In the Cuticle Biology Group, I am leading several research projects.
Arthropod Cuticle Differentiation
In 1999, among others, I started studying the roles of three genes, retroactive (rtv), knickkopf (knk) and krotzkopf, verkehrt (kkv) during fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) embryogenesis. Soon, it was clear that these genes are involved in larval cuticle differentiation, an issue that had not been addressed genetically before. Neglecting my other interests like cell polarity and pattern formation in Drosophila, I concentrated on this one. Indeed, this research field combines aspects of developmental and cell biology with ecological and evolutionary notions, thereby offering a fascinating programme that will progress our understanding of the fundamental question of how Arthropods are compiled.