Ruben Garrido-OterGroup leader
Ruben comes from Spain. He studied computer sciences and mathematics in Madrid and Berlin. He obtained his PhD in computational biology from the university of Dusseldorf in 2017. Since then, he is a Group Leader at the MPIPZ. He is interesting in studying complex microbial ecosystems using computational and experimental approaches.
Magda comes from Poland and studied Molecular Biosciences at the Heidelberg University, where she earned her master’s degree investigating the impact of stomatal morphology on gas exchange in the lab of Michael Raissig. She joined the RGO lab for her PhD in 2021 and is now investigating the principles governing the interaction between terrestrial green algae and their associated microbial communities, using both the model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and environmental algae.
Paul KajdewiczScientific engineer
Paul is an engineer from Germany. After earning his masters degree in Mechanical Engineering/Mechatronics at the University of Paderborn, he worked several years in a research environment, as well as in the industry. With the desire to do something more meaningful, he began working as an System Engineer at the RGO group in early 2022. His main focus is on the technical development of complex gnotobiotic systems that help to assess the impact of plant-microbe interactions in host photosynthetic activity and soil respiration.
Carlos Durán BallesterosLaboratory technician
Carlos comes from Spain and joined the RGO group in September of 2020. He is currently a laboratory technician who assist the research of the group in work with microscopic algae, synthetic bacterial communities, NGS library preparation and the development of complex gnotobiotic experimental systems.
Tak received his Ph.D. at the Yonsei University, South Korea, studying functional gene networks in plant species. He moved to Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University, UK, as a Postdoctoral researcher, later moving on to the Crop Science Center. While his time in Cambridge, his research focus was dissecting the genetic networks of model legumes in comparison with cereal crops. Tak is now a senior bioinformatician here in MPIPZ, involved in many different research projects alongside with providing bioinformatic services and consultation in the department. His prime research interests are efficient utilization of metagenome databases and how the interactions of plant, bacteria and fungus shape the rhizosphere.
Qi comes from China, he received his PhD from Inner Mongolia Agricultural University in China in 2014 and did his postdoctoral work at the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. He spent most of his early research on nitrate-mediated regulation of the symbiotic relationship between rhizobia and legumes. He started working at MPIPZ in 2021 as a joint postdoctoral fellow in the labs of Ruben Garrido-Oter, Paul Schulze-Lefert and Stephane Hacquard, studying phosphate solubilising microorganisms during plant growth.
Niklas is a PhD student from Germany. He studied Biology at the Heinrich-Heine University in Duesseldorf, went for an academic year to the Michigan State University and completed his Bachelor thesis at the Institut for Virology of the University Hospital Duessesldorf. Nik joined the RGO group in October 2021 and is investigating the genetic determinants of microbial communities to new host plants. He utilizes an experimental evolution approach with small synthetic commmunities that colonize Arabidopsis thaliana and Lotus japonicus roots. To uncover potential adaptation events as well as their underlying genetic mechanism, he makes use of state-of-the-art sequencing technologies.
Jia comes from China, where he studied plant sciences and biotechnology with a minor in applied mathematics at the Jia Tong University of Shanghai. During his doctorate studies at the University of Manchester he used mathematical models to understand how plant cells make fate decisions under endoplasmic reticulum stress. His current project consists on designing and modelling the behaviour of synthetic phototrophic ecosystems using the model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.
José comes from Mexico and joined the lab in 2018. During his doctoral studies at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology at Oded's Beja Lab he analyzed hundreds of metagenomes looking for viruses and interesting proteins. Now, at the RGO group his research deals with the relationships within microalgae-bacterial communities, combining -omics and the expertise of the PSL department for microbiome-host interactions.
Pengfan comes from China, where he studied genomics at BGI and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. His current research focuses on the development of computational tools for the analysis of sequencing data from synthetic communities and ecosystems.