User:B. Pietzenuk

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I am a post-doctoral researcher in the Lab of Ute Krämer at the Ruhr-University Bochum. Here, I am using my expertise in comparative genomics, transcriptomics, and repeatomics to investigate heavy metal tolerance in higher plants. My general research interest is the physiology, genetics, and evolution of abiotic stress response in photoautotroph organisms.

In addition, I have a huge interest and knowledge in fitness and bodybuilding. Here, I use my knowledge in muscular physiology, nutrition and supplementation to educate and consult athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

Contact Info

Björn Pietzenuk (2016)
  • Dr. Björn Pietzenuk
  • Department of Molecular Genetics and Physiology of Plants ND 2/36
  • Ruhr-University Bochum
  • Universitätsstraße 150
  • 44801 Bochum; Germany
  • +49 234 32-29958
  • Contact


  • Currently Post-doctoral Researcher; Department of Plant Physiology; Ruhr-University Bochum
  • Nov. 2015 - Feb. 2016 Post-Doctoral Researcher; Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Breeding Research Advisor: Ales Pecinka
  • Ph.D. in Biology (Botany) from the University of Cologne; Thesis: Repeated Evolution of Heat Responsiveness in Brassicaceae COPIA Transposable Elements
  • 2011 - 2015 Ph.D. Student, Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Breeding Research Advisor: Ales Pecinka
  • 2011, Diploma in Biology, Institute of Botany Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf; Advisor: Prof. Dr. Margarete Baier

Research topics and interests

My scientific interests span from the origin of life to the evolution and natural variation of photoautotroph organisms. This led me to do my Ph.D. on a topic regarding genome and epigenome evolution under ambient and challenging conditions. Here, I was introduced to the role of transposable elements in genome maintenance and evolution. During my work on the Ph.D. thesis, I got growing interested in TEs and their function, evolution, contribution and influence on genome stability and evolution. Further, I am very interested in the regulation of genes TEs under challenging natural conditions.

  • Current research focus: "Comparative analysis of gene expression and regulation among heavy metal and non-heavy metal hyperaccumulators"
  • Previous Research focus: "Evolution and epigenetic regulation of Transposable Elements in Brassicaceae"
  • Ph.D.-thesis: "Repeated evolution of heat responsivness among Brassicaceae COPIA transposable elements"
  • Diplomathesis: "Natural variation and its constraints: Comparison of chloroplast ascorbate peroxidases in higher plants"

Further Interests

I have a large interest and knowledge in human physiology and metabolism. My focus lies in understanding the muscular and metabolic function, regulation and diseases. Here, I want to understand the molecular and physiological mechanisms as well as the influence of training and nutrition on muscular development and training. Further, I want to understand the function of steroids, supplements and drugs on muscular and metabolic function. Thereby, I am interested in how abuse of those can lead to muscular and metabolic dysfunction. Besides my work as a passioned scientist, I like to stay informed and educated in this field as well. I also use my expertise and knowledge to educate, consult and train people in the proper use of training, nutrition, and supplementation to build and remain a strong and healthy body.



It is and was always a pleasure for me to teach young students. During my studies I have had numerous possibilities to do so and getting experience. In my opinion, it is always necessary to do science and also teach new students in theory and practice.

  • supervision of bachelor student in applied evolutionary biology (computer based approaches) at the Max-Planck-Institute of Plant Breeding Research (2015)
  • Tutor in a practical course of “functional anatomy and morphology of plants” (WS

05/06, WS 06/07, WS 07/08, WS 08/09 and WS 09/10 at HHU Düsseldorf)

  • Tutor in “functional anatomy and morphology of plants (cytology, histology and organs of cormophyta)” and “systematic botany” (WS 2008/2009 at HHU Düsseldorf)
  • Tutor in a practical course of Modul Bio 7 about DNA fingerprinting, cloning and plasmid restriction (SS 2008/2009 at HHU Düsseldorf)
  • Tutor in a practical course of Modul Bio 3 “zoology – strains of animals” (SS 2010 at HHU Düsseldorf)


  • Pietzenuk, B., C. Markus, H. Gaubert, N. Bagwan, A. Merotto, E. Bucher and A. Pecinka (2016). "Recurrent evolution of heat-responsiveness in Brassicaceae COPIA elements." Genome Biology 17(1): 209.
  • Rawat V, Abdelsamad A, Pietzenuk B, Seymour DK, Koenig D, et al. (2015) Improving the Annotation of Arabidopsis lyrata Using RNA-Seq Data. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0137391. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137391
  • Jusczack I, Rudnik R, Pietzenuk B, Baier M Natural genetic variation in the expression regulation of the chloroplast antioxidant system among Arabidopsis thaliana accessions. Physiologica Plantarum doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3054.2012.01602.x (2012). [1]