My research is driven by the question of how plant cells decide when to divide under various conditions.
I studied Biology and German Philology at the University of Cologne (Germany). Because I was fascinated by how plants develop postembryonically, I moved to the Institute Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes (CNRS, Strasbourg, France) for my PhD thesis. My PhD projects focused on cell cycle control during root growth and development in Arabidopsis. One part of my research concentrated on the regulation of asymmetric cell divisions in the root meristem. The other part focused on cell cycle control following genotoxic stress conditions. Afterwards, I moved to the Plant Systems Biology Department (VIB, Ghent, Belgium), to study the function of the aurora cell-cycle kinases in plants, particularly during early steps of lateral root initiation. At the moment, I am a postdoc at Stanford University (USA). Here, I am working on formative divisions and cell-cycle control during stomata development. The stomata lineage relies on a defined order of asymmetric and symmetric divisions, all in the 2-dimensional plane of the epidermis, and represents a powerful model system to follow formative divisions and study polarity and cell-cycle control.