Dr. Meredith Schuman

   Department of Molecular Ecology
 Phone:+49 (0)3641 57 1116Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
 Fax:+49 (0)3641 57 1102Hans-Knöll-Straße 8
  emailD-07745 Jena

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Meredith C. Schuman

Magdelstieg 19, 07745 Jena, Germany
Office: +49 (0)3641 57 11 16
Mobile: +49 (0)1636 41 02 45


Born 28th October, 1982 in Minneapolis, MN, USA
Citizenship: USA
Language skills: English (native speaker), German (fluent), French (literate)

Research Interests and Experience


Project group leader in the Department of Molecular Ecology at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany (Prof. Ian T. Baldwin). Focus: Ecological interactions mediated by plant volatiles, and the role of the circadian clock in orchestrating these interactions. Part of the ERC-funded ClockworkGreen project.


Graduate research as a Ph.D. candidate into the chemical and molecular basis of ecological interactions supervised by Prof. Ian T. Baldwin at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany. Co-advisor Prof. Jonathan Gershenzon. Analysis of the roles of terpenoids and herbivore-induced plant volatiles in the antiherbivore defense and environmental signaling of the wild tobacco Nicotiana attenuata.


Independent postgraduate research supervised by Prof. Ian Baldwin at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany. Use of molecular techniques to compare the roles of specific defense compounds in the anti-herbivore defense of two native genotypes of Nicotiana attenuata.


Senior undergraduate honors thesis research supervised by Dr. Teri Balser's at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Detection and characterization of ammonia oxidizing bacteria in acidic Hawaiian soils.

Senior project (to accompany honors thesis) supervised by Dr. Clark Miller at the Robert M. LaFollette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Application of molecular techniques to research on ammonia oxidizing bacteria: effects on the changing directions, approaches, goals and applications of nitrifier research.


Independent research supervised by Dr. Philip Regal, University of Minnesota Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Biology. History and development of molecular biology and the pursuit and issuing of patents in biotechnology.

Education, Fall 2001-present


Ph.D. student in the International Max Planck Research School for the Exploration of Ecological Interactions with Molecular and Chemical Techniques in Jena, Germany. Advisor Prof. Ian T. Baldwin, co-advisor Prof. Jonathan Gershenzon. Dissertation: The response of Nicotiana attenuata plants to herbivory: polymorphism and functions in nature


Study abroad at the Friedrich-Schiller-Üniversität Jena, Germany, with concurrent postgraduate research fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena.


B.S. with Comprehensive Honors, Molecular Biology and Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Honors senior undergraduate thesis: Molecular techniques in nitrifier research: detection and characterization of nitrifying microbes in acidic Hawaiian soils.


Study abroad at University of Warwick in Coventry, UK, with focus on biology and philosophy.

Academic Honors, Awards and Grants Received

Present and ongoing

Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society, member 2004 to present

Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society, member 2004 to present; recipient of chapter scholarship

Golden Key International Honors Society, member 2004 to present; active in chapter meetings and organization of volunteer activities, 2004-2005


Otto Hahn Medal for outstanding dissertations, from the Max Planck Society


Max Planck Society graduate stipend, March 2010-Feburary 2012

International Max Planck Research School Scholarship, March 2007-February 2010


Max Planck Society bachelor’s stipend for postgraduate research at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany, July 2006-February 2007


Fulbright grant for research and study at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology and the Friedrich-Schiller-Üniversität Jena, Germany, September 2005-July 2006

Young Researcher participant in annual meeting of Nobel Prizewinners in Lindau, Germany, 25-30 June 2006

Presented undergraduate thesis research in a 5-minute talk at the annual Hawai’i Ecosystems Project Meeting, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Big Island, July 2005

Presented undergraduate thesis research in a 15-minute talk at the Soil Ecology Society 10th Biennial International Conference, Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois, USA, May 2005

University Bookstore Award for excellence in thesis research, University of Wisconsin-Madison


University of Wisconsin-Madison Dean's List, 2001 to 2005

Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholar, 2001 to 2005

Thrivent Financial AllCollege Scholarship, 2001 to 2005

University of Wisconsin - Madison William F. Vilas Scholarship, 2001 to 2005


University of Wisconsin-Madison Trewartha Undergraduate Research Grant; awarded by UW-Madison Honors Program to support senior honors thesis research in microbial ecology and presentation of this research at an international conference.


Zillman summer scholarship; awarded by Phi Kappa Phi to fund senior honors thesis research into the history and development of molecular biology, 2004

Makward Award to fund study abroad for work towards a senior thesis
University of Wisconsin - Madison Honors/International Academic Programs study abroad scholarship,


Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction; completed 9 Advanced Placement exams with average score of 4.78, 2001-2002

National Merit Scholar, 2001-2002


Bausch & Lomb award for highest academic achievement in high school science classes, Irondale Senior High School, New Brighton, MN, USA; 1 awarded per school, spring 2000

last updated on 2013-11-15