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

Independent group leaders

Dr. Vera Terblanche (née Hunnekuhl) is interested in the evolution of neuroendocrine systems. After her work in the centipede Strigamia she joined the lab to establish Tribolium as model system for neuroendocrine research and for building up her own research group.

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. Salim Hakeemi is developing a tool for local restriction of the RNAi effect and wants to understand the role of signaling pathways on head development.

PhD students

Xuebin Wan is a fellow of the Chinese Science Foundation and is mining the iBeetle screen for novel head phenotypes.

Georg Bullinger is interested in elucidating similarities and differences of genetic neural lineages between fly and beetle. Further, he is interested in finding the signals that govern heterochronic brain development. He is applying genome editing to mark cells expressing a homologous transcription factor.

Noel Cabaas uses a single cell sequencing approach to compare similarities and differences of gene expression between cells of the adult brains and embryonic neuroblasts between fly and beetle.

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.

Former postdocs and PhD students

Please find details on the contribution and career of former lab members here.