German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv)


Mastaneh Ahrar

Technical Employee
Phone: mail to person +49 341 9733225

I joined iDiv as a technical assistant in the Symbiont Evolution group in 2023. I have a PhD in Plant Science from the University of Innsbruck in Austria. For the last few years I have been working as a research technician in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour at the University of Liverpool and more recently in the Centre for Genomic Research at the same university. My technical skills include molecular and analytical techniques, next generation sequencing, fluorescent in situ hybridisation and confocal microscopy. I look forward to supporting the needs of my group and passing on my knowledge to current and future students.

Michael Gerth

Head of Junior Research Group
Phone: mail to person +49 341 9739145

I joined iDiv in 2022 as Junior Research Group Leader funded by DFG's Emmy-Noether-Programme. Previously, I was a Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University and a Postdoc in University of Liverpool. I am broadly interested in the evolution of arthropod symbiosis, with a focus on inherited bacterial symbionts. My work has comprised approaches from genomics, phylogenetics, ecology, bioinformatics, and faunistics.

Nina Klötzer

Technical Employee
Phone: mail to person +49 341 9739220

During my studies of food chemistry at the Martin Luther University (MLU) in Halle, I wrote my diploma thesis in the Department of Analytical Environmental Chemistry at the Helmholtz Institute for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig. This sparked my interest in interdependent processes and relationships in the environment, and I subsequently worked there as a research assistant. Since November 2022 I am a technical assistant in the Department Symbiont Evolution at iDiv and support the team especially in the laboratory.

Pratyaksh Singh

Doctoral Researcher
Phone: mail to person +49 341 9733225

I commenced my Doctoral studies at iDiv in November 2022 after completing my master in Organismic, Evolution and Paleobiology (OEP-Biology) at the University of Bonn in Germany. My research was focused on the "Inter- and Intraspecific differences of host finding traits in parasitoid wasp, Nasonia spp. (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Pteromalidae)". After completing my master’s, I was a part of a project on "Minnow project" at the Leibniz-Institut zur Analyse des Biodiversitätswandels (LIB) Bonn, which investigated the spread of Phoxinus, an ecologically important schooling fish, in the River Sieg and its territories. Coming from this diverse background, I am broadly interested in the behavior and evolution of arthropods. I want to understand how, what and why makes an animal adapt to different environmental conditions, and how it affects interactions with others. To answer those questions was my primary motivation to start a PhD on Symbiont Evolution investigating the adaptation of inherited symbionts in novel host.

Stefanos Siozios

Postdoctoral Researcher
Phone: mail to person +49 341 9733225

I joined the Symbiont Evolution Group at iDiv as a Senior Researcher in 2023, having previously worked as a Marie Curie Fellow and Research Assistant at the University of Liverpool. My research focuses on understanding the diverse microbes associated with hosts, particularly microbial symbionts found in arthropods. I use genomics and metagenomics approaches, including nanopore sequencing technology, to unravel the secrets of their evolution. Together with my colleagues at iDiv, I am dedicated to unravelling the mysteries of these microscopic partnerships and their role in shaping our natural world.

Symbiont Evolution
Dr Michael GerthHead of Junior Research Group+49 341 9739145mail to personmail to person
Dr Mastaneh AhrarTechnical Employee+49 341 9733225mail to personmail to person
Nina KlötzerTechnical Employee+49 341 9739220mail to personmail to person
Pratyaksh SinghDoctoral Researcher+49 341 9733225mail to personmail to person
Dr Stefanos SioziosPostdoctoral Researcher+49 341 9733225mail to personmail to person
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