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Ralf Reski Profile Page
Ralf Reski


Lab: Prof. Dr. Ralf Reski
Department: Plant Biotechnology
Address: Schänzlestr. 1
79104 Freiburg
Phone: 203 6969
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Lab homepage:
PhD positions available: YES
Research Area: Molecular Plant Sciences
Research Interests: gene expression (transcripts, proteins, protein modifications, metabolites, sub-cellular integration) and bio-production in mosses.


Education & Training: 1984: Study of Biology and Chemistry, 1. Staatsexamen, Universities Gießen and Hamburg, Germany
1990: Dr. rer. nat., Genetics, Hamburg University, Germany
1994: Habilitation, General Botany, Hamburg University, Germany
Employment & Experience: 1990-1996: Assistant Professor (C1) at University of Hamburg
1996-1998: Heisenberg-Fellow of the DFG
Since 1999: Distinguished Professor (C4, Ordinarius) at University of Freiburg
2002-2003: Rotating Director of the Institute of Biology II
Since 2004: Professor at the Ecole Supérieur de Biotechnologie Strasbourg (ESBS)
2006-2008: Dean of the Faculty of Biology
2009-2011: Rotating Director of the Institute of Biology II
2010-2014: Elected Senator (most votes), Speaker of Professors in the Academic Senate
2011-2015: Senior Fellow, Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)
2013-2015: Senior Fellow, University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study (USIAS)
2014-2019: Elected Senator (most votes), Speaker of Professors in the Academic Senate

Scientific Activities: 1999: Co-founder of greenovation Biotechnology GmbH (now Eleva GmbH)
1999-2005: Co-ordinator of the DFG SPP1067
1999-2002: Scientific co-ordinator of the BioRegio Freiburg
2001-2002: Life Science co-ordinator of Freiburg University
2001-2011: Director Plant Biotechnology of the Centre for Applied Biosciences (ZAB)
since 2004: Member of the International Moss Genome Sequencing Consortium
2008-2012: President of the German National Committee (DNK) of the IUBS and IUMS
2009-2012: Executive Committee of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS)
2010-2013: EU TEMPUS “Qualifications Framework for Ecology and Environmental Management (QualFEEM)”, Coordinator
2015-2019: EU Erasmus Plus “Trans-Regional Environmental Awareness for Sustainable Usage of Water Resources (TREASURE-WATER)”, Coordinator

Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments
since 2006: Founding Principal Investigator (PI) "Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine" (SGBM)
2007-2011: Founding Principal Investigator (PI) "Freiburg Initiative for Systems Biology" (FRISYS)
since 2007: Founding Principal Investigator (PI) "Centre for Biological Signalling Studies" (BIOSS)
since 2018: Founding Principal Investigator (PI) "Centre for Integrative Biological Signalling Studies" (CIBSS)
Since 2018: Founding Principal Investigator (PI) "Living, Adaptive and Energy-autonomous Materials Systems"(livMatS)

Editorial Boards:
2004-2006: Plant Biology (Guest Editor)
2002-2012: Plant Cell Reports
2008-2013: BioMed Research International
2009-2012: Editor-in-Chief Plant Cell Reports
2010-2012: Biology International
2018-2020: Current Opinion in Biotechnology, Section Editor Plant Biotechnology

Advisory Boards:
2000-2005: InnoPlanta e.V.
2002-2005: greenovation Biotech GmbH, Chairman of the Board
2002-2005: Member of the FESPB (Federation of European Societies for Plant Biology) Grants and Awards Committee
2003-2006: Habilitation Board, Faculty of Biology, Freiburg University
2003-2012: BioPro GmbH
2004-2010: BMBF program "Risk assessment in Plant Biotechnology"
since 2005: Board of Governors, Ecole supérieure de Biotechnologie Strasbourg (ESBS)
2007-2010: Innovation Think-Tank of the Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Günther Oettinger
2008-2012: German Life Sciences Association (VBIO)
2010-2011: DFG, Member of the Expert Commission SSG-Evaluation "Scientific Library and Information Systems (LIS)"
since 2011: greenovation Biotech GmbH (now: Eleva GmbH)
2016-2020: CeBiTec – Center for Biotechnology, University of Bielefeld
since 2020: National Research Data Infrastructure NFDI DataPLANT, Senior Management Board


Honors and Awards:

1996-1999: Heisenberg-Fellow of the DFG
Ranked 1st for Associate Professorship at University of Oslo (Norway)
Ranked 3rd for Full Professorship at Humboldt-University Berlin
Ranked 2nd for a Full Professorship at University of Bremen
Ranked 1st for a Full Professorship at Technical University Dresden
Ranked 1st for a Full Professorship at University of Rostock
Ranked 1st for a Full Professorship at University of Freiburg
2011: Appointment as Senior Fellow, Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)
2011: Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (HAW), Lifetime Member
2012: President of the FESPB/EPSO Plant Biology Congress
2013: Appointment as Senior Fellow, University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study (USIAS)
2013: iGEM Advisor for TU Munich "Physco Filter": Gold medal
2016: Teaching Award “Best Profile Module”
2017: Teaching Award “Best Profile Module”
2018: Haberlandt Lecture FU Berlin
2018: Teaching Award “Best Advanced Module”
2019: First prize “Most outstanding paper 2018”, The Plant Journal
2019: SIBV Lecture, Italian Society of Plant Biology, Padua
2020: Founding PI National Research Data Infrastructure NFDI DataPLANT
2020: Golden Spore Award


Selected Publications:

Top O, Milferstaedt SWL, van Gessel N, Hoernstein SNW, Özdemir B, Decker EL, Reski R. Expression of a human cDNA in moss results in spliced mRNAs and fragmentary protein isoforms. Commun Biol. 2021 Aug 12;4(1):964.  Abstract

Resemann HC, Herrfurth C, Feussner K, Hornung E, Ostendorf AK, Gömann J, Mittag J, van Gessel N, Vries J, Ludwig-Müller J, Markham J, Reski R, Feussner I. Convergence of sphingolipid desaturation across over 500 million years of plant evolution. Nat Plants. 2021 Feb;7(2):219-232. Abstract

Hoernstein SNW, Fode B, Wiedemann G, Lang D, Niederkrüger H, Berg B, Schaaf A, Frischmuth T, Schlosser A, Decker EL, Reski R. Host Cell Proteome of Physcomitrella patens Harbors Proteases and Protease Inhibitors under Bioproduction Conditions. J Proteome Res. 2018 Nov 2;17(11):3749-3760. Abstract

Wiedemann G, van Gessel N, Köchl F, Hunn L, Schulze K, Maloukh L, Nogué F, Decker EL, Hartung F, Reski R. RecQ Helicases Function in Development, DNA Repair, and Gene Targeting in Physcomitrella patens. Plant Cell. 2018 Mar;30(3):717-736.  Abstract

Reski R. Enabling the water-to-land transition. Nat Plants. 2018 Feb;4(2):67-68.  Abstract

Renault H, Alber A, Horst NA, Basilio Lopes A, Fich EA, Kriegshauser L, Wiedemann G, Ullmann P, Herrgott L, Erhardt M, Pineau E, Ehlting J, Schmitt M, Rose JK, Reski R, Werck-Reichhart D. A phenol-enriched cuticle is ancestral to lignin evolution in land plants. Nat Commun. 2017 Mar 8;8:14713.  Abstract

Chater CC, Caine RS, Tomek M, Wallace S, Kamisugi Y, Cuming AC, Lang D, MacAlister CA, Casson S, Bergmann DC, Decker EL, Frank W, Gray JE, Fleming A, Reski R, Beerling DJ. Origin and function of stomata in the moss Physcomitrella patens. Nat Plants. 2016 Nov 28;2:16179. Abstract

Horst NA, Katz A, Pereman I, Decker EL, Ohad N, Reski R. A single homeobox gene triggers phase transition, embryogenesis and asexual reproduction. Nat Plants. 2016 Jan 18;2:15209. Abstract

Mueller SJ, Lang D, Hoernstein SN, Lang EG, Schuessele C, Schmidt A, Fluck M, Leisibach D, Niegl C, Zimmer AD, Schlosser A, Reski R. Quantitative analysis of the mitochondrial and plastid proteomes of the moss Physcomitrella patens reveals protein macrocompartmentation and microcompartmentation. Plant Physiol. 2014 Apr;164(4):2081-95. Abstract

Khraiwesh B, Arif MA, Seumel GI, Ossowski S, Weigel D, Reski R, Frank W. Transcriptional control of gene expression by microRNAs. Cell. 2010 Jan 8;140(1):111-22. Abstract

SGBM PhD students

SGBM PhD students:


Track 2:

Christine Rempfer (since May 2017)



Track 1:
Stefanie Müller (04/2009 - 08/2012)

Oguz Top (01/2015 - 04/2019)

Track 2:
Desirée Gütle (11/2013 - 03/2017)

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