I started at ANU in November 2012, and we work on whole genome sequencing projects to inform (pre-)breeding and conservation efforts. Most recently we developed a new metric for assembly- and alignment free sequence comparisons: kWIP.


In May 2001 I came to the Salk Institute for Biological Studies to work in Detlef Weigel's laboratory on flower development in Arabidopsis thaliana and more specifically, on the Natural Variation of flowering time. Together with the Weigel lab I moved to Tübingen, Germany and worked as a scientist in Detlef Weigel's department (Department for Molecular Biology) at the Max Plack Institute for Developmental Biology towards my PhD.
In order to develop gene silencing by artificial miRNAs for rice I have started collaborating with the International Rice Research Institute on the Philippines. We currently have a few more collaborative projects on hybrids and genetic mapping, both involving 2nd generation sequencers (Illumina).
In February 2010 I was awarded a fellowship to work part-time at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) in Berlin. Here we assessed biodiversity in freshwater using the 454 facilities at the Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversitiy Research.
During the summer of 2012 I worked in Rome with Stefano Padulosi at Bioversity International. I helped to refine the approaches for red-listing agrobiodiversity, that is cultivated plant species. This is very timely as we are losing varieties at an alarming rate; many are already gone forever, which is one of the bad news for the resilience of our food supply. I currently write an opinion paper on how research and publication on neglected and underutilized species (NUS) can be streamlined.

Current Scientific Projects

  • Popluation level whole genome shotgun, and reduced representation sequencing: Making it faster and cheaper.
  • Genome wide association studies for conservation and pre-breeding in a variety of species
  • Chasing domestication genes

Current "other"

  • Red List for cultivated species
  • Status and trends of research on Neglected Underutilized Species (NUS)

Past Projects

  • Using 2nd Generation Sequencing (Solexa/Illumina) for SNP/marker discovery, genotyping and BAC library fingerprinting
  • Method development for biodiversity assessments with the 454 sequencing platform (Roche)
  • Explorative shutgun sequencing and constructing a genetic map of Arabis alpina
  • Gene silencing by various small RNAs in various plant species
  • Marker development and QTL mapping
  • Natural Variation at Flowering Locus T
  • Tracking down the florigen
  • The evolution of micro RNAs and their promoters
  • Detecting SNPs (MSQT)
  • Gene silencing by artificial miRNAs in Arabidopsis and rice
  • QTL mapping

How am I doing?

Well, a German periodical, the Laborjournal, frequently publishes citation rankings in biological disciplines for the German speaking part of the world. For a given discipline and timeframe, they determine how often a particular paper and author was cited. All publications with at least one author with an affiliation to an institute in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland are taken into account and the top 10 papers and the top 50 authors are listed. For 2006-2009 you will find me ranked 26th in Molecular Biology. For 2007-2010 you will find me ranked 15th in Plant Research.


  • Fellowship in Freshwater Sciences from the IGB Berlin (since Feb 2010)
  • Travel grant from DAAD to attend a Drought Workshop (Oct 2006) at the International Rice Research Institute [IRRI], Los Baņos, Philippines
  • Masters thesis support from german student exchange council [DAAD]
  • Scholarship from the Max Planck Society (May 2001- Oct 2002)

Long Past Projects

As an undergrad I helped out in several projects and earned some acknowledgements:


  • WS 2000/2001: Tutorial and assistance, Botany Course I: Morphology of plants for biologists
  • SS 2000: Tutorial and assistance, Botany Course for Biochemists