7-4: MEDICAL BIODIVERSITY AND PARASITOLOGY

Project group leader:
Prof. Dr. Sven Klimpel

Prof. Dr. Dietrich Mebs (Institute for Forensic Medicine, Goethe University)
Dr. Jens Amendt (Head of the Department for Medical Entomology, Institute for Forensic Medicine)
Dr. Richard Zehner (Head of the Department for Forensic Genetics, Institute for Forensic Medicine)

AG Klimpel:
Dr. Christian Melaun
Dr. Judith Kochmann
Markus Busch, Dipl.-Biol.
Sebastian Emde, Dipl.-Biol.
Raphael Frank, Dipl.-Biol.
Marianne Koch, Dipl.-Biol.
Thomas Kuhn, Dipl.-Biol.
Julian Münster
Antje Werblow

AG Kuch:
Julia Betz, Dipl.-Biol.
Friederike Bock, M.Sc.
Laura Bruhse
Meghnath Dhimal, M.Sc.
Ahmad Ghiffari, M.D.
Deb Pandey, M.Sc.
Ramesh Pun, M.Sc.
Dewi Yuniasih, M.D.

As climate change influences the diversity, distribution and abundance of pathogens, disease vectors and reservoir hosts, the direct and indirect consequences for the health of humans, animals and plants may have dramatic humanitarian, ecological and economic impacts.
To address these problems, the BiK-F researchers in this project group study the genetic and species diversity of medically relevant animals and plants and their area dynamics, population dynamics, ecology, life cycles and transmission mechanisms using a broad spectrum of methods from specimen-based taxonomy and proteomic, transcriptomic and genomic analyses to advanced phylogeographic and niche modelling approaches.
Reflecting the highly divergent state of current knowledge on the global diversity of medically important organisms, key topics in this project group include, among others: (a) the identification and description of new and emerging pathogens, vectors and reservoir hosts and their present distributions, (b) the phenotypic and genetic evolution of their dispersal capabilities and climatic tolerance, (c) the investigation of factors for pathogenicity and vectorial abilities, both in laboratory experiments and in the field, and (d) risk assessments and predictive modelling of distributions under global and regional models of climate change. Thereby, the fundamental and applied research of this project group will inform public health planners and the general public on aspects of control, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, parasites and other pathogens that are caused or transmitted by animals and plants.

Junior Research Group „Emerging and Neglected Tropical Diseases“
Within the Medical Biodiversity and Parasitology Project Group, the independent junior research group led by Dr. Ulrich Kuch investigates the role of biodiversity and climate change effects in emerging diseases and neglected tropical diseases. Its focus is problem-driven research in cooperation with academic and government partners especially of developing countries. Together with Project Area F, the Emerging and Neglected Tropical Diseases Unit (E+NTD) also serves as an interface between climate impact research, healthcare providers, and public health authorities.

The E+NTD Unit is a partner of AFRIVEC (African Venom and Envenoming Collaboration).

Projects