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Ute Höcker

Position: Professor

eMail: hoeckeru(at)

phone: 0221-470-6897

To see Ute Höcker's CV, klick on the following link: CV





Christian Schenkel

Position: Technichal Assistant

eMail: cschenke(at)

phone: 0221-470-2477

As technician I support the group as much as possible. Ordering, checking bills, preparing competent cells, and keeping our cell cultures alive are my common tasks. Additionally, I support individual lab members in their projects, but I hope to pursue my own project in the future as well. Outside the lab, I enjoy my free time by learning languages, playing video games and playing trading card games with friends.



Martina Reiter

Position: Secretary
Room 4.609

eMail: mreiter1(at)

phone: 0221-470-1138

My aim is to deal with as much administrative stuff as possible for the group in order to help all group members to keep your mind and energy free for research and science.  This includes invoices, personnel, traveling and anything you might feel to need my help with.



Jathish Ponnu

Position: Postdoctoral fellow

eMail: jponnu(at)

phone: 0221-470-2477



I am broadly interested in elucidating the interactions between COP1/SPA complex and photoreceptors, in mechanistic details. 




Ruiyan Tao

Position: Postdoctoral fellow

eMail: rtao2(at)

phone: 0221-470-2477


SPA proteins play negative regulatory role in plant photomorphogenesis. My project mainly focuses on how SPA1 regulates anthocyanin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana.




Melanie Kreiss

Position: Ph.D. Student

eMail: mkreiss(at)

phone: 0221-470-2477

In Arabidopsis thaliana the COP1/SPA complex is a key negative regulator of light response, allowing the plant to optimally adjust their growth and development to the ambient light conditions. I am especially interested in investigating the evolution of this important complex and to this end I am analyzing the role of COP1 and SPA genes in the moss Physcomitrium patens.



Laura Trimborn

Position: Ph.D. Student

eMail: ltrimbor(at)

phone: 0221-470-2477


In light, photoreceptors suppress the activity of the COP1/SPA E3 ubiquitin ligase to initiate photomorphogenesis.
I am interested in the precise molecular mechanisms how this inhibtion is taking place in Arabidopsis thaliana.



Jessica Thome

Position: Ph.D. Student

eMail: jthome1(at)

phone: 0221-470-2477






Maike Hansen

Position: Ph.D. Student


phone: 0221-470-2477


During the emergence from water to land, plants had to cope with drastic changes in the surrounding light conditions, which required molecular adaptations to ensure survival. Therefore, I am interested in the evolutionary conservation of light signaling components.



Zhen Cao

Position: Ph.D. Student

eMail: zcao(at)

phone: 0221-470-2477






Marion Stoll

Position: M.Sc. Student / Student helper

eMail: mstoll(at)

phone: 0221-470-2477

During my master studies at the University of Cologne I support the members of this lab in their projects as a scientific assistant. Before I already worked in other plant physiology labs in Freiburg and Edinburgh.




Yuri Ando

Position: M.Sc. Student

eMail: yando2(at)

phone: 0221-470-2477