Recognizing Plant Physiology authors: Birte Schwarz

Birte Schwarz, first author of Putative cis-regulatory elements predict iron deficiency responses in Arabidopsis roots

Current Position: Ph.D. candidate in the lab of Prof. Dr. Petra Bauer at Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany. Starting February 2020, postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Dr. Philip Wigge at Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, Großbeeren, Germany

Education: M.Sc. in Plant Molecular Biology, and B.Sc. in Microbiology at University of Münster, Germany

Non-scientific Interests: running, reading, baking

Brief bio: I became interested in plants during my master studies, and joined the lab of Prof. Dr. Dirk Prüfer to study sieve element occlusion genes. For my Ph.D., I switched to iron deficiency stress. I worked on different projects to study protein interactions and gene regulation during iron deficiency responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. After one year of wet lab work, I went to Michigan State University for six months to explore the world of Computational Biology in the lab of Prof. Dr. Shin-Han Shiu – with no programming background, but with much enthusiasm. I was fascinated by how we can use -omics data and machine learning algorithms to uncover hidden patterns. Back in Germany I focused on identifying regulatory elements in the promoters of iron deficiency-responsive genes. As postdoc, I will continue in bioinformatics and analyze heat stress -omics data.