Members

Stéphane Hacquard

Research Group leader
Stéphane comes from Nancy, France. He got his PhD at the University of Lorraine in France in 2010 and did a Postdoc at the MPIPZ in Cologne. Most of his earlier work was on fungal transcriptional reprogramming during colonization of plant tissues. Since January 2017, he is a Group Leader at the MPIPZ. He is interested into how both host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions impact microbial community structure and plant health.

Yu Ayukawa

Postdoc
Yu comes from Japan. He got his PhD at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in Japan in 2018 and did a Postdoc at the RIKEN. He joined the MPIPZ in 2021 and is studying how Fusarium oxysporum interacts with host plants and microbes.

Felix Getzke

PhD student
Felix comes from Germany, he obtained his Masters degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Cologne. In 2019, he started his PhD where he wants to dissect microbe-microbe interactions with the aim of understanding their importance for host fitness and microbiota establishment.

Victor Mataigne

PhD Student
Victor comes from France, and has a master degree in ecology from the University of Louvain and a master degree in bioinformatics from the University of Rouen. His PhD is co-supervised by the University of Rennes and the Max Planck Institute, and aims to study microbe-microbe interactions of the plant microbiota, with a particular attention on metabolic dependencies. He comes regularly at the Institute, when his project is in need for experiments; his work in Rennes is dedicated to bioinformatics

Fantin Mesny

PhD student
Fantin comes from France and has studied life sciences. After a six-month internship at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Hinxton (UK), he obtained a Masters degree in biotechnology and bioinformatics from the University of Strasbourg. He started his PhD in December 2018 and is focusing on the genomics of fungi colonizing the roots of Arabidopsis thaliana

Brigitte Pickel

Technical assistant
Brigitte is working as a technical assistant and comes from Germany. She is working since 35 years at the MPIPZ. Since 1 year she is working in Group Haquard. She is responsible for the laboratory organization and the culture collection.

Ram-Sevak Raja-Kumar

PhD Student
Ram Sevak comes from India, she obtained her Master degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Bonn in 2020. In her master project, she worked on investigating the allelic variants on gene regulation in F1 maize hybrids using transient luciferase expression assay in the Frommer group at the MPIPZ. In October 2020, she started her PhD in Group Hacquard to work on the Plectosphaerella cucumerina project with the aims of understanding fungal host colonization strategies, adaptation, and dominance in the root microbiome.

Thorsten Thiergart

Postdoc, Bioinformatician
Thorsten studied biology at the HHU in Düsseldorf and did his PhD in the group of William Martin. He joined the Max-Planck-Institute in 2015 and is now part of the newly founded research group of Stephane Hacquard. His main interests are in analysis of bacterial and fungal community structure and to use bioinformatical tools to reveal possible interactions among microbes.

Qi Wang

Postdoc
Qi comes from China, he got his PhD at Inner Mongolia Agricultural University in China in 2014 and did a Postdoc at the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. Most of his earlier work was on nitrate-mediated regulation of rhizobium and legume symbiosis. He started working at MPIPZ in 2021 as a joint postdoctoral fellow in the laboratories of Paul Schulze-Lefert, Stephane Hacquard and Ruben Garrido-Oter and is studying the working mechanism of rhizosphere phosphate solubilizing microorganisms during plant growth.
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