Sie sind hier: Startseite Arbeitsgruppen Prof. Dr. A. Blanke Arbeitsgruppe




Kristen Hennes

Telefon: 0228 73 5122
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Wissenschaftliche MitarbeiterInnen

Dr. Samuel Ginot

Sam Ginot

Telefon: 0228 73 5481
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I am an evolutionary biologist and paleontologist. I work mostly on phenotypic evolution in animals. I am interested in variations of mobile hard structures and muscles, and their functional consequences. To quantify these variations, I use traditional and geometric morphometrics, traditional dissections, 3D reconstructions of hard and soft tissues, and measures of performance, which I analyze using functional models and multivariate statistics. I work at different levels of variation – between species using comparative methods, between populations, and within populations – and try to identify links between these levels in evolutionary terms.
Since joining the Blanke's workgroup, I have been working with grasshoppers, focusing on their biting performance, in relation with the anatomy of their mandibles and mandible muscles. Doing so, I have been comparing various methods (3D based and dissection based) for quantifying muscle anatomy (PCSA, fiber length), and I have shown the presence of significant asymetry in the mandible closer muscles. Future projects include the study of morphology and function of insects in controlled climatic experiments, and of populations under the influence of anthropization factors.


Dr. Brian Saltin

Brian Saltin

Telefon: 0228 73 5134
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My two main research interests are the material properties of insect cuticle and arthropode sensory organs and especially, the overlap of the two. That is, how the material properties influence the function of the sensory organs, or in a more general context, how function influences form and behavioural capabilities.
Therefore I’m thrilled to be part of the Neuronex Project, which perfectly aligns my two areas of interest and expertise.

Currently I am working mainly with Drosophila legs, (s. also image below, scale bar: 20µm), investigating their campaniform sensilla (CS)/mechano-sensory configuration. Other aspects of the project revolve around FEM simulations of said CS fields as well as CS in a broader taxonomic context. 


M.Sc. Peter Rühr


Telefon: 0228 73 5115
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I am studying the evolution and biomechanics of insect heads, with a focus on non-holometabolous biting chewing taxa (e.g. dragonflies, stoneflies, stick insects & praying mantises). My particular interest lies in the influence of ecological factors on the head shape in these groups, including food preference, microhabitat, and flight capacity. Another part of my work is the exploration of how these factors are related to the ability of the different head capsule shapes to resist strains during biting. To tackle these questions, I am using a combination of computed tomography, 3D geometric morphometrics, biteforce measurements, multibody simulations, finite element analyses, and multivariate statistical methods.


M.Sc. Ricardo Custodio


Telefon: 0221 470 4889

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M.Sc. Melina Frenzel


Telefon: 0228 73 5130
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My work focuses on a quantitative analysis of the head shape variation among Condylognatha. Condylognatha are a monophyletic lineage composed of Thysanoptera and Hemiptera. A comparative approach on a macroevolutionary scale is possible with methods such as three-dimensional reconstruction and geometric morphometrics based on µCT-scans and serial sections. I plan to analyse the potential correlation of head shapes and mouthparts with their function, several ecological traits and the underlying phylogeny in three main projects:
- Head shape variation within Condylognatha
- Functional morphology of the stylet tips in Hemiptera
- Biomechanical properties of plant tissues which are hosts for several Hemiptera


M.Sc. Sebastian Sander

Seb sander

Telefon: 0228 73 5122
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Natural history museums world wide hold large and valuable collections of drawers containing a variety of different specimens. Partly, these were collected over several decades at a fixed geolocation featuring a high value for the analysis of climate change impact on the evolution of specimens. Photographing these drawers and collecting data from them is a task that can only be solved automatically because of the large amount of data. As a technician at Prof. A. Blankes workgroup I mainly am developing a framework to automatically extract phenotypical features, like body size, from whole drawer images of hexapods. Furthermore I support my team with technical and programming knowledge in their scientific research. 


M.Sc. Martina Relota

Telefon: 0228 73 5121

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Studentische Hilfskräfte, Master & Bachelor KandidatInnen

Ruben Eich

Elaine Osterkamp

Malin Meyer

Samuel Nebgen


B.Sc. Simon Sommerfeld


M.Sc. Leonardo Tozetto

B.Sc. Kristina Schreiber


M.Sc. Leif Moritz


Doppelfüßer (Diplopoda) zählen zu den ersten Landtieren und übernehmen als Destruenten eine wichtige Rolle in terrestrischen Ökosystemen. Ich interessiere mich für die Morphologie der Diplopoden und für die Evolution verschiedener Merkmale innerhalb dieser Gruppe und generell in Arthropoden. Ich nutze verschiedene Methoden (µCT, Lichtmikroskopie, Histologie, REM) um rezente und fossile Vertreter aller größeren Diplopoden Taxa (16 Ordnungen) und deren Verwandte (Pauropoda, Symphyla, Chilopoda) vergleichend zu untersuchen. Darüber hinaus untersuche ich den Abwehrmechanismus von Tausendfüßern sowie die kreidezeitliche Tausendfüßer Fauna, die in burmesischem Bernstein erhalten ist.


M.Sc. Christian Grünewald

Chris Grünewald

I am a material scientist with an engineering background. My main focus is the development of a biomimetic filtration unit to separate microplastics from water with a potential application in washing machines but possibly also other microplastics sources. To this end, I collaborate with lab members Leandra Hamann, and Hendrik Herzog but I also collaborate with partners from industry concerning product development. 


M.Sc. Leandra Hamann


In the field of biomimetics, biological principles are analysed, abstracted and transferred to technology. To reduce microplastics emissions into the environment, I study suspension feeders in my doctoral thesis. They separate food particles from water and are the biological models to develop a biomimetic filter module. I currently focus on the cross-flow filtration in ram-feeding fishes, the filter lamellae in flamingos and the mucus filtration in ascidians. A possible application are washing machines.

M.Sc. Carina Edel


Orthoptera are the largest non-holometabolous insect group with a chewing-biting mechanism of feeding. In my PhD project, I will focus on the head shape disparity of Orthoptera to determine which ecological and mechanical factors might have influenced their radiation. For this I will be looking at ~ 400 µCT-Scans of different Orthoptera heads, covering nearly all subfamilies. Shape disparity will be analysed using 3D geometric morphometrics of their head-shape. The mechanical influence of feeding habits will be determined by looking at the mandible mechanical advantage as well as finite-element-analysis.