Göttingen Campus Postdoc Committee

In summer 2017 a group of postdoctoral researchers from across the Göttingen Campus initiated the formation of the Göttingen Campus Postdoc Network. The founding members (James Daniel, Rituparnu Chakrabarti and Vinodh Ilangovan) wanted to set up a network in which postdocs can easily exchange information and views, and represent their interests more strongly. If you want to know more or are interested to join please contact us at the Campus Office, or one of the committee members.

Help us to make the GC Postdoc Network better known: download and distribute our poster.

Linh Dang

Linh Dang specialises in computer science with a passion for machine learning methods and their applications to Bioinformatics. His PhD research at the University of Göttingen focused on applying supervised machine learning to study protein’s properties such as DNA-binding sites or protein-protein interaction sites. Additionally, he is also interested in graph-based inferences to investigate how protein’s conformations change. In his free time, he likes watching Ted talks and science shows. His hobby is mountain hiking.

Ilka Vosteen

Ilka Vosteen is a behavioral ecologist who focuses on searching and orientation behavior of insects. She did her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, followed by a three years postdoc project in the Laboratory of Entomology at Wageningen University (NL). In October 2019, she joined the Agricultural Entomology group at the University of Göttingen, where she explores how our knowledge on insect behavior can be applied to make pest control in agricultural systems more sustainable.

Ilka thinks that the postdoc phase is very challenging, because of short-term projects and the necessity to move between universities in different cities and countries to pursue an academic career. An active exchange with postdocs in similar situations can help scientists to deal with the challenges of this critical career phase and Ilka hopes to foster this exchange as an active member of the Postdoc Network. During her time off, Ilka enjoys hiking in the surroundings of Göttingen, gardening on her balcony, cooking delicious meals and reading.

Kamila Svobodova

Kamila Svobodova is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow at the University of Göttingen. Through her project CESMINE, she explores the complexities of socio-economic rehabilitation after small-scale mining in Germany, Denmark, and the Czech Republic. She also holds an honorary role at the Centre for Social Responsibility at the University of Queensland. Her expertise is in understanding how important ‘environmental psychology’ is when designing mine closure and post-mining landscapes. Kamila is a Landscape Engineer and she holds a Ph.D. in Architecture and Urbanism. Besides her academic career, Kamila worked as an urban planner and participated in various regional development planning projects. She is an outdoor and travel enthusiast. During her time off, you usually find her hiking or climbing. She enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and exploring different cultures.

Lisa Maria Franke

Dr. phil. Lisa Maria Franke is specialised in the fields of  Arabic and Islamic Studies as well as in Social and Cultural Anthropology. Currently, she works as assistant professor in the field "Anthropology of Islam" at the Institue of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Göttingen. She carries out research on individual religiosities and non-conformist perspectives in Alexandria as part of the ERC project "Private Pieties: Mundane Islam and New Forms of Muslim Religiosity: Impact on Contemporary Social and Political Dynamics" (2016-2022). She received her PhD in Arabic Studies from the University of Leipzig in 2011. Here, she focussed on martyrdom, gender constructions and social discourses in Palestine. Subsequently, at the University of Cologne, she dealt with the religious, social and political content of colloquial poetry in Egypt and published on the symbolism in modern interpretations of the end times. Her research interests include everyday history, eschatology, belief and identity, discourse analysis, and gender studies; processes of individualisation, religious transformations and social dynamics; the use of language in various forms of texts. She graduated from the University of Bayreuth and the School of Oriental and African Studies (London). She taught at the Universities of Leipzig, Cologne and Goettingen as assistant professor.

Tobias Kahland

Tobias Kahland did his PhD research at the German Primate Center - Leibniz Institute for Primate Research (DPZ) and the Central Institute for Experimental Animals (CIEA) in Kawasaki, Japan, about transgenesis and gene modification in the common marmoset. After some time away from academia he is back working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Deutsches Primatenzentrum in the Platform Degenerative Diseases, focusing on Assisted Reproductive Technologies  (ART) and genetic modification in the common marmoset.
Outside of work he likes to spend time at the sea for scuba diving or kite surfing and explore the outdoors while hiking or cycling.

Tobias Pöhnl

Tobias Pöhnl is a Food Technologist, currently working at the group of Quality and Sensory of Plant Products at the Agricultural Faculty of the University of Göttingen. He obtained his PhD at the University of Hohenheim (Stuttgart) in 2019. His academic interest is the technological and sensorial value of primary and secondary plant metabolites as well as their synthesis and accumulation in agricultural systems. The analysis and identification of those compounds by chromatographic methods demands most of his time. Currently bitter compounds in the context of sustainable production of tasty food for the future are of particular interest.

When he is not working you can find him outdoors running or cycling, maybe at a marathon nearby. Holidays are best spent hiking or mountaineering anywhere between Norway and the Austrian Alps. For relaxation, he enjoys good food, wine and movies or a board game with friends.

Kibrom Sibhatu

Kibrom Sibhatu, from Eritrea, is an Agricultural and Food Economist interested in the dynamic linkages of human welfare with ecosystem services in response to global challenges, including deforestation, poverty, food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition, and climate change. His research experience encompasses projects in the Global South, where he researched the link between farm-level agricultural biodiversity and the quality of diets in smallholder households.

His current research focuses on smallholder land-use change and human welfare in Southeast Asia, particularly in Sumatra, Indonesia. This work is under the EFForTS project -  a Collaborative Research Center  (CRC 990) funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The CRC 990 investigates the ecological and socioeconomic effects of the significant transformation of forests towards a cash crop-dominated rubber and oil palm plantation landscape, focusing on smallholder systems.

Outside work, he is a dedicated runner, plays football, and spends much time reading. He is also active in organizing events for and supporting refugees in Göttingen.

At the University of Göttingen (and other universities in Germany), foreign nationals are increasingly occupying vital (albeit short-term) early-career academic and research positions. However, international staff (and their partners) are often faced with distinct challenges, including language barriers, immigration status, and short-term work contracts. As a Göttingen Campus Postdoc Committee member, he is keen to help address such challenges in collaboration with other team members.



Stefanie Lenk

Stefanie is an art historian working on late antique and medieval religious art. She is a researcher and lecturer at the Art History Department of the University of Göttingen. At the moment, Stefanie’s research focus is on theological reflections on images at times of heresy. She also works on the collecting of religious material culture in 19th and 20th century museums and universities. Stefanie received her DPhil at the University of Oxford in 2019, where she wrote a dissertation on the subject of baptismal art and identity construction in the late antique Western Mediterranean. In the book, she investigates the surprising practice of 5th and 6th century Christian communities to baptize in spaces in which Roman pre-Christian visual and material culture was presented as completely Christian. Until 2018, Stefanie worked as a curator at the British Museum. During this time, she was the lead-curator of the exhibition Imagining the Divine. Art and the Rise of World Religions (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 10/2017-2/2018) that showed parallels, differences and interconnections in the development of early Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, and Jewish imagery in the first millennium. Before coming to Göttingen, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Art History department of the University of Bern, and spent some time as a fellow at the RomanIslam Center of the University of Hamburg.

Mark Bates

Mark Bates is a bio-physicist working in the Department of Optical Nanoscopy at the Institute for Nanophotonics, Göttingen (IFNANO).  Mark's research area is super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, with a particular focus on the use of optical microscopes to resolve the nano-scale architecture of protein complexes.  Originally from Canada, Mark earned his doctorate in Applied Physics at Harvard University (USA) before moving to Göttingen to work at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, and later at the IFNANO.  Mark was an EMBO Postdoctoral fellow, and his research was awarded the 2010 GE & Science Prize for young life scientists, and the Method of the Year (2008) from Nature Methods.  When he’s not in the lab, Mark is a travel and hiking enthusiast, and enjoys winter sports such as skiing, skating, and curling.

Dingsu Feng

Dingsu Feng works as a Postdoc at the Geosciences Centre, geochemistry and isotope department of the University of Göttingen, hired by University of Cologne. Her research focuses mainly on the stable oxygen isotope analysis on PO4. She did her PhD at the University of Göttingen on the topic “Triple Oxygen Isotope analysis of Bioapatite”, namely the tooth enamel, which were used as a new proxy to reconstruct the Paleo CO2 concentration. Currently, she continues the PO4 research on soil and plants.

In her free time, she is either in the gym or playing badminton with her beloved ASC4 team players. In her holidays, she is always traveling overseas, meeting new people, getting to know different cultures and exploring the wonderful world. 

Constanza Tapia Contreras

Constanza, originally from Chile, was awarded by the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). She obtained her Ph.D. from the Department of Developmental Biology of the Georg-August-University in 2021. Afterward, she joined the Department of General, Visceral and Pediatric Surgery as a postdoctoral fellow of the Dorothea Schlözer program at the University Medical Center, Göttingen. Her research focuses on Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, using in-vitro models (patient-derived organoids) to facilitate pharmacological screening studies and identify novel therapeutic targets. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, doing sports, and dancing salsa.

Jimena Davila Gallesio

Jimena Davila Gallesio is a molecular biologist interested in RNA life. In 2019 she obtained her PhD degree from the University of Göttingen for her work studying RNA helicases and ribosome biogenesis. Currently she works as a postdoc at the Department of Molecular Biology of the University Medical CenterGöttingen (UMG). As a postdoc she stepped a bit away from the lab bench: she is mainly responsible for lab management, student supervision and teaching. In this role, but also as a member of the Postdoc Committee, she takes the chance to assist colleagues and peers in their everyday work. She puts special effort in creating and maintaining healthy and productive work environments.
When she is not in the lab, she enjoys meeting with friends for coffee, reading and knitting colorful things.

Christine Mau

Christine Mau is a developmental biologist working in the Department of Evolutionary Developmental Genetics at the Göttingen Center for Molecular Biology (GZMB). She did her PhD at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg on the topic ‘Cis-regulation of Segmentation Genes in Insects’ and obtained her degree in 2022. Afterwards, she conducted an eight-month research stay as postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (USA). In October 2023, she started as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Göttingen studying brain development and evolution in insects. Her research focuses on the analysis of the evolution of neuronal cell types at the single cell level. During her time off, she enjoys nature, cooking, and traveling.

Lizhen Chen

Lizhen Chen earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Hamburg in 2022. Afterward, she commenced her early career as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Wood Technology and Wood-based Composites at the University of Göttingen in September 2022. Her primary research focuses on developing sustainable wood-based nanochannels for energy-harvesting devices. In addition, her research experience and interests include synthesizing hybrid materials designed for applications in biomimicking, hydrogen evolution reactions, and photoelectrochemical processes, as well as solid-state nanopores/nanochannels science and bio-sensing applications. Her academic journey has endowed her with a wealth of experience in lecturing and collaborating with international partners.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading and playing sports like badminton and table tennis, swimming, and dancing.

Anas Emad

Anas Emad is a micrometeorologist in the Bioclimatology group at the Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology. His work focuses on the surface-atmosphere exchanges of stable isotopes and other atmospheric constituents, aiming to deepen our understanding of biosphere-atmosphere interactions. Originally from Syria, where he earned his engineering degree, Anas completed his PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) at the University of Göttingen. He spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), developing instruments and metrological methods for measuring stable isotopes of green house gases using optical techniques. Anas returned to Göttingen to join the ISO-SCALE project, which is dedicated to understanding the water cycle through stable water isotopes. In his free time, Anas enjoys cooking, photography, and exploring nature.

Layla Engelhardt

Layla Engelhardt is an agriculture and food scientist interested in post-harvest processes in plant products. In the division of Quality and Sensory of Plant Products she started as a PhD student in 2019 with a focus on “Thermal processing and storage effects on antioxidant plant compounds and their interaction in model experiments and plant matrices” and since 2023 she has continued her research as a postdoc with focus on interactions of phenolic compounds within different carbohydrate-rich food matrices.
Outside of work, she likes to be in nature hiking, enjoying life with a good book, or exploring foreign countries and their cultures.

Komal Bhattacharyya

Komal Bhattacharyya is a theoretical biophysicist. She uses theoretical and computational tools to understand and explain different Physical properties of biological systems. Currently, she is working in the institute for dynamic complex Systems in the physics faculty of Gottingen University on understanding the mechanical properties of cell cytoskeleton. She did her PhD in biophysics from the Max Plack Institute of Dynamic and Self-organisation, Gottingen, after completing her master's in physics from India. 
She is also passionate about science communication and hopes to see an increased diversity in academia. She wants to make sure academia is a friendly and welcoming place for everyone. 
In her free time, she loves to cook and play board games with her friends, reading, dancing and exploring new cities and cultures.

Call for new members for the GC Postdoc Committee

Deadlines for applications for new members to the committee are usually the autumn and spring every year. The Postdoc Coordinator will advertise the call to the GC Postdoc Network. The next deadline is likely to be 31 October 2024. Please contact the Postdoc Coordinator if you need more information..

Are you part of the Göttingen Campus Postdoc community and do you meet our definition of a Postdoc? Then we are looking for your ideas, input, and energy to make the Göttingen Campus a better place for Postdocs.

As a committee member, you will benefit from:

  • directly influencing the events and activities of the Postdoc Network
  • meeting postdocs from across the Campus
  • getting experience in committee work
  • gaining a better understanding of how large organisations work
  • opportunities to be more involved in the running of the University and Campus, and getting to meet senior staff
  • acquiring transferable skills which are sought by many employers and can go on your CV

The main commitment is contributing ideas at our friendly meeting once a month. Meetings are in English, last approximately one hour, and are usually conducted via zoom. There is also attendance when possible at events (e.g., Postdoc Socials or Postdoc Support and Information Fairs).

The GC Postdoc Committee’s mission:

  • strives to ensure that the GC Postdoc community is valued, understood and that its voice is heard;
  • supports, serves, and enhances the experience of the GC Postdoc community by providing an inclusive and overarching network across the GC and beyond;
  • champions equality, diversity, and interdisciplinarity at every opportunity
  • Represent the needs and views of early career researchers to the University and its administration

You can see more about what we do here, and the terms of reference are here.

We welcome all applications andare keen to increase the diversity (e.g., geographical location across the Campus, variety of disciplines, backgrounds and origins)  to enhance the representativeness of the committee. We aim for balanced representation of Postdocs in the committee and all genders are welcome.

The committee particularly encourages postdocs from any area or viewpoint that you (the GC Postdoc Network) consider is currently under-represented. From our perspective, Postdocs from any of the following areas would help balance our representation: MPIs/Research Centres across GC; Forestry; or those who have come via the German system (from degree onwards). Note that there are opportunities for Postdocs who would like to have involvement with the central administration (Senat/Vice President/senior management).

The application process is quick and easy: simply send a short CV and an email briefly explaining why you would like to join the Committee to Melissa Sollich, the Postdoc Coordinator. This will be considered by the committee to ensure a good fit. Contact any of the current committee members for a chat or meet us at the upcoming social events to find out more.

We use the term ‘Postdoc’ in the broad sense of ‘early career researcher’ – a doctorate holder who conducts professional research with a time-limited contract or fellowship. If you fit this definition, even if you do not usually see yourself as a Postdoc, feel free to apply! We are looking for diverse perspectives.