The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

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The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (MNF) employs more than 800 Scientists in seven departments: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmacy, Physics and Psychology. Among the wide-ranging research areas covered by the faculty, several cooperative programmes put specific emphasis on Life Sciences and Physics.


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  • We are interested in the physics of soft condensed matter, in particular in the non-equilibrium behaviour of these systems.
  • We are studying the uptake of iron into the root, as well as the storage and distribution of this micronutrient in the plant. Our goal is to understand the regulation of iron uptake and homeostasis, iron signaling, the interaction of protein and gene networks to coordinate the processes also to adapt to environmental aspects.
  • Our main scientific interests are endosymbiosis, early evolution, the origin of life, cell evolution, genome evolution and compartmentalized energy metabolism with emphasis on chloroplasts, mitochondria, and hydrogenosomes.
  • Survival and functionality of living cells are fundamentally dependent on the maintenance of ion gradients across the plasma membrane. This is particularly important for cells of the nervous system, as the charged nature of ions and their respective gradients are the basis for electrical excitability and signaling. Furthermore, ions can act as intracellular second messengers, regulating cellular processes through dynamic changes of their cytosolic concentrations.
  • We are mainly concerned with structures of molecules in their electronically excited states. These are determined experimentally from rotationally resolved electronic spectra and/or Franck-Condon fits of fluorescence emission spectra.

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