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Academic Editor for PLOS ONE
Thematic Editor for Aphia (WoRMS)

External Funding

National Science Foundation (NSF) | EAR2127623: Collaborative Research: Comparative taphonomy and time-averaging of mollusk-echinoid assemblages using high-performance radiocarbon dating system.

German Research Foundation (DFG) | GR5464/1: Recognition and interpretation of predatory traces in echinoid skeletons: towards the evolution of predator-prey systems in ecologically important echinoid taxa.

Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club: The Ram's Horn Squid - a living coiled cephalopod.

Southwest Florida Fossil Society Inc: Biotic interactions in Cenozoic dwarf-urchins of Florida.

Current position

Scientific Staff at the Bavarian State Office for the Environment, Department of Fundamentals of Nature Conservation and Digitalization.

2019 - 2023

Postdoctoral Associate (Staff) at the University of Florida focusing on ecological aspects of benthic marine invertebrates and biomimetics.

2018 - 2019

Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Tübingen focusing on structural mechanics of clypeasteroid echinoids and and biotic interactions in benthic marine invertebrates.

2015 - 2018

Doctoral Candidate and Teaching and Research Assistant at the University of Tübingen within the DFG (German Research Foundation) funded SFB/TRR 141, research project A07: The skeleton of the sand dollar as a biological model for segmented shells in building construction.

Thesis: Structural mechanics of echinoid skeletons as candidate systems for biomimetic research.

2013 - 2015

Master of Science (Biology) at the Department of Geosciences, University of Tübingen.
Research focus on the taphonomy of clypeasteroid echinoids.

Thesis: Taphonomic effects on the minute clypeasteroid echinoid Echinocyamus pusillus (O.F. Müller 1776) from the Mediterranean Island Giglio.

2009 - 2013

Bachelor of Science (Biology) at the Department of Geosciences, University of Tübingen.
Research focus on predation of clypeasteroid echinoids.

Thesis: Drilling predation on Echinocyamus pusillus O.F. Müller, 1776 (Fibulariidae, Clypeasterida, Echinoidea, Echinodermata) from the Mediterranean Sea (Giglio Island, Italy).

Invited speaker

State Academy of Fine Arts, Industrial Design, Stuttgart, Germany. October 2020. Topic: Biomimetics: from nature to engineering.

Carleton College, Biology Seminars, Minneapolis, MN. October 2019. Topic: Biomimetics of the echinoid skeleton: implications for paleontology and engineering sciences.

Old Dominion University, OEAS Seminars, Norfolk, VA. October 2019. Topic: Biomimetics of echinoids: an integrative approach of paleontology, marine biology, and engineering sciences.

University of Tübingen, Paleobiology Seminars, Tübingen, Germany. December 2018. Topic: Death in paradise: predation upon some irregular echinoids and its (paleo) ecological implications.


Paleobiology. Part: Biomineralization. Advanced course for undergraduate students in Paleobiology.

Biology for geoscientists. Part: Echinodermata. Undergraduate class.

Paleoecology of invertebrates. Parts: Echinodermata, Predation, Encrustation. Graduate and undergraduate class.

Index- and facies fossils. Part: Echinodermata. Graduate and undergraduate class.

Biomimetics. Practical course for graduate and undergraduate students in geo- and biosciences.

Biomimetics of animal constructions. Collaborative course for graduate and undergraduate students in geo- and biosciences (University of Tübingen), engineering sciences (University of Stuttgart) and architecture (University of Stuttgart).

Actuopaleontological field courses. Field course focusing on the aut- and synecology of marine invertebrates, their preservation potential in the fossil record and the geology and oceanography of the Mediterranean Sea and adjacent areas.


2020 Supervision of an international PhD candidate for the duration of six months at the University of Florida.
2016 DAAD RISE host. German Academic Exchange Service. Supervision and integration of an undergraduate student from an EU university into a currnet research project for a duration of six months at the University of Tübingen.

Museum Exhibition

Baubionik - Biologie beflügelt Architektur. October 19th, 2017 – May 6th, 2018. Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, Schloß Rosenstein. An exhibition making science and biomimetics, especially the project output of the collaborative research center SFB/TRR 141, accessible for the broad audience. Exhibition with virtual tour and accompanion book (chapter):

Grun TB, von Scheven M, Geiger F, Schwinn T, Sonntag D, Bischoff M, Knippers J, Menges A, Nebelsick JH (2017) Bauprinzipien und Strukturdesign von Seeigeln - Vorbilder für Bioinspirierte Konstruktionen. In: Knippers J, Schmid U, Speck T (eds) Baubionik: Biologie beflügelt Architektur. Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde Serie C:82-93. ISSN: 0341-0161

Attended conferences

2020 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting. Virtual meeting. October 26th - 30th
2019 10th European Conference on Echinoderms. Moscow, Russia. September 16th - September 19th
2019 11th North American Paleontological Convention. Riverside, CA. June 23nd - June 27th
2018 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting. Indianapolis, IN. September 22nd - 25th
2018 16th International Echinoderm Conference. Nagoya, Japan. May 28th - June 1st
2017 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting. Seattle, WA. October 22nd - 25th
2017 8th International Meeting on Taphonomy and Fossilization (TAPHOS). Vienna, Austria. September 14th - 17th
2016 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting. Denver, CO. September 25th - 28th
2016 9th European Conference on Echinoderms. Sopot, Poland. September 17th - 19th
2016 European Geosciences Union General Assembly. Vienna, Austria. April 17th - 22nd
2015 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting. Baltimore, MD. November 1st - 4th
2015 15th International Echinoderm Conference. Playa del Carmen, México. June 25th - 29th
2015 Progress in Echinoderm Palaeobiology. Zaragoza, Spain. June 14th - 21st
2014 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting. Vancouver, BC. October 19th - 22nd
2014 7th International Meeting on Taphonomy and Fossilization (TAPHOS). Ferrara, Italy. September 10th - 13th
2014 10th North American Paleontological Convention. Gainesville, FL. February 15th - 18th
2013 5. Arbeitstreffen deutschsprachiger Echinodermenforscher. Stuttgart, Germany. November 22nd - 24th
2012 14th International Echinoderm Conference. Brussels, Belgium. August 20th - 24th

Organized conferences/sessions

2020  Geological Society of America Annual Meeting. Session: Biotic Interactions through Time. Virtual meeting. October 28th and 29th.
2018 16th International Echinoderm Conference. Session: Morphology and functional morphology of echinoderms using high resolution imaging techniques. Nagoya, Japan. May 28th.
2017 SFB/TRR 141 Section Meeting. University of Tübingen, Department of Geosciences. September 8th.