ESR1 - Technische Universität Wien

Institute of Chemical, Environmental & Biological Engineering

Project Title: Anthochlor biosynthesis and its application in biotechnological breeding for novel flower colour

Short Bio: I am Benjamin Walliser, born in Germany. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences and my Master’s degree in Crop Production and Environment, focused on the transformation and evaluation of genetically modified plants. In my PhD at the Technical University of Vienna in Austria, I am unravelling the mechanisms of anthochlor biosynthesis and evaluating its application in flower breeding in order to gain new flower colouration in specific ornamental plants. I am really thankful for the opportunity to work on such an interesting topic in my favoured research field, together with a group of swell colleagues.

ESR2: Vinicius Vilperte, BR

“O projeto ‘FlowerPower’ me permitiu adquirir amplo conhecimento em vários aspectos da biologia molecular e melhoramento de plantas, assim como a possibilidade de conduzir pesquisas de alta qualidade em tais tópicos. Além disso, pude obter treinamento não apenas em tópicos relacionados à pesquisa, mas também em pesquisa e gestão de negócios, redação científica e desenvolvimento de carreira. Essas experiências me prepararam para trabalhar em um ambiente internacional, além de aprimorar minhas habilidades pessoais e de comunicação, e minha capacidade de trabalhar em colaboração com pesquisadores de diferentes origens. O conhecimento obtido durante o meu doutorado será de extremo valor para me ajudar a continuar trabalhando com o melhoramento de plantas no futuro.”

“The ‘FlowerPower’ project has allowed me to gain extensive knowledge in several aspects of plant molecular biology and plant breeding, as well as to conduct high quality research in such topics. Moreover, I was able to get training not only in research related topics, but also in research and business management, scientific writing, and career development. These experiences have prepared me to work in an international environment, as well as improving my language and soft skills and my capacity of working in collaboration with researchers of different backgrounds. The knowledge obtained during my PhD will be of extreme value to help me continue working with plant breeding in the future.“

ESR2 - Klemm + Sohn GmbH & Co. KG

Project title: Molecular studies in the anthocyanin pathways in red- and white-flowering Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. Ex. Klotzsch)

Short Bio: My name is Vinicius Vilperte. I completed my M.Sc. (2014-2016) in Plant Genetic Resources with the Crop Science Department at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil), where I conducted transcriptome and miRNA profiling on genetically modified (GM) maize. My B.Sc. in Agronomy was completed at that same University (2008-2013), with an exchange period of 18 months at GenØk – Centre for Biosafety (Tromsø, Norway), where I performed DNA methylation and gene expression analysis in GM maize. I have experience in conservation of genetic resources, biochemical and genetic characterization of transgenic crops and bioinformatic analysis (genomics, transcriptomics and miRNA). Currently, I’m doing my PhD in the Institute of Plant Genetics at the Leibniz Universität Hannover (Germany), with emphasis in Molecular Plant Breeding. The main goal of my current research is to uncover the mechanisms of anthocyanin pigmentation in red- and white-flowering Poinsettias with the use of breeding and bioinformatic tools.

ESR3: Carmen Stefanini, IT

“Il progetto FlowerPower mi ha dato l’opportunità di acquisire esperienza pratica da affermati professionisti industriali, oltre alle necessarie nozioni teoriche acquisite in un più tradizionale ambiente accademico. Lo spirito internazionale del mio coinvolgimento ha anche espanso i miei orizzonti e migliorato la mia abilità a comunicare con persone di diversa formazione. La mia speranza per il futuro è che i benefici derivati da questa esperienza mi aiutino a dare un impulso alla mia carriera nell’industria farmaceutica.”

“The FlowerPower project gave me the chance to gain hands-on experience from established industry professionals, as well as the necessary theoretical foundation in a more traditional academic setting. The international nature of my involvement also expanded my horizons and improved my ability to connect with people from different backgrounds. My hope for the future is that all of these benefits will help propel my career within the pharmaceuticals industry.”

ESR3 - Klemm + Sohn GmbH & Co. KG

Project Title: Isolation and identification of the “poinsettia metabolites” and elucidation of their role in anthocyanidin and flavanol biosynthesis in poinsettia and roses

Short Bio: My name is Carmen Stefanini. In 2015 I obtained my Master’s degree in Pharmacy and Industrial Pharmacy at the University of Bari Aldo Moro in Italy. In my last year of studies, I got the chance to conduct part of my master thesis project at the University of Bari under the direction of Prof. Pinarosa Avato and part at The University of Rennes 1 in France, in Prof. Marie-Laurence Abasq’s group. My master thesis project increased my curiosity towards applied research and secondary metabolites, instead of working in a pharmacy, and led me to my current PhD project, whose goal is the identification and quantification of secondary metabolites present in red and white Poinsettia bracts. This project allows me to develop my knowledge in this field, to use a lot of techniques, to work in different universities and companies with the help of many professors and colleagues.

ESR4: Calin Rares Lucaciu, RO

“Din proiectul flower power am castigat cunostinte noi in ceea ce priveste cercetarea, microbiologia, informatica si munca in echipa.
Sunt fericit ca am avut sansa sa invat si sa lucrez impreuna cu specialisti din domenii diferite.
In viitorul indepartat ma vad liderul unei echipe de cercetatori.“

“From the flower power project I gained a lot of new knowledge about research, microbiology, computer science and teamwork. 
I am happy that I had the chance to work with specialists from different fields.
In the distant future I see myself as the leader of a research team. “

ESR4 - University of Vienna

Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science

Project Title: Bioinformatic analysis of next-generation sequencing data obtained from poinsettia, dahlia, rose and scab infected apple tisues

Short Bio: My name is Lucaciu Calin Rares. I obtained my Master’s degree in Signals and Images Processing at INSA de Lyon in France and Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering at the "Universitatea din Oradea" in Romania. I worked in science in data analysis in different projects like "Networking analysis of metropolitan-scale vehicular mobility", Elastic Properties of AORTA the last one being my first contact with biological data (Computer Tomography images). I chose this project due to my interest in computational science and biological data. My research now focuses on the analysis of the RNA sequences obtained from flowers and fruits in order to understand differences in colours.

ESR5: Daria Agata Nitarska, PL

Doktorat z FlowerPower był wielką przygodą. Wielką zaletą był fakt, że mogłam doświadczyć pracy zarówno w środowisku akademickim jaki i w sektorze przemysłowym. Podczas trwania projektu nauczyłam się nowych interesujących technik laboratoryjnych i poznałam wielu inspirujących ludzi. Dzięki doświadczeniu które nabyłam mam nadzieję kontynuować moją karierę w przemyśle biotechnologicznym.”

“PhD with FlowerPower was a great adventure. Especially, I appreciate the fact that I could experience the way of work in academia and in the industry. During the project I learnt new interesting lab techniques and met many inspiring people. Thanks to the all experience that I have acquired I hope to continue my career in the biotech industry.“

ESR5 - Technische Universität Wien

Institute of Chemical, Environmental & Biological Engineering

Project Title: Genome editing approach for the creation of blue flowering poinsettia

Short Bio: My name is Daria Nitarska, and I am ESR5. I got my Master’s degree in Molecular Biology and my Bachelor’s in Biotechnology at the University of Wroclaw (Poland). My Master and Bachelor projects were focused on the phenylpropanoid biosynthesis pathway. During my studies I gained a lot of experience in molecular biology and biotechnology. Now I can use my knowledge and develop my skills in my PhD project. My objective is to create a blue flowering poinsettia by application of genome editing approaches. I am researching the anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway in order to design the best strategy to reach my goal and in the second part of the project I am going to perform stable plant transformations. I am very excited about my work and I hope that in the result I will obtain an attractive blue poinsettia variety.

ESR6: Martina Kolarek, HR

“Tijekom mojih uzbudljivih tri godine doktorata u projektu FlowerPower stekla sam kompetencije u različitim znanstvenim područjima, poput biljne molekularne biologije, analitike i bioinformatike.
Zadovoljstvo je bilo sudjelovati u ovom multidisciplinarnom konzorciju i raditi u međunarodnom timu, kao i sudjelovati u akademskom i izvan akademskom sektoru.
Znanje koje sam stekla istražujući genetiku i diferencijalnu biosintezu polifenola u jabukama crvenog mesa uvelike će poboljšati moje šanse za zaposlenje u javnom i privatnom sektoru.”

“In the course of my exciting three years of Ph.D. in the FlowerPower project, I have gained competence in diverse fields, such as plant molecular biology, analytics and bioinformatics.
It was a pleasure to have been part of this multidisciplinary consortium and to experience working in an international team, as well as participating in both academic and non-academic sector.
The knowledge I have acquired investigating the genetics and differential biosynthesis of polyphenols in red-fleshed apples will greatly improve my employment chances in both public and private sectors.”

ESR6 - Technische Universität München

Associate Professorship of Fruit Science

Project title: Phenolic profiling of acyanic and red-fleshed apple varieties?

Short Bio: My name is Martina Kolarek and I was born in Zagreb, Croatia where I obtained my first Master’s degree in Plant Sciences, with an orientation towards Horticulture, at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb. I conducted my second Master’s at BOKU Wien, where I was enrolled in the International Master's program in Horticultural Sciences.

In the course of my academic training for my Master’s, I became familiar with RNA extraction and quantification by UV spectroscopy of grapevine berries, as well as, quantative analysis of phytohormones, employing real-time polymerase chain reaction techniques. I have also acquired proficiency in various molecular biology techniques, such as cloning, and transformations, as well as different detection methods.

During my second Master’s I was enrolled in Erasmus semester exchange at Technische Universität München (TUM), where I enhanced my laboratory and research experience in analysing phenolic compounds in apple skin, utilizing high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and a UV-visible portable fluorimeter (Multiplex).

The main goal of my current project is to unravel the genetics and differential biosynthesis of anthocyanins and flavanols in red-fleshed apple fruit tissues, utilizing high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and thin layer chromatography (TLC).