Oxygen is the central element for aerobic cellular respiration, yet most terrestrial mammals are very vulnerable to low oxygen conditions (hypoxia). Marine mammals on the other hand are able to cope with limited oxygen supply. The hooded seal (Cystophora cristata) for example is an excellent breath-hold diver. Physiological adaptations like bradycardia and peripheral vasoconstriction have evolved to facilitate this lifestyle. Still, central oxygen stores are being depleted regularly during repetitive dive bouts. The seal brain can endure conditions of extreme hypoxia that would lead to neuronal death in other mammals. To date, little is known about the molecular mechanisms conveying the neuronal hypoxia tolerance in diving mammals.
Therefore we aim to identify potential pathways in brain tissue and cell culture by metabolomics and transcriptomics approaches, as well as substrate and enzyme assays.
PhD student: “Molecular mechanisms of hypoxia tolerance in marine mammals”
Institute of Zoology, University of Hamburg, Dr. Cornelia Geßner
Research assistant: Investigation of cuticular hydrocarbons of the seaweed fly Coelopa frigida and clock genes of the shore crab Carcinus maenas
Sven Lovén Centre Tjärnö, University of Gothenburg, Dr. Emma Berdan and Dr. Marlene Jahnke
M.Sc. in Industrial and Environmental Biology, City University of Applied Sciences Bremen: “Visualization of Methanosaeta cells and attached Bacteria”
Max-Planck-Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Prof. Dr. Jens Harder
B.Sc. in Biotechnology, University of Applied Sciences Aachen: “Vergleichende Analyse der DAHP Synthasen aus Zea mays”
Institute for Plant Sciences (IBG-2), Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Prof. Dr. Ingar Janzik
Education as Biological technical assistant
Sabine Blindow-Schulen, Hannover