We are addressing fundamental problems in Neuroscience, Developmental Biology, and Evolutionary Biology. We are particularly interested in:


  • How complex neural circuitry arises in development
  • How the activity of neuronal networks regulates animal behavior
  • How animal genomes, body plans and cell types evolved

In order to address these questions, we use several animal systems encompassing cnidarians, mollusks, fruit flies and nematodes, and a broad spectrum of experimental approaches. Our expertise ranges from genetics, cell- and developmental biology, and genomics to systems neuroscience. We are an interdisciplinary collaborative team of six groups. Click here to find out about their specific fields of research.

Department News


Alison Cole produces a lineage resolved single cell atlas of nematode development.


Congratulations to Oliver Link for winning the award for the best talk at the VDSEE doctoral school.


Paul Knabl and Alexandra Schauer (Genikhovich group) identified BMP signalling targets and characterized a novel modulator of BMP signaling in...



The Zimmer group, together with the Moritz Grosse-Wentrup group (UniVie) and Tatjana Tchumatchenko group (Uni Bonn) receive funding from the WWTF


Nature Communications paper about sea anemone genomes!


Congratulations to Dr. Ritschard for receiving the prestigious Award of Excellence 2023.