List of Researchers

ESRs indicates “Early Stage Researchers” (researchers with a BSc or an MSc, pursuing a PhD title).
ERs indicates “Experienced Researchers”.
Check the FAQs session for a more detailed definition of these positions

ESR 1. Ane Martín Anduaga

Ane MartinWP1: University of Leicester (UK)
Diapause and the clock
Nationality: Spanish
About me:
I am in the last year of Biomedical Sciences at the Universitat de Barcelona (Spain). Since I started, I have been lean towards Genetics and Neurobiology, and that is the reason why I decided to do my practical training at the University of Leicester (UK) researching about possible therapeutic targets against Parkinson’s disease.
It has been during this stay that I first heard about INsecTIME. Since the very beginning I was attracted to the project. I think that, apart from learning about different molecular techniques and insect timing, this will help me to become a competent researcher. Additionally, as a product of work and effort, I hope to be able of contributing with something valuable in the research about this subject.
In my spare time I like to read and draw; activities with which I enjoy and relax. I also like to be with my friends and go for outdoor walks.

ESR 2. Jelena Prodic

Jelena ProdicWP2: University of Groningen (NL)
Natural variation and genetic architecture of biological timing: life history traits (evolution)
Nationality: Croatian
About me:
I graduated at the Faculty of Science of the University of Zagreb (Croatia) where I obtained my Diploma in the field of molecular biology. My thesis research was a case-control genetic association study searching for the possible association between the susceptibility to temporal lobe epilepsy and the polymorphisms within the serotonin transporter gene.
I found about the Insectime call on the Euraxess website and was drawn to it due to my long lasting fascination with the insects. I see this project as an interesting opportunity to learn about the different approaches to investigating the molecular nature of insect circadian networks, as well as the potential economical applications. Besides upgrading both my technical and theoretical knowledge on this subject, I’m looking forward to working in the dynamic and stimulating research environment and gaining the experience of wide range of complementary skills too. Also, I hope to get to know new people, involved in researching this and related areas, and learn from them in order to become a competitive scientist and further shape my future.
My hobbies… In my free time I like to read books, amuse myself with creative writing or drawing, but also to play the flute. I often ride bicycle and occasionally also help my community by volunteering.

ESR 3.  Elena Dalla Benetta

Elena dalla BenettaWP2: University of Groningen (NL)
Natural variation and genetic architecture of biological timing: ultradian/courtship behaviour
Nationality: Italian
I’m 26 years old and I come from Vicenza (Italy), I studied molecular biology and I got my bachelor and my master degree in this field at the University of Padua. During the bachelor I took a “study pause” and I went in South America to work and travel for two years, but the passion for the science got me back in Padua to continue with molecular biology studies.
During the last six month within an Erasmus exchange programme I did my Internship for the master thesis in the lab of Dr.Prof. Charlotte Helfrich-Förster at the University of Wϋrzburg.
In Wϋrzburg I started to work with the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The main aim of my project was to investigate in the mechanisms involved in Drosophila adaptation to long days conditions. With this project I became very much passionate to chronobiology and in particular I think that the circadian clock mechanisms and the seasonal adaptation are an interesting example of how the organisms have evolved to adapt to environmental changes.
Looking for a PhD project in order to continue in this field, during my internship I found out about the INsecTIME consortium.  I immediately thought it would be a good opportunity to learn a lot of things in an International and motivating environment. I’m looking forward to know all the participants and to have the opportunity to exchange ideas with the other members in order to learn from them and to improve my knowledge.
Apart from biology I like walking and be outdoor, going to the movies and spending in friends company, furthermore I love camping and adventurous travel around the world.

ESR4. Marcela Buřičová

Marcela BuricovaWP3: University of Leicester (UK) and University of Groningen (NL)
Nasonia mutagenesis
Nationality: Czech Republic
I come from a small town in the middle of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands and obtained my bachelor degree in Biology at the University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Science in Ceske Budejovice.  I completed my bachelor project in the lab of Magdalena Hodkova, becoming interested in the physiology of insects, especially in the effects of caloric restriction on aging.  I continued in the same lab for my master’s project, focusing on oxidative stress. For both of these projects I learnt how to work with the non-model organism linden bug Pyrrhocoris apterus.  I finished my MSc in animal physiology in June 2012 and continued working in the lab of M. Hodkova before beginning my INsecTIME studentship.
I learnt about the INsecTIME consortium from D.Dolezel. I applied for the position because the projects listed were attractive; moreover I liked the idea to have a chance to learn about the circadian and photoperiodic mechanisms and new methods related. Also the opportunity to be a part of an international consortium as well as experience the foreign countries and studying abroad was tempting.
The best way for me to relax is to do many kinds of sports and outdoor activities. However, I also like listening to music and reading.

ESR 5. Lenka Chodáková

Lenka ChodákováWP4: Biology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Natural variation and genetic architecture of biological timing
Nationality: Slovak Republic
About me:
My name is Lenka Chodáková, I am 24 years old and I am from Martin, Slovakia. At this time I am living in the capital city Bratislava, because I also study here at Genetics Department at Comenius University. I got the BSc. degree here and now studying to finish my MSc. I have some experiences with Drosophila genetics and biology, I have also done some immunohistochemistry and currently I am working with yeasts. In our lab we are studying natural compounds and their effects on living systems.
I consider my three years at our department as the best I have ever had, because I met the most perfect people here, which were always prepared to help me or to anyone with literally anything. Also I think I learned a lot from them and I am prepared for things that are ahead me in next years.
I learned about INsecTIME from our department’s web site. We had there an offer from Dr. Doležel from České Budějovice and he wrote there everything that kind of “invited me in”, I liked the way he described the idea of whole project and also the position he offered. So afterwards I clicked on the INsecTIME page where there were all the information and I  decided to write to Dr. Doležel, firstly just for curiosity, to learn more about my chances. He was very nice through our whole communication and he encouraged me to send the application. So I am very thankful that he gave me the opportunity to be part of this international consortium. It is a great opportunity for me and my next science education and I am enthusiastic that I can be a part of this project. I am prepared to learn and I am very looking forward to work with all participants. The project is rising from a great idea and it could have a huge impact in many areas of science.
And something about me. As I wrote I am from Slovakia, now I am living in Bratislava. I really like it here, I met the most perfect people in this place. It would be very hard to leave, but also I am looking forward to meet new people which are the part of this project. I like to be around friends and I hope we will have a good time together both in the lab and outside of it. I will move to České Budějovice together with my boyfriend who was also given the opportunity to obtain a PhD. at Dr. Doležel’s lab. So apart from spending time with friends I like playing tennis, squash, running, dancing, watching movies, reading and playing drums (still in progress).
I hope I will be a good member of this scientific consortium from every point of view and I hope I will be successful in all given opportunities.

ESR 6. Dora Nagy

Dora NagyWP5: University of Padova (IT)
Diapause and neuropeptides
Nationality: Hungarian
About me:
My name is Dóra Nagy, I am 24 years old and I come from Budapest, Hungary. In 2013 I obtained my master’s degree in Biochemical Engineering at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics where I specialized in Applied Biotechnology. In 2009, I joined a research group at Semmelweis University (Medical University in Budapest), where I worked at the Chronophysiology laboratory. During my BSc and MSc studies, I participated in a project whose aim was to study the effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on the molecular clock in Neurospora crassa model organism. I am very pleased to have been involved in a research project pointing out the important role of ROS in the determination of the phase and period length of the circadian rhythm in Neurospora.

While working on my thesis, I had the opportunity to deepen my knowledge in the field of Chronobiology. I spent 3 months at the University of Padova via Erasmus Practical Training, where I joined a project focusing on the circadian clock of Drosophila melanogaster. It was very interesting for me to see how the molecular clock works in another model organism, and gain more knowledge about molecular biological methods for investigating the rhythm.
I heared about the INsecTIME program from a professor, and it immediately aroused my interest. Afterwards I managed to find more information about this program on the website. I am very thankful that I got the opportunity to be a member of this international consortium. I consider this project a very interesting and challenging opportunity to improve myself, to learn and to upgrade my theoretical and practical knowledge focusing on the field of insect biological timing. I am very enthusiastic about taking part in such a promising project like this, working in a stimulating and motivating research environment. I am looking forward to get to know new people and to learn from them in order to become a competent researcher. I am trying to do my best to be an active and useful member of this team.
As for my hobbies, since my childhood I am keen on drawing and painting. I like sports, especially cycling and jogging. I enjoy hiking and travelling, and I am very much interested in foreign cultures.

ESR 7. Enrico Bertolini

Enrico BertoliniWP6: University of Würzburg (DE)
Clock networks in insects
Nationality: Italian
About me:
I was born in Rovereto in 1989 and lived in Mori (Italy) till I moved to Padua for university reasons. At the University of Padua I got my bachelor degree in Molecular Biology and carried on with a master’s degree in the same field. I spent my last research year at the University of Leicester (UK) within the Erasmus student exchange programme in Bambos Kyriacou’s laboratory. There I started working on flies; my work focused on the Drosophila melanogaster diapause induction. In the meantime I also stumbled upon the INsecTIME project and, deciding to go further with a PhD experience, I got the position in Würzburg. I find this consortium a big opportunity to learn and develop my knowledge, with the beautiful possibilities of spending time in different laboratories in all Europe and exchanging ideas with a lot of people. In addition to biology, I like playing the guitar, climbing, listening to music, hiking, cooking, juggling, traveling low cost … and a lot of other things.

ESR 8. Rossana Serpe

Rossana SerpeWP7: University of Leicester (UK) and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (FR)
Drosophila clock network
Nationality: Italian
About me:
I was born in Cosenza, in the south of Italy, 25 years ago. I moved to Padova, where I got my bachelor degree in Molecular Biology at the university of study of Padua. Then I decided to carry on with the same field for my master’s degree… it was really a good decision! In the last 6 months I worked in Würzburg (DE), in the laboratory of Prof. Charlotte Helfrich-Förster, for my master’s degree project within the Erasmus program. Here I had the possibility to work with Drosophila melanogaster for the first time, trying to understand the role of the SAP47 in the sleep regulation, deepening my knowledge in Chronobiology.
So I decided to apply for a PhD position within INsecTIME project, and I got the position in Leicester/CNRS.  I’m proud to be part of this scientific consortium, a good opportunity to learn and improve myself working with so many different people!
In my free time I like to stay out with my friends, read and travel.

ESR 9. Sanne Roessingh

Sanne RoessinghWP8: Queen’s Mary University of London (UK)
Drosophila temperature circuit
Nationality: Dutch
About me:

I completed both my bachelor and master degree in behavioural neuroscience at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. I got interested in chronobiology when I did a small project on the sporulation rhythm of the fungus Neurospora crassa. I decided to broaden my research world and I started my masters with a project on social communication in Drosophila. This work made me appreciate the numerous possibilities of working with an invertebrate model organism and got me excited about fruit fly behaviour. For my second research project I went to the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna. Here I studied the molecular and neural basis of hypoxia sensation in C. elegans. I was lucky to experience such a stimulating work environment.
My work in the Stanewsky lab is focused on the question how temperature sets the biological clock. Via the identification of ‘temperature entrainment genes’ we try to improve our understanding of the pathways and mechanisms that underlie temperature synchronization in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. I hope to contribute to our basic understanding of how circadian clocks can synchronize to a fluctuating environment. In a broader sense, I am interested in the mechanisms of sensory integration. How are different sensory inputs integrated on a molecular and neural level to optimize behavioural outputs in a given environment?
I feel very lucky to be part of INsecTIME, a professional network of like-minded people, which gives me the opportunity to develop my academic skills in a multidisciplinary environment.
Stanewsky lab
Email: s.roessingh at

ESR 10. Faredin Alejevski

Faredin AlejevskiWP9: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (FR)
Seasonal light input
Nationality: Danish
About me:
I was born in 1987 in Denmark but lived in Macedonia till 2006. That’s the time I decided to move back to Denmark for my education where I did both my bachelor and master degrees, a double major in Molecular Biology and Environmental Biology (Molecular Ecology). The reason I chose this combination is that I am really interested in solving nature’s mysteries using molecular tools just like I did in my master thesis where I measured and localised seasonal mRNA levels of the antifreeze protein in a longhorn beetle Rhagium mordax and created a transgenic D. melanogaster expressing antifreeze protein. I finished my education in November 2012 and now I am working as a research assistant at Roskilde University, Denmark where I did my studies. As a research assistant I have a broad responsibility but mainly I construct vectors and express protein in E. coli and Bacillus apart that I make sure that the laboratory is fully equipped, and running and helping students that work in the laboratory. I came across this PhD while I was searching for PhD projects on the internet and it was interesting because I want to work with Drosophila as a model organism plus studying an environmental factor as light on Drosophila. It is just an amazing project for me and fits perfectly with my education background. This will be the first big step that will give me the skills and experiences needed to become a competitive scientist so in future I can establish my own research group. Apart science I am crazy for nature and animals. I have a real naturalist soul with passion in conserving natural habitats for endangered species. I hope in France I will be able to join some conservation biology projects as a volunteer.

ESR 11. Praveena Pentakota

paraveenaWP10: Uniwersytet Jagiellonski (PL)
Visual/circadian interactions
Nationality: Indian
About me:
I studied Animal Biotechnology at the University of Hyderabad, India and got acquainted with the field of Chronobiology during my Master’s project. I worked in the area of Structural Biology for two years at Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology during which I came across the INsecTIME project vacancy at Jagiellonian University. It is a great opportunity to be a part of a network project to improve my professional skills by attending the training program.


ESR 12. Theresa Flößner

Theresa FlößnerWP11: University of Groningen (NL)
Modelling of circadian basis in photoperiodic response
Nationality: German
About me:
I studied biology at the University of Würzburg, Germany, and was mainly interested in genetics, behavioral biology and neurobiology – and chronobiology combines all these fields. While I was working on my thesis I had the opportunity to get to know chronobiology on Drosophila melanogaster and it has gripped me ever since.
After my graduation l worked for several months in a sleep lab in Berlin. Currently I am working in a lab in Munich doing molecular chronobiology research on C. elegans. After these brief excursions to other research subjects, I am now very happy to work again with insects.
In my free time I like to bake, to read or to meet with friends.
I am very glad and excited about being a part of the INsecTIME program. I am looking forward to working in a new team in the Netherlands and hope for good collaboration and exchange within our INsecTIME group.

ER 1. Koustubh Vaze

Koustubh VazeWP6: University of Würzburg (DE)
Clock networks in insects
Nationality: Indian
About me:
I studied microbiology during my bachelors and masters degree courses but then I chose to study macro-organisms during PhD.  In my doctoral thesis I got to work on a unique and interesting project where I witnessed the evolution of circadian clocks in fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Do you feel I am exaggerating? :) May be… you are right! I would love to discuss this with you when we meet.
Having studied circadian rhythms in Drosophila, I am looking forward to explore the implications of endogenous 24 hour rhythms for the seasonal adaptations in variety of insect species; in the company of whole INsecTIME team.

ER 2. Christa Kistenpfennig

Christa KistenpfennigWP12: Oxitec Ltd (UK)
Diapause and sexual behaviour in the Olive fly
Nationality: German
About me: I studied Biology at the University of Regensburg (DE) focusing on Genetics, Developmental Biology and Zoology and got acquainted with the field of Chronobiology during an ERASMUS exchange period at the University of Leicester (UK). In 2007, I obtained my Diploma degree for investigating the effect of the neuropeptide PDF on the circadian clock of timeless-mutant fruit flies and thereafter stayed in the research group of Prof. Charlotte Helfrich-Foerster to study circadian photoreception in Drosophila. After completing my PhD at the University of Wuerzburg (DE) in summer 2012, a one-year fellowship allowed me to continue my studies at Okayama University (JP) where I currently work as a PostDoc in Prof. Kenji Tomioka´s laboratory. I heard from a colleague that INsecTIME was not only offering PhD but also a few PostDoc positions and immediately decided to apply after reading the “Olive fly” project description. It is a great possibility to be part of a multicultural interdisciplinary network focusing on biological timing in insects. Personally, I am looking forward to meet, interact and collaborate with other young scientists and to improve my professional skills by attending the training program. Apart from science, I´m generally interested in foreign cultures and food, I like cooking, reading and sports. In my free time, I enjoy being out in nature taking a walk or a hike alone or with friends.

ER 3. Emma O’Callaghan

Emma O'CallaghanWP13: Actual Analytics (UK)
Developing novel automated rhythmic behaviour analyses
Nationality: Irish
About me:

My name is Emma O’Callaghan. I am 27 years old and am from Tipperary in Ireland. I completed my undergraduate studies in Biochemistry in University College Cork, Ireland. From there I went to Dr. Andrew Coogan’s laboratory in the National University of Ireland, Maynooth where I obtained my PhD in Chronobiology. My postgraduate research focused on communication between the immune system and the circadian system and examined the long-lasting impact of an immune challenge on circadian timekeeping processes.
Following my graduation, I was eager to continue in circadian biology research and being a part of the INsecTIME consortium is now a fantastic opportunity for me. I am delighted to be involved in this project developing new rhythmic behaviour analysis systems for the assessment of circadian behaviour. I see this project as an opportunity to utilize and build upon my experience in circadian behavioural experimentation. This will also further my knowledge of Chronobiology allowing me to learn about insect models and insect biological timing. Additionally, I will now have valuable experience of working within the commercial sector and the various technical and commercial courses offered will enhance and add to my professional skills.hope to make new connections within the circadian biology research community and am looking forward to interacting and collaborating with other researchers in the consortium.
In my spare time I like reading, baking, jogging and meeting with friends.