Molecular and Applied Plant Sciences majorStudents

 Heidelberg is home to a very active community of plant researchers that are based at the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS). All researchers involved in MAPS are world renowned leaders in their fields and addresses the global challenges of food security, green technology and climate change. The range of topics studied is wide: sulfur biochemistry, cell wall biology, cellular transport and trafficking systems, stem cell behaviour, root development and plant defences. In this research environment, MAPS has developed into an internationally distinguished master program that provides students from around the world with a high-level education at one of the leading universities in Germany. The MAPS curriculum covers a broad spectrum of topics and is integrally taught in English. The program is focused on intensive stays in the labs. Already by the second semester students spend most of their time actively doing research. The lectures and practical allow students to study the biochemistry, cell biology, physiology or developmental biology of plants using advanced equipment for high-end microscopy, genomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics. A key strength of the program is the international network of academic and industrial host labs that the program has built over the years. This offers many opportunities to our students to discover an even wider range of topics and methodologies.

Class of 2022

  • Celine Geiger
  • Freddy Igiebor
  • Raffaela Nauke
  • Charlotte Neumann
  • Cathrin Rube
  • Gülce Tekin
  • Caja-Marie Winzer

Class of 2021

  • Neva Bölke
  • Ben Brick
  • Katinka Bünger
  • Diana Gabler
  • Chi-Ying Hsueh
  • Anna Kolehmainen
  • Lenard Kreis
  • Max Pollmeier
  • Janina Schmidt
  • Laura Schütz
  • Elena Sturm

Class of 2020

MAPS 2020
  • Mariam Ataulla
  • Panagiotis Boumpas
  • Hannah Callenius
  • Katarina Erbstein
  • Helena Greifzu
  • Sarina Jabbusch
  • Kim Janßen
  • Nadja Wunsch

Our current students

Joshua Lindner

University Education:
Since WS 19/20: Molecular Biosciences University of Heidelberg
WS 14/15 - SS 18: Bachelor "Biologie", University of Bremen
WS 13/14 - SS 14: "Applied Leisure Studies", University of Applied Sciences, Bremen
WS 12/13 - SS 13: "Antique Cultures", University of Göttingen

Title of Bachelor Thesis:
“Selected Fluorescent Markers for in vivo localization in Tobacco and Poplar”

Interested in:
Light Microscopy, Developmental Regulation, Biotechnological Application and plant growth

Plants make up the largest amount of biomass on our planet. They are of major relevance in our everyday life, as food source, construction material, everyday products and more. Even though they develop just three different organ types, plants show a great plasticity in their phenotype and, regarding multiploidy, even in their genotype. Plants provide a vast, ever changing and increasingly more important research field which contributes vastly to society. With more and more mysteries of plant development being uncovered, they might even hold the key to many of today's global problems such as crop loss and overpopulation. Plants are the foundation of our life and are therefore of very high interest to me. I hope that, in the future, I will be able to contribute to humanity's understanding of these complex and fascinating organisms.


Julian Maier

University education

- 10/2019 - Present     Msc Molecular Bioscience, Major Molecular and Applied Plant Sciences, University of Heidelberg, Germany
- 10/2015 – 09/2019   Bsc Biowissenschaften, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Title of Bachelor thesis

“Regulatory function of protein-protein interactions on SnRK1 signaling under low-energy conditions”

Internships/Professional experience

- 11/2019 – Present    Research assistant, Department of Molecular Biology of Plants, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Motivation/Research Interest/Future Plans:

To begin with I wasn’t interested in plants from the beginning. I started to study biology first and foremost because I was fascinated by bacteria and their potential as bioreactors. However, during the bachelor’s program I got to know how flexible and dynamic plants are and need to be dispirit their seemingly static appearance.

The world of plants science is as intriguing as it is diverse. How do plants fight pathogens without immune cells? How do they sense and adapt to their changing environment? How can they be manipulated in order to serve our requirements? These are just a few of the many exciting questions of this field.

My personal reason for choosing this major program is in part based on the excellent reputation of the university of Heidelberg in the field of bioscience as well as the opportunity to actively engage in current up-to-date science projects in the labs of the different research groups at the Centre for Organismal Studies.

In addition, I want to gain as much experience of theoretical as well as applied nature to be prepared to work on my own projects in the future and hopefully some day be part of a team of motivated and passionate interdisciplinary researches tackling the problems of tomorrow whether in academia or industry.


Saskia Triller

University/ Education:

10/2019 – Present: M. Sc. Molecular Biosciences (Molecular and Applied Plant Sciences), University of Heidelberg, Germany

10/2015 – 10/2019: B. Sc. Biochemistry, Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

Title of Bachelor thesis:

Identification of UGT73C6 and lncNATs-UGT73C6 transcription initiation and termination sites and analysis of lncNATs role in leaf growth

Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Halle (Saale)


05/2018 – 07/2018 Intern at research group “Plant Quality for Human Consumption”, Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, Großbeeren (Germany)

12/2018 – 02/2019 Student assistant at research group “Phytoantibodies”, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Gatersleben (Germany)

Research interest/ future goals/ motivation:

I believe that plants are our future. They are one basis for human life as primary producers providing food, raw material and shelter. Additionally, they play a major role in many different types of ecosystems. In terms of climate change and global population growth I see my job as a future scientist to take part of finding a solution to the problems humanity has to face just as global warming, soil degradation and water shortage. Therefore it is necessary to understand molecular processes in plants and to apply the gained knowledge for crop or energy production as well as water or soil protection.

I have always wanted to understand how life works and what has to come together for an organism to function the way it does in its whole complexity. Plants show a lot of different shapes and sizes. The way they react to stimuli and how they adapt to certain environmental conditions differs from animals because they cannot move. Due to this it is very fascinating to work with them.

During my Bachelor studies I mainly focused on plant biochemistry and molecular biology and for my Bachelor thesis I worked with long non-coding RNAs in plants. I decided to start my Master studies in MAPS because I want to learn about new methods, improve my practical skills in the laboratory and gain insight into ongoing plant research in Heidelberg.