I started at the Plant Breeding and Genetics Lab of the FAO/IAEA Joint Division in January 2018.


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 eventually graudating with a PhD.
Highlights include a collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines to develop gene silencing by artificial miRNAs for rice and 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 refining suggestions 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 bad news for the resilience of our food supply.
From November 2012 until December 2017, I worked as lecturer in the Research School of Biology (RSB) at the Australian National University (ANU) and worked on whole genome sequencing projects to inform (pre-)breeding and conservation efforts. We developed a new metric for assembly- and alignment free sequence comparisons: kWIP. No prior knowledge of the underlying genomes is required and applications include detecting sample identity and mix-up, non-obvious genomic variation, and population structure. We advocate for performing such unbiased analysis in preliminary stages of any study. It rapidly verifies experimental designs and sample metadata, catching potentially catastrophic errors early.