Principal investigator

Gregor Bucher

During my studies at the LMU Munich I became interested in how evolutionary changes of development influence the evolution of animals. During my PhD in the Klingler lab at the LMU Munich I studied the beetle orthologs of trunk gap genes. Then, I started my own group at the Georg-August-University Göttingen in the Wimmer lab studying the genetic control of head patterning. Since recently, my lab has been working on the evolution of the brain. I have been leading the genome wide iBeetle RNAi screen, which makes Tribolium the second insect model amenable to unbiased screening.

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Marita Büscher is an expert in insect CNS development and is now interested in studying embryonic central complex development in Tribolium. The more typical development of Tribolium brain will allow studying the embryonic formation of structures, which develop only during larval stages in Drosophila.

Dr. Daniela Grossmann is leading the iBeetle screening team, is heading the analysis of this project and she is contributing to the development of the iBeetle-Base.

Dr. Julia Ulrich has identified lethal genes for use in control of insect pest species. Furthermore, she has developed a tool for restricting RNAi to certain tissues in Tribolium. Now she is in our RNAi based pest control team.

Dr. Jürgen Dönitz is our bioinformatician responsible for development of the iBeetle-Base. His scientific interest is the implementation of morphological and phenotypic ontologies and related tools in order to foster the sematic web.

Dr. Vera Terblanche (née Hunnekuhl) is interested in the evolution of neuroendocrine systems. After her work in the centipede Strigamia she now focuses on Tribolium as model system.

PhD students

Salim Ansari joined our large scale RNAi screen in order to identify and study new regulators of head development. He revealed details of Tribolium axis formation, which turns out to be profoundly different from Drosophila

Bicheng He is a fellow of the Chinese Science Foundation and is focusing on neural development in Tribolium.

Max Farnworth wants to understand brain evolution by using the central complex as model system.

Felix Kaufholz wants to gain a deeper understanding on segmentation and antennal segment formation by applying high end genetic tools like locally restricted RNAi. This aim is supported by a collaboration with Dr. Averof (Lyon) funded by an ANR-DFG joint project.

Sonja Lindner is studying the RNAi process in Tribolium and wants to transfer this knowledge to the application of RNAi to pest control as part of our RNAi based pest control team.

Those that keep the thing running:

Claudia Hinners is a specialist for molecular experiments and helps with several projects in the lab. Moreover, she keeps an eye on the clone and probe collections.

Elke Küster is our expert for screening and insect stock keeping. She was in charge of the GEKU-Screen and is has performed a Gal4 enhancer trap screen.

Martin Milner is continuing the iBeetle screen.

Mohamad Al Heshan is continuing the iBeetle screen.

Master students

Dominik Mühlen is using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in order to generate enhancer traps of certain genes.
Magdalena Schacht is interested in spider head genes and in non-invasive fate mapping.

Former postdocs and PhD students

Sebastian Kittelmann, Christian Schmitt-Engel, Nikolaus Koniszewski, Nico Posnien, Johannes Schinko, Georg Oberhofer, Janna Siemanowski, Peter Kitzmann.
Please find details to their contribution and their current adress here.