University of Heidelberg

Martin Zauser

Im Neuenheimer Feld 267

69120 Heidelberg, Germany

email: martin.zauser(at)

phone: +49 (0)6221-54 51353

room: 442

Research Focus:

Plants respond to a sudden change of environmental conditions and bacterial challenges by increased activity of intracellular signaling by calcium ions (Ca2+). For the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana it could be shown that Ca2+ signals propagate in waves through the root and show stimulus-specific signatures, if the plant is stimulated by salt or bacterial peptides.

We investigate the propagation of Ca2+ signaling waves through the root by applying mathematical and computational methods. The aim is to understand how cell-to-cell communication works in plants and how they encode and decode stimulus-specific information in these Ca2+ waves.

We analyze time-lapse movies of the root after stimulation with an external stimulus to determine characteristic parameters like start time, duration and intensity of the signaling. For this purpose, we implemented an automated image analysis to quantify the intracellular Ca2+ signaling.

The next step is to parameterize a stochastic model based on a cellular automaton for simulating the Ca2+ dynamics in plant roots.

This research project is a joint project between the Grossmann lab ( and our group. My work focuses on the software development for the image processing, the cellular automaton modeling and the data analysis. I am coding scripts in the programming languages R, MATLAB and C/C++.

Time-space diagram of the intracellular calcium concentration along the axis of the plant root after stimulating with the fungal cell wall component C8.

Short CV


since 2016

PhD student in the Biological Information Processing (BIP) Group, Heidelberg University


Master of Science (MSc) Molecular Biosciences, Systems Biology, Heidelberg University


Bachelor of Science (BSc) Biowissenschaften, Heidelberg University



Contact: E-Mail (Last update: 17/12/2016)