz.de

Thoomke Brüning

E-mail: tbruenin@uni-mainz.de

 

 

Alumni

Prof. Wenwu Zhou (postdoc in the group)

Dr. Zhihao Lin (PhD student)

Dr. Thomas Brockmöller (PhD student)

Dr. Matthiew Durren (Internship studdent)