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Meet the Team

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Annika Guse 
Principal investigator 

Orcid: 0000-0002-8737-9206

  • PhD in Molecular Biology Vienna University, AUT

  • BSc/MSc in Biology TU Braunschweig, GER 


Meghan Ferguson
Postdoctoral Fellow

Meghan uses genetics and cell biology to understand the role of the immune system in cnidarian symbiosis establishment.

Orcid: 0000-0001-8375-6142

  • PhD in Biology, University of Alberta, CAN

  • BSc in Biology, University of Alberta, CAN


Amit Landge
Postdoctoral Fellow

Amit uses molecular and cell biology methods to understand light-sensing and DNA damage repair in the coral model organism Aiptasia.


Orcid: 0000-0002-4033-422X

  • PhD in Biology, University of Konstanz, GER 

  • BSc/MSc Biology, Thiruvananthapuram, IND


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Sara Brites
PhD Candidate

Sara uses molecular, genetic and cellular tools to understand the role of integrins in the recognition and acquisition of symbiotic partners by the sea anemone Aiptasia

  • MSc in Marine Biology, Sorbonne Université, FRA 

  • BSc in Integrative Biology, Université Paris Cité, FRA

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Micaela Lobgesang

With her amazing organizational skills, ideas for optimization and pragmatism, Micaela keeps the lab running when everybody else has lost control already a long time ago.

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Heike Hampel
Research Technician

Heike keeps the lab running and is dedicated to helping to optimize our experimental methods, an essential contribution to develop and emerging model system.

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Petra Hausner
Animal Technician

Petra is taking the best care of our beloved anemones thereby making sure everybody can run experiments smoothly.


Sami El Hilali

Sami processes and integrates genomics resources to improve Aiptasia as a model organism.

Orcid: 0000-0003-4417-8399

  • PhD candidate, Université Côte d’Azur, FRA

  • MSc in Bioinformatics, Université de Bordeaux, FRA

  • BSc in Biomedical Lifescience, Université Paris V, FRA

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Joachim Surm
Postdoctoral Fellow

Joachim is using comparative genomics and genetic tools to unravel the role of endosymbiosis specificity and diversity on the functional adaptation of sea anemones.

Orcid: 0000-0001-6970-029X

  • Postdoc, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, IS

  • PhD in Biology, Queensland University of Technology, AUS

  • BSc in Applied Science and Business, Queensland University of Technology, AUS


Ben Jenkins
Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow

Ben is using spatial proteomics to map the sub-cellular architecture of the symbiotic cell-type in Aiptasia.

Orcid: 0000-0002-3803-6418

  • Postdoc, University of Oxford, UK

  • PhD in Biological Sciences, University of Exeter, UK

  • BSc in Biochemistry, University of Exeter, UK

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Interested in joining us? 

We're hiring a PhD student and a PostDoc !

Meet the Lab

Former Lab members

Sebastian Rupp   Postdoctoral Fellow January 2018 - March 2024; Current position: Scientific Consultant at Scientific Volume Imaging (SVI)

Soria Delva Postdoctoral Fellow
April  2023 – November 2023

Marie Jacobovitz Postdoctoral Fellow Jun 2017 – March 2023; Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, split between Dey Group, EMBL Heidelberg, and Ganter Group, University Hospital Heidelberg

Sebastian Gornik Postdoctoral Fellow March 2018 – March 2023; Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow at J. Lohmann Lab, Heidelberg University

Ira Mägele Lab Manager April 2017 – May 2022; Current position: Lab Manager at Holstein Lab, Heidelberg University

Mariko Kishimoto Postdoctoral fellow Januar 2019 – December 2021

Philipp Voss PhD Student Mai 2015 – March 2021; Current position: Technical Application Specialist for Sequencing, at Thermo Fisher Scientific

Liz Hambleton Postdoctoral Fellow March 2014 – December 2019; Current position: Group-leader at Vienna University

Victor Jones Postdoctoral Fellow September 2016 – January 2020; Current position: CSO of Prolific Machines

Natascha Bechtoldt Research Technician June 2013 – June 2019

Diana BryantAnimal Technician January 2015 – December 2018; Current position: Laboratory Technician at Luxembourg Institute for Science and Technology (LIST), LUX

Lilian HillVisiting PhD Student May 2018 – December 2018; Current position: PhD student at Escola Nacional de Botânica Tropical of Instituto de Pesquisas Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro (ENBT / JBRJ), BRA

Madeline Bucher PhD Student November 2013 – December 2017; Current position: Senior coordinator at Angeles Initiative

Iliona Wolfowicz PhD Student November 2013 – June 2017; Current position: Founder of GoLimpets

Sebastian Baumgarten Visiting Researcher July 2015 – September 2015 and February 2016 – March 2016; Current position: Group Leader at Institut Pasteur
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