We are primarily concerned with the question of how molecular changes
cause new phenotypes to emerge.
Our main goal is to understand, from as many angles as possible, how
protein evolution works.
Furthermore, we want to understand which of the zillions of possible
evolutionary paths at the molecular level are facilitated or hindered
constraints which govern structure and function of proteins and
Accordingly, we use computational simulations, transcriptomics (aka
RNAseq), genomic data analyses and wet-lab directed evolution
experiments to investigate the phenotypic effects of genotypic changes.
In particular, we aim at understanding evolvability (many mutations of a genotype create novel phenotypes), robustness (most mutations will preserve the phenotype), lock-in (the evolutionary history constrains the evolvability of a molecule), canalisation (the evolutionary history constrains phenotypic plasticity), epistatic ratchets (two or more neutral or deleterious mutations become beneficial in concert) and the role of promiscuity (multi-functionality) for escaping adaptive conflicts (a molecule has two (or more) fitness-relevant functions but can not optimise both simultaneously).
- Guest scientist, affilitated to: Max Planck Institute for Biology Tübingen, Dept. Protein Evolution (Prof. Andrei Lupas) 2018 - present.
- Full Professor of Molecular Evolution and Bioinformatics, School of Biological Sciences, The (Westfalian Wilhelms ) University of Münster, Germany, 2003 - present.
- Guest professor Universite Lyon1, Claude Bernard, Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Évolutive, June 2013 (sabbatical)
- Visiting Scholar EBI , Thornton Group "The Spices", Cambridge, April - July 2009 (sabbatical)
- Senior Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Manchester, UK, 2000-2003
- Project Manager Biochemical Pathways and Databases, EML GmbH, Heidelberg, Germany, 1998-2000
- Postdoctoral Research Associate, German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg, Germany, 1996-1998
- Assistant Professor (Univ. Ass.), Institute of Mathematics, University of Vienna, Austria, 1994-1996
- Summer School in Complex Systems, SantaFe Institute 1993
- PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) in Biochemistry, University of Vienna, Austria, 1995
- Diploma (equ. to MSc) in Biochemistry, University of Vienna, Austria, 1992
- Studies in Biochemistry, Physics and Mathematics, University of Vienna, Austria, 1981-1991
- Best school ever! BRG4 (1973 -- 1981)