On this page
The main interest of my lab is to investigate how solar and lunar light are sensed by the nervous system and how this light information impacts on the animals' information processing and endogenous clocks.
The moon is an important timing cue for numerous marine species, ranging from corals to worms, fishes and turtles. Such lunar timing controls reproductive development, physiology and behavior. Despite the fundamental nature and widespread occurrence of lunar-controlled rhythms, little is known about their molecular mechanisms, their interplay with rhythms and oscillators of different period lengths, and their modulation in changing environments. We focus on the marine bristle worm Platynereis dumerilii and the midge Clunio marinus to close these knowledge gaps. Techniques, including transgenesis, inducible cell ablations, as well as TALEN/Crispr-Cas-mediated genome engineering provide us with first insights into the genes required for solar vs. lunar light detection. Linked to our interest in photoreceptors, we uncovered the presence of functional opsin photoreceptors in inter- and motorneurons of medaka and zebrafish. We propose that they might function as nature’s own optogenetics.
Kristin Tessmar studied biology at the University of Heidelberg, with research at the MGH, Boston, the EMBL-Heidelberg and the University of Cambridge, UK. After her doctorate from the University of Marburg, she did her post-doc at the EMBL, Heidelberg. In 2008 she joined the Max Perutz Labs/ University of Vienna as a junior group leader. Since 2017 she is full professor for chronobiology.
(2017) Nature Methods. PMID: 28825703
(2017) Front Neurol. PMID: 28553258
(2016) NATURE. PMID: 27871090
(2013) Cell Rep;5:1-15. PMID: 24075994
Circadian and circalunar clock interactions in a marine annelid
Zantke, J; Ishikawa, T; Arboleda, E; Lohs, C; Schipany, K; Hallay, N; Straw, A; Todo, T, Tessmar-Raible, K
The genomic basis of circadian and circalunar timing adaptations in a midge.
Kaiser, Tobias S; Poehn, Birgit; Szkiba, David; Preussner, Marco; Sedlazeck, Fritz J; Zrim, Alexander; Neumann, Tobias; Nguyen, Lam-Tung; Betancourt, Andrea J; Hummel, Thomas; Vogel, Heiko; Dorner, Silke; Heyd, Florian; von Haeseler, Arndt; Tessmar-Raible, Kristin
Virtual reality for freely moving animals.
Stowers, John R; Hofbauer, Maximilian; Bastien, Renaud; Griessner, Johannes; Higgins, Peter; Farooqui, Sarfarazhussain; Fischer, Ruth M; Nowikovsky, Karin; Haubensak, Wulf; Couzin, Iain D; Tessmar-Raible, Kristin; Straw, Andrew D
Awardee of a Young Investigator Grant from the Human Frontier Science Program. Project title: "Characterization of light dependent rhytmic processes in the marine enviroment"
Awardee of a START Prize from the Austrian Research Fund FWF.
Project title: "A Molecular Approach to Lunar Periodicity"