Ph.D. Student, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Title: “Dormant immunity: Functional immune assessment of an ecologically important pollinator during diapause”
|2020 – 2023
M.Sc. in Biology; Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Thesis: „Investigation of potential maintenance costs of envenomation in bumblebees”
|2017 – 2020
B.Sc. in Biology; Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Thesis: “Dynamik und Diversität verschiedener Coriobacterium glomerans Stämme in Feuerwanzen”
I am interested in the evolution, the behaviour and fundamental molecular mechanisms of insects, especially social insects as the eusocial structure shapes various life-history traits. In particular, I am interested in social bumblebees, which play an important role as ecological and commercial pollinators and are commonly used model systems. However, compared to the worker caste, our current knowledge of queens is more limited especially in their solitary life-phases such as diapause. Diapause is a dormancy state in which the metabolic activity is reduced and serves to avoid unfavourable environmental conditions. Since only the queens mate, go through diapause and establish a colony afterwards, it is crucial to increase our understanding about diapausing queens especially concerning the decline of numerous bumblebee species. In addition, current information about immune expression or regulation during diapause and given climate change, its correlation to temperature, is poor and needs further research.
In my PhD project, I apply functional immune assays and phenotypic measurements combined with mass spectrometry based proteomics, pooled whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics to investigate the molecular biology, physiology and immunity of bumblebee queens during diapause as well as how temperature affects immune functionality and post-diapause performance.