Art meets Science

I am Mona Schreiber and passionate to tell stories out of my world of science. 

After graduating as Magistra Artium in (biological) anthropology and German philology at the University of Mainz, my path led me to the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) in Gatersleben on the north-eastern edge of the Harz Mountains, where I did my doctorate on the cultural history of our cereals as a member of the Domestication Genomics working group. 

After a short period as PostDoc to continue ongoing work, I moved to the Philipps University in the lovely city of Marburg, where I initially worked on the basic mechanisms of plant evolution and their molecular adaptations to life on land. With some newly acquired basic understanding of the history of life, the evolution of plants and their cell biology, as well as the fundamental importance of terrestrial plants for the evolution of all other terrestrial life and so ultimately humans, I am devoting myself to trees, forests and their ecosystems now.

During my time in magnificent Quedlinburg, my drawings, which until then had only played a very private role for me, became part of my scientific working life and I can no longer imagine it without them. My drawings can be found in scientific articles, on posters and in talks, and of course in my teaching.

Scientific expertise

In my work as a bioinformatician, I deal with genomic (and increasingly epigenomic) analyses of evolutionary processes in plants. 

The more I learn about plants, the deeper I dive into their research, the more fascinated I am by these green beings that seem to stick to one place forever, and so plants have taken my researcher’s heart by storm. Nevertheless, I am and will remain an anthropologist, as we humans are also dependent on this special group of organisms, just like all other animal life. 

Poppy
besenkunst

Environmental education

I am passionate about going out into nature with children (and curious adults) to playfully discover the wonders it holds for us.

Art & illustration

My artistic work has always accompanied me on my life’s journey. I draw, paint and photograph. I bind books, try out new printing techniques and am constantly exploring new ways to let off steam and try things out. In the garden, creative aesthetics and the wondrous world of plants find their expression together.

Scientific illustrations and graphics have a special significance. They serve me as tools for science communication, artistic research and creative interdisciplinary thinking and are an immanent part of my research across disciplines.

The course of my life…

… I was born, went to the kindergarden and to school, played theatre and musical, communicated my opinion. I wanted to become a natural scientist, anthropologist, artist & carpenter…

… and then I found myself with the Abitur (high school certificate)in my pocket in a big, wide world,waiting to be discoverd.

Roughly what happened since then:

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Scientific publications

Schreiber, Rensing, Gould 2022, The greening ashore. Trends in Plant Science 27(9), 847-857.

Schreiber et al. 2022, Recombination landscape divergence between populations is marked by larger low-recombining regions in domesticated rye. Molecular Biology and Evolution 39(6), msac131.

Brami et al. 2022, Was fishing village of Lepenski Vir built by Europe’s first farmers? bioRxiv

Haas et al. 2022, Neanderthals did not likely consume Physcomitrium patens–a model moss species. bioRxiv.

Schreiber & Gould 2021, Antreiber evolutionärer Transformation: die Endosymbiose. BIOspektrum 27 (7), 701-704.

Petroll et al. 2021, Signatures of Transcription Factor Evolution and the Secondary Gain of Red Algae Complexity. Genes 12 (7), 1055.

Schreiber et al. 2021, Evolution and Domestication of rye. The Rye Genome, 85-100.

Žegarac et al. 2021, Ancient genomes provide insights into family structure and the heredity of social status in the early Bronze Age of southeastern Europe, Scientific reports 11 (1), 1-11.

Wolde et al. 2021, Genome-wide identification of loci modifying spike-branching in tetraploid wheat,  Theoretical and Applied Genetics 134 (7), 1925-1943.

Genau et al. 2021, HAG1 and SWI3A/B control of male germ line development in P. patens suggests conservation of epigenetic reproductive control across land plants, Plant Reproduction, 34 (2), 149-173.

Schreiber 2021, Evolution of agriculture: the origin of our food crops [Video file]. In The Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection, Henry Stewart Talks. Retrieved March 31, 2021, from https://hstalks.com/bs/4537/

Rabanus-Wallace et al. 2021, Chromosome-scale genome assembly provides insights into rye biology, evolution, and agronomic potential, Nature Genetics, 53, 564-573.

Jayakodi, Schreiber, Mascher 2021, Building pan-genome infrastructures for crop plants and their use in association genetics, DNA Research, 28(1), dsa030.

Jayakodi, Schreiber, Mascher 2019, Sweet genes in melon and watermelon, Nature Genetics, 51(11), 1572-1573.

Mascher et al. 2019, Genebank genomics bridges the gap between the conservation of crop diversity and plant breeding, Nature Genetics, 51(7), 1076-81.

Monat et al. 2019, Prospects of pan-genomics in barley, Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 132(3), 785-796.

Haas, Schreiber, Mascher 2019, Wheat and barley domestication genes, genomics, and future directions, Journal of Intregrative Plant Biology (JIPB), 61(3), 204-225.

Schreiber et al. 2018, Genetic diversity and relationship between domesticated rye and its wild relatives as revealed through genotyping‐by‐sequencing, Evolutionary Applications, 12 (2019), 66-77.

Schreiber, Stein, Mascher 2018, Genomic approaches for studying crop evolution, Genome Biology 19(1). 140. 

Mascher et al. 2016, Genomic analysis of 6,000-year-old cultivated grain illuminates the domestication history of barley, Nature Genetics, 48(9), 1089-93.

Literat

Talks (selection) 

February 2022, Invited Speaker „The greening ashore. On the origin of life, eukaryotes, plastids and plants“ – MAdLand Seminar series (Molecular Adapation to Land – madland.science) 

June 2021, „Not all Bread is Baked in One Oven & Not all Rye is of Simple Descent“ –  International Symposium on Rye Breeding & Genetics, EUCARPIA, IPK Gatersleben/online. 

June 2019, „Stories from 1002 Secale samples. Insights into the evolutionary history of rye and its wild realtives“ – Third Jack R. Harlan International Symposium, Montpellier, France.

April 2019, Invited Speaker „A glimpse into the domestication history of our cereal crops through genebank genomics“ – First International Experts Workshop on Pre-Breeding using Crop Wild Relatives – ICARDA, Rabat, Morocco.

June 2018, „The art of science – make science more colorful“ – TEDx Uni Halle – Löwensaal MLU, Halle (watch the video here).

January 2018, „Geneflow between rye and its wild relatives“ – PAG XXVI – San Diego, USA.

September 2016, „Geo-genetic population structure and geneflow in Eurasian barley populations“ – 7th International Symposium in Biomolecular Archaeology – University museum of natural history, Oxford, Great Britain.

March 2015, „Computersimulationen zum Domestikationsprozess des taurinen Hausrindes in Europa“ – Archäometrie und Denkmalpflege – RGZM, Mainz.

StoriesToTell

Awards

February 2019, PhD with honours: summa cum laude

Christmas 2018, Knowable Magazine: Image of the week.

October 2018, BEAGLE Award: awarded by the IPK Board of the directors and the PhD Student Board to support young scientists for their scientific work and the social commitment.

June 2018, PSSC  at IPK Gatersleben:  Audience award for the best talk.

June 2017, PSSC at IPB Halle: Audience award for the best talk.

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