Barrierefreiheit: Kurzbeschreibung des Bildes

 

Barrierefreiheit: Kurzbeschreibung des BildesThe research of our team focuses on the biodiversity of protists, specifically ciliates(Alveolata, Ciliophora), by the descriptions of new species and redescriptions of insufficiently known species from marine, freshwater, and terrestrial habitats collected during field trips. By means of light microscopy (bright field, interference and phase contrast), scanning and transmission electron microscopy, and application of a wide spectrum of histochemical staining methods, we investigate the cell morphology and division, resting cysts, conjugation processes, cell ultrastructures,and the chemical composition of ciliate loricae and cysts. Our computer-based cladistic analyses of the yielded characters provide together with molecular studies(primarily gene sequencing) insights into the evolution and adaptations of these organisms as well as into the phylogenetic relationships among protists, that again represent the base for the classification.

Our research yields not only everlasting publications, but is also very important assequencing of environmental samples clearly demonstrated that protist diversity is anorder of magnitude larger than previously assumed and that the vast majority of species are undescribed. Since protists are crucial components of all food webs, species circumscriptions are essential for studies concerning the ecological role and geographic distribution of species, and especially when the taxa are modelorganisms (e.g., Nobel Prices 1989 and 2009) or used for barcoding (identification bymarker genes). Accordingly, taxonomic expertise is urgently required, particularlyas there are only a few ciliatologists worldwide. Generally, our investigations are conducted in collaboration with international scientists, e.g., from Canada, China,France, Korea, Germany, the USA, and Austria.

We welcome students for Bachelor-, Master-, and Doctoral Thesis who are interested in learning and applying the whole spectrum of methods for ciliate taxonomy and phylogenetics.

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