University of Zurich, Switzerland
My main research interest lies in developmental genetics. After obtaining a PhD in Drosophila developmental biology I switched to working with plants when I set up an independent research group at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1994. I used a recently established enhancer detection method in Arabidopsis to study plant reproductive biology, both sexual and asexual (apomixis). Our research focuses on the elucidation of the genetic basis and the molecular mechanisms underlying three major areas: i) embryo sac development and double fertilization, ii) the engineering of apomixis, and iii) the maternal control of early embryogenesis, which is largely mediated through epigenetic effects. Both genomic imprinting and Polycomb group complex-mediated repression play an important role in regulating seed development.