project 1: the (de-)evolution of body plans 

In this subproject, we will compare microRNA complements of free-living and parasitic representatives of important metazoan groups to 1) close important phylogenetic gaps in the animal tree of life and 2) infer, with the help of microRNAs, whether parasitism constitutes a de-evolution of body plans.   


project 2: quantifying the (de-)canalization effect of microRNAs 

To understand the effects of microRNAs on individual targets and the whole tranascriptomes of single cells, we here want to quantify the number of microRNAs in distinct cell-types and measure their effects on targets in free-living and parasitic metazoans at the single cell(-type) level.  

project 3: a paleotranscriptomic approach to museum collections

We have recently shown that up-to 14 000 years old samples contain significant amounts of microRNas and that they can be used to study gene-activity of even extinct animals. In this subproject we will further establish paleotranscriptomics as a novel research discipline and initiate transcriptomics studies on museum samples.