Academics at the Department of Biology

Wissenschaftlicher Werdegang
- Studium der Biologie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
- Promotion zum Dr. rer.nat., Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
- Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin HHU Düsseldorf und WWU Münster
- Wiedereinstiegsstipendium HHU Düsseldorf
- Akademische Rätin/Oberrätin WWU Münster


- Tierphysiologie
- Biochemie


- Differentielle Hämoglobininduktion bei Daphnia magna
- Akklimation und Thermotoleranz bei Daphnia

Ausgewählte Projekte

1. Molecular physiology of Daphnia haemoglobin
Haemoglobin (Hb), the extracellular respiratory protein in the haemolymph of Daphnia, is a multi-subunit, multi-domain macromolecule with a molecular weight of approximately 500 kDa in D. magna. In this species, at least four Hb genes (dhb1 - dhb4) encode for at least seven different Hb subunit types (DHbA - DHbG) with molecular weights between 36 and 41 kDa. In response to changes of environmental factors as oxygen concentration or temperature, the Hb concentration in the haemolymph varies (up to 19fold). Additionally, the subunit composition of the macromolecules varies with concomitant changes of Hb oxygen affinity (up to 5fold). At present, we focus on the relationships between Hb genes and Hb subunits and on the Hb macromolecule structure in haemoglobin-poor ("pale") and haemoglobin-rich ("red") D. magna. Molecular biological methods (e.g. Southern blot analysis, quantitative RT-PCR), proteinbiochemical methods (e.g. 2-D gel electrophoresis and MALDI mass spectroscopy; chromatofocussing) and other techniques (e.g. in situ hybridization, computer modelling of macromolecule structure based on transmission electron micrographs ) are applied (partly in collaboration) to reveal the molecular reasons for the Hb subunit heterogeneity, to analyze composition and structure of the macromolecules and to relate structure to molecular function

2. Mechanisms, phenotypic plasticity and genotypic determination of thermal tolerance in Daphnia and Chaoborus larvae: consequences for fitness and biotic interactions (Project within the AQUASHIFT Priority program)
Global warming may have far-reaching effects on aquatic ecosystems through direct or indirect effects on the physiological systems of its members. The genus Daphnia plays a central role in the ecology of almost all standing freshwater, and Chaoborus larvae are prominent invertebrate predators of Daphnia. For a mechanistic understanding of thermal effects in Daphnia and in Chaoborus larvae, field data analysis, physiological and ecological experiments, biochemical and genetical investigations and retrospective studies will be brought together: investigation of the seasonal changes of phenotypic acclimatization and/or of population structure (clonal structure) and clone-specific thermal tolerance will allow to evaluate future ecological consequences of global warming. Both, mechanisms and degrees of thermal tolerance as well as traits related to physiological fitness will be analyzed and linked to environmental conditions.
Answers to the following questions will be sought: What are the physiological and biochemical mechanisms causing differences in thermal tolerance? Which part of these mechanisms is genetically fixed (adaptation) and which is phenotypically plastic (acclimatization)? Which part is species- or clone-specific and which are characteristics common to all? What are the costs of an improved or the benefits of a reduced thermal performance and vice versa? Are there any seasonal changes concerning thermal tolerance and fitness due to phenotypic plasticity or due to the clonal structure of Daphnia populations? How near to the edges of their thermal tolerance ranges do species and clones live during the seasons? The necessary data base for a general view on Daphnia will come from a comparison of differently thermally adapted, yet closely related clones and species. 


  • Klumpen E., Hoffschröer N., Zeis B., Gigengack U., Dohmen E., Paul R. . ‘Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the heat stress response of Daphnia pulex: ROS-mediated activation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) and heat shock factor 1 (HSF-1) and the clustered expression of stress genes.’ Biology of the Cell 109, No. 1: 39-64. doi: 10.1111/boc.201600017.
  • Dölling R., Becker D., Hawat S., Koch M., Schwarzenberger A., Zeis B. . ‘Adjustments of serine proteases of Daphnia pulex in response to temperature changes.’ Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part - B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology null, No. null: 1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpb.2016.01.001.
  • Zeis B, Becker D, Gerke P, Koch M, Paul RJ. . ‘Hypoxia-inducible haemoglobins of Daphnia pulex and their role in the response to acute and chronic temperature increase.Biochimica et biophysica acta 1834, No. 9: 1704-10. doi: 10.1016/j.bbapap.2013.01.036.
  • Paul RJ, Mertenskötter A, Pinkhaus O, Pirow R, Gigengack U, Buchen I, Koch M, Horn W, Zeis B. . ‘Seasonal and interannual changes in water temperature affect the genetic structure of a Daphnia assemblage (D. longispina complex) through genotype-specific thermal tolerances.’ Limnology and Oceanography 57, No. 2: 619-633. doi: 10.4319/lo.2012.57.2.0619.
  • Wagner A, Hülsmann S, Paul L, Paul RJ, Petzoldt T, Sachse R, Schiller T, Zeis B, Benndorf J, Berendonk TU. . ‘A phenomenological approach shows a high coherence of warming patterns in dimictic aquatic systems across latitude.’ Marine Biology 159, No. 11: 2543-2559. doi: 10.1007/s00227-012-1934-5.
  • Hülsmann S, Wagner A, Pitsch M, Horn W, Paul R, Rother A, Zeis B. . ‘Effects of winter conditions on Daphnia dynamics and genetic diversity in a dimictic temperate reservoir.’ Freshwater Biology 57, No. 7: 1458-1470. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2012.02810.x.
  • Gerke P, Bording C, Zeis B, Paul RJ. . ‘Adaptive haemoglobin gene control in Daphnia pulex at different oxygen and temperature conditions.’ COMPARATIVE BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY A-MOLECULAR & INTEGRATIVE PHYSIOLOG 159, No. 1: 56-65. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2011.01.017.
  • Becker D, Brinkmann BF, Zeis B, Paul RJ. . ‘Acute changes in temperature or oxygen availability induce ROS fluctuations in Daphnia magna linked with fluctuations of reduced and oxidized glutathione, catalase activity, and gene (hemoglobin) expression.Biology of the cell / under the auspices of the European Cell Biology Organization . doi: 10.1042/BC20100145.
  • Zeis B, Horn W, Gigengack U, Koch M, Paul RJ. . ‘A major shift in Daphnia genetic structure after the first ice-free winter in a German reservoir.’ FRESHWATER BIOLOGY 55, No. 11: 2296-2304.
  • Schwerin S, Zeis B, Horn W, Horn H, Paul RJ. . ‘Hemoglobin concentration in Daphnia (D. galeata-hyalina) from the epilimnion is related to the state of nutrition and the degree of protein homeostasis.’ LIMNOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY 55, No. 2: 639-652.
  • Schwerin S, Zeis B, Lamkemeyer T, Paul RJ, Koch M, Madlung J, Fladerer C, Pirow R. . ‘Acclimatory responses of the Daphnia pulex proteome to environmental changes. II. Chronic exposure to different temperatures (10 and 20 degrees C) mainly affects protein metabolism.BMC physiology 9: 8. doi: 10.1186/1472-6793-9-8.
  • Zeis B, Lamkemeyer T, Paul RJ, Nunes F, Schwerin S, Koch M, Schütz W, Madlung J, Fladerer C, Pirow R. . ‘Acclimatory responses of the Daphnia pulex proteome to environmental changes. I. Chronic exposure to hypoxia affects the oxygen transport system and carbohydrate metabolism.BMC Physiol 9: 7.
  • Bavis RW, Powell FL, Bradford A, Hsia CCW, Peltonen JE, Soliz J, Zeis B, Fergusson EK, Fu Z, Gassmann M, Kim CB, Maurer J, McGuire M, Miller BM, O'Halloran KD, Paul RJ, Reid SG, Rusko HK, Tikkanen HO, Wilkinson KA. . ‘Respiratory plasticity in response to changes in oxygen supply and demand.’ INTEGRATIVE AND COMPARATIVE BIOLOGY 47, No. 4: 532-551.
  • Pinkhaus O., Schwerin S., Pirow R., Zeis B., Buchen I., Gigengack U., Koch M., Horn W., Paul R.J. . ‘Temporal environmental change, clonal physiology and the genetic structure of a Daphnia assemblage (D. galeata-hyalina hybrid species complex).’ Freshwater Biology 52, No. 8: 1537-1554. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2007.01786.x.
  • Lamkemeyer T, Zeis B, Decker H, Jaenicke E, Waschbusch D, Gebauer W, Markl J, Meissner U, Rousselot M, Zal F, Nicholson GJ, Paul RJ. . ‘Molecular mass of macromolecules and subunits and the quaternary structure of hemoglobin from the microcrustacean Daphnia magna.’ FEBS JOURNAL 273, No. 14: 3393-3410. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2006.05346.x.
  • Lamkemeyer T, Paul RJ, Stocker W, Yiallouros I, Zeis B. . ‘Macromolecular isoforms of Daphnia magna haemoglobin.’ BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY 386, No. 11: 1087-1096.
  • Paul RJ, Lamkemeyer T, Maurer J, Pinkhaus O, Pirow R, Seidl M, Zeis B. . ‘Thermal acclimation in the microcrustacean Daphnia: a survey of behavioural, physiological and biochemical mechanisms.’ JOURNAL OF THERMAL BIOLOGY 29, No. 7-8: 655-662.
  • Zeis B, Lamkemeyer T, Paul RJ. . ‘Molecular adaptation of Daphnia magna hemoglobin.’ MICRON 35, No. 1-2: 47-49.
  • Paul RJ, Zeis B, Lamkemeyer T, Seidl M, Pirow R. . ‘Control of oxygen transport in the microcrustacean Daphnia: regulation of haemoglobin expression as central mechanism of adaptation to different oxygen and temperature conditions.’ ACTA PHYSIOLOGICA SCANDINAVICA 182, No. 3: 259-275.
  • Zeis B, Maurer J, Pinkhaus O, Bongartz E, Paul RJ. . ‘A swimming activity assay shows that the thermal tolerance of Daphnia magna is influenced by temperature acclimation.’ CANADIAN JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY-REVUE CANADIENNE DE ZOOLOGIE 82, No. 10: 1605-1613.
  • Zeis B, Becher B, Goldmann T, Clark R, Vollmer E, Bolke B, Bredebusch I, Lamkemeyer T, Pinkhaus O, Pirow R, Paul RJ. . ‘Differential haemoglobin gene expression in the crustacean Daphnia magna exposed to different oxygen partial pressures.’ BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY 384, No. 8: 1133-1145.
  • Lamkemeyer T, Zeis B, Paul RJ. . ‘Temperature acclimation influences temperature-related behaviour as well as oxygen-transport physiology and biochemistry in the water flea Daphnia magna.’ CANADIAN JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY-REVUE CANADIENNE DE ZOOLOGIE 81, No. 2: 237-249.
  • Zeis B, Becher B, Lamkemeyer T, Rolf S, Pirow R, Paul RJ. . ‘The process of hypoxic induction of Daphnia magna hemoglobin: subunit composition and functional properties.’ COMPARATIVE BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY B-BIOCHEMISTRY & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY 134, No. 2: 243-252. doi: 10.1016/S1096-4959(02)00253-1.
  • Zeis B, Pinkhaus O, Bredebusch I, Paul RJ. . ‘Oxygen preference of Daphnia magna is influenced by Po2 acclimation and biotic interactions.Physiological and biochemical zoology : PBZ 78, No. 3: 384-93. doi: 10.1086/430039.