Lisa Nigrelli

Lisa Nigrelli

Ph.D. student


I am interested in the phylogeny and ecology of the little known basal and aquatic oomycetes which are strongly understudied in comparison to their plant pathogenic counterparts. Aquatic oomycetes play important roles as primary colonizers and decomposers of submerged organic debris or intracellular parasites of ecologically relevant organisms, like diatoms. However, many of the basal members are only described morphologically and are not sequenced yet and recent molecular and ecological studies show that it is highly likely that many basal species await their discovery. Therefore, it is essential to study basal and aquatic oomycetes more in detail for understanding the overall evolution and ecology of oomycetes.

In the first part of my PhD project I built up a culture collection of oomycetes isolated from diverse environmental samples for doing phylogenetic and ecological analyses. Due to the fact that basal aquatic oomycetes are hardly to get in pure culture, I am now involving metagenomic techniques to compare the genetic biodiversity of cultivable vs. non-cultivable (basal) oomycetes found in diverse ecosystems, such as water habitats of different salinities. The methods used are classical like microscopy, isolation, cultivation and growth experiments as well as modern techniques like molecular phylogenetic analyses and next generation sequencing.

Short CV

Since 2010 PhD project Diversity and climate response of basal oomycetes
(Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Axel Janke)

2009 Diploma (MSc equivalent) in Biology, Diploma thesis Zeitliche und räumliche Entwicklung des Androeceums in der Familie Brassicaceae BURN. (Cruciferae JUSS.) [Temporal and spatial development of the androecium in the plant family Brassicaceae BURN.] (Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Claudia Erbar, Prof. Dr. Marcus Koch)

2003-2009 Study of Biology at the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Germany


Nigrelli L & Thines M, 2013. Tropical oomycetes in the German Bight: Climate warming or overlooked diversity? Fungal Ecology 6: 152-160.

Mirzaee MR, Ploch S, Runge F, Telle S, Nigrelli L, Thines M, 2013. A new presumably widespread species of Albugo parasitic to Strigosella spp. (Brassicaceae). Mycological Progress 12 (1): 45-52.

Hulvey J, Telle S, Nigrelli L, Lamour K, Thines M, 2010. Salisapiliaceae - a new family of oomycetes from marsh grass litter of southeastern North America. Persoonia 25: 109-116.

Phone 069 7542 1832, Lab 069 7542 1853