Awards for the best master theses go to Christian Schröer and Lisa Grützmacher
On December 16, 2021, two former Osnabrück Biology master students were honored for their theses. Christian Schröer received the award in the category “thesis with a focus on biochemistry/molecular biology” and Lisa Grützmacher in the category “thesis with a focus on organismal biology”.
After a Corona-related break last year, Osnabrück Biology again awarded its prizes for the best master theses this December. The presentation of the two awards, each endowed with 150 euros, by the dean Prof. Dr. Chadi Touma took place in a small group at an outdoor location, paying attention to the current situation.
Lipid molecules with a switch
The award for the best master thesis in the molecular spectrum of biology, sponsored by the Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM), went to Christian Schröer, who studied Biosciences in Osnabrück with a focus on Cell and Molecular Biology. The title of his thesis is: "Application of targeted photoactivatable sphingosine analogues to gain spatiotemporal control over sphingolipid metabolism and signaling". His supervisor was Prof. Dr. Joost Holthuis, head of the Molecular Cell Biology group.
Christian Schröer worked on synthetically produced lipids (i.e. fat molecules) whose biological function can be both switched on and off by light of certain wavelengths. The molecules can be used as tools to study various processes in cells. "What particularly fascinated me about the work was the interdisciplinarity. This topic takes place right at the interface between biology, chemistry and physics," Schröer says. Recently, he has started to continue his research as part of a doctoral thesis, which he will also complete in the Molecular Cell Biology group.
Researching plant relationships
Lisa Grützmacher was awarded the prize for the best master thesis in the organismal spectrum of biology, donated by the Dean's Office of the Biology Faculty. She too studied Biosciences in Osnabrück, but with a focus on Evolution, Behavior and Ecology. Her thesis is entitled: "Phylogenetische Untersuchungen ausgewählter Arten der Sektion Reticulatobulbosa Kamelin”, her supervisor was PD Dr. Nikolai Friesen, Kustos of the Botanical Garden.
Lisa Grützmacher investigated the relationships of various species of the section Reticulatobulbosa within the genus Allium. She says, she "particularly liked the fact that the analyses were so diversified due to applying different methods” and that it was exciting to use the latest DNA sequencing technologies. In the coming year, she would like to take a closer look at plant systematics as part of a doctoral thesis at the Botanical Garden, this time focusing on the genus Lilium.
About the awards: The competition is organized by Prof. Dr. Christian Ungermann. Lecturers at Osnabrück Biology are invited to nominate excellent master theses under their supervision. From the nominations, a jury selects the best thesis in the molecular spectrum and the best thesis in the organismal spectrum of biology. This year, the jury consisted of Prof. Dr. Nico Dissmeyer and Dr. Florian Fröhlich.