Dr. Meredith C. 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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Dr. Meredith Christine Schuman

Address: Magdelstieg 19, 07745 Jena, DE
Phone: +49 (0)157 591 612 61

Institute: Department of Molecular Ecology
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
Hans-Knöll-Straße 8, 07745 Jena, DE
Phone: +49 3641 571116
Fax: +49 3641 571102

Born 28th October 1982, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Academic Experience

Since 02/16: Ecology platform leader

Department of Molecular Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology (MPICE), Jena, DE
Department comprises Ecological, Analytical, and Molecular Platforms, each overseen by a postdoctoral scientist. Entails supervision of scientific projects, participation in the departmental management team, and supervision, development and maintenance of scientific infrastructure (field stations, laboratory and glasshouse facilities and associated resources, see

Since 07/14: Junior group leader

German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Leipzig, DE
Project group: iDiv MPICE Biodiversity Project Group/Ecological Functions of Plant Genes

Since 07/12: Project group leader

Dept. of Molecular Ecology, MPICE, Jena, DE

07/2012: Dissertation (Dr. rer. nat.)

Friedrich Schiller University (FSU), Jena
Title: “The response of Nicotiana attenuata plants to herbivory: polymorphism and functions in nature”
Grade: magna cum laude
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Ian T. Baldwin, Prof. Dr. Jonathan Gershenzon
Chapters published in The Ecology of Plant Secondary Metabolites: Genes to Global Processes, Molecular Ecology, Plant Physiology, New Phytologist, The Plant Cell, eLife

03/07-07/12: Doctoral researcher

International Max Planck Research School for the Exploration of Ecological Interactions with Molecular and Chemical Techniques (IMPRS), MPICE, Jena, DE
Graduate student, Faculty of Biology and Pharmacy, FSU, Jena, DE

09/05-02/07: Postbaccalaureate researcher

Department of Molecular Ecology, MPICE, Jena, DE
Topic: “Silencing jasmonate signaling and jasmonate-mediated defenses reveals different survival strategies between two Nicotiana attenuata accessions”

05/05-08/05: Student research assistant

Microbial Ecology Group, Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison), USA (molecular and biochemical assays, laboratory maintenance)

05/2005: Bachelors of Science (B.Sc.)

UW-Madison, USA
Majors: molecular biology, philosophy
Senior honors thesis: “Detection and characterization of ammonia oxidizing bacteria in acidic Hawaiian soils”
Grade: Comprehensive Honors
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Teri Balser

09/01-05/05: Bachelors studies

UW-Madison, USA
Independent study, Robert M. LaFollette School of Public Affairs
Topic: “Application of molecular techniques to research on ammonia oxidizing bacteria: effects on the changing directions, approaches, goals and applications of nitrifier research” (literature and discussion)
Supervisor Prof. Dr. Clark Miller
Student research assistant, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Biology, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, USA
Topic: “History and development of molecular biology and the pursuit and issuing of patents in biotechnology” (literature and discussion)
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Philip J. Regal

09/03-07/04: Exchange student

Departments of Biology and Philosophy, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

05/2001: High School Diploma

Irondale High School, New Brighton, MN, USA

Teaching and Supervision Experience

Since 2014: IMPRS faculty

Member and participant in annual recruitment

Since 2010: Co-supervision of research projects

Resulting in corresponding authorship or other co-authorship on peer-reviewed publications (published, submitted and in preparation) of Postdoctoral researchers (3), Ph.D. students (4), Master’s students (2), one- to two-year Postbaccalaureate interns (3), and three- to six-month Bachelors interns (9) at the MPICE and associated research schools, Jena, DE
Co-evaluation (grading) of resulting theses

2016-2017: yDiv Eco-Metabolomics Course plenary lecture

Planning committee member and lecturer

2014: Introduction to analysis of volatiles

For Ph.D. students in the IMPRS and Jena School for Microbial Communication (JSMC), Jena, DE Designed curriculum (lecture, instrument training), 1 co-instructor

2013: Introduction to genome annotation

For students in the Molecular Ecology department, MPICE, Jena, DE
Co-designed curriculum (lecture, quiz and practica), 2 co-instructors

2013: Introduction to molecular biology

For chemistry and ecology Ph.D. students in the IMPRS, Jena, DE
Co-designed curriculum (lecture), 3 co-instructors

2011-2012: Two courses on analytical techniques

For Ph.D. students in the IMPRS and for members of the Molecular Ecology department, MPICE, Jena, DE
Co-designed curriculum (lecture, instrument training), 6 co-instructors

2007-2012: Supervision of Seminarfacharbeiten

German secondary school research projects
Planned and guided experiments and data analysis, taught theory behind experiments, and co-evaluated (graded) the resulting research reports for 3 such projects

Memberships and Professional Affiliations

Since 09/16 Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information (CASRAI)
Since 09/15: European Plant Science Organization (EPSO) Working Group on Agricultural Technologies
Since 07/15: German Botanical Society (DBG), DBG Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology section
Since 10/14: Member DFG SFB 1127 ChemBioSys
Since 04/12: ERC Clockwork Green (PI: Prof. Dr. Ian Baldwin, grant #293926)
Since 01/10: European Plant Science Organization (EPSO)
Since 2004: Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key International Honors Societies

Peer Reviewer

Funding agencies: French National Research Agency (ANR), German Research Foundation (DFG), Graduate Women in Science (GWIS), National Science Foundation (NSF)
Journals: American Journal of Botany, Annals of Botany, Bioengineering, BMC Plant Biology, Bulletin of Entomological Research, Evolutionary Ecology, Functional Ecology, Journal of Ecology, Journal of Plant Physiology, Plant Cell and Environment, Plant and Cell Physiology, Plant Cell Reports, Plant Physiology, Plant Signaling and Behavior, PLoS One, Scientific Reports


Prof. Dr. Grant Cramer, University of Nevada, Reno, USA (my CRediT roles*: methodology, formal analysis)
Prof. Dr. Amir R. Jassbi, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, IR (conceptualization, formal analysis, writing – original draft preparation, writing – review and editing)
Prof. Dr. Jia-Ning Wei, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, CN (writing – review and editing, visualization)
Prof. Dr. Jianqiang Wu, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, CN (investigation, formal analysis, writing – review and editing, visualization)
*CRediT provides an ontology for scientific contributions which has been adopted e.g. by Cell Press.

Other Contributions to Home Institutions

10/2016: Co-organizer and co-developer of workshop on ecological relevance for DFG SFB 1127 ChemBioSys projects
Since 2016: Genetic Safety Officer
2015-2016: Junior group leader on, and participant in development of DFG Renewal Proposal (second funding period) for iDiv
12/2015: Obtained iDiv funding for, and co-organized first iDiv Science Hackathon, EvoHack: 3 manuscripts in preparation
12/2015: Organizational committee member for first iDiv Annual Conference
2014, 2015: Co-organizer of annual department retreat
Since 2011: Registered institute first responder
2008-2009: Active in Max Planck PhDNet, co-organized 2009 meeting in Jena

Other Contributions to the Research Community

02/2017: Co-Chair, first Gordon Research Seminar on Plant-Herbivore Interaction (accompanies 13th Gordon Research Conference on PHI)

Awards, Grants, Scholarships

10/2014: Project group leader on, and co-author of project C02: Are Plant Defenses Chemicals Commonly Sequestered and Metabolized by their Herbivores to Function as Infochemicals in Higher Trophic Level Interactions in Nature? DFG SFB 1127 ChemBioSys
PI: Prof. Dr. Ian T. Baldwin
2013: Max Planck Society Otto Hahn Medal for dissertation research
2005: Fulbright grant for research and study
2001-2005: Dean’s List, UW-Madison; Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholar; Thrivent Financial All College Scholarship; UW-Madison William F. Vilas Scholarship; University Bookstore Award for Bachelors thesis
2004: UW-Madison Trewartha Undergraduate Research Grant
2003: Zillman summer scholarship, Phi Kappa Phi; Laurent A. Makward Memorial Scholarship for study abroad; UW-Madison; Honors/International Academic Programs study abroad scholarship
2001: Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction; National Merit Scholar
2000: Bausch & Lomb award for highest academic achievement in high school science classes; 1 awarded per school

Language Skills

English (native speaker), German (fluent), French (literate), Spanish (beginner)
last updated on 2017-09-14