DBG · Promoting young researchers

Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis

Every year the DBG awards a prize for the best master thesis in plant science at every participating university. The award comprises a certificate and a 100 Euros prize.

Mode of Application and Awarding Procedure

To apply every young plant science person shall hand his/her master thesis over to the representative the DBG has at every university all year round. Together with other plant science university lecturers who are interested the contact person decides in October which of the master theses is the best. The contact person also decides about the awarding procedure which can be the annual faculty ceremony, a graduation ceremony, or a personal presentation. The award winning thesis will be listed together with the scientist’s name, the title and a short summary on the website of the DBG.

Publication of the Thesis Summary

The summary of the award winning thesis to be published on the DBG website shall contain the name of the prize winner, the title of the thesis, one introductory sentence, one or two sentences about the methods used, and a few easily comprehensible sentences about the results as well as a conclusion or an outlook. We also provide a possibility to enrich the text with one or two graphics to serve as “appetizer” or summarizing image. Please also quote a link where the thesis can be found in the internet to allow further reading. Please send the text as a word file and the images as originals (not included into the word document) within four weeks to the following e-mail: masterarbeit [at] deutsche-botanische-gesellschaft.de


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Actualia (engl.) · DBG · Promoting young researchers

DBG awards 18 Master theses with prizes

Some of the images in the awarded master theses as well as handing-over of the certificates at the Universities of Bonn, Hannover, Oldenburg, Heidelberg, Aachen, Erlangen-Nürnberg as well as Leipzig. © Graphs, photos and further information: see link to summary page

The topics in the master theses ranged from parasite defence over a hands-on model for teaching, an interactive database to help people protecting endangered plants, the search for resistances in crops up to the effects of microplastics as well as drought stress, just to name a few. They received the prizes for best master theses which were awarded by DBG last year. The 18 awards at the participating universities were given to eight female and ten male students for their excellent studies. The following summary provides their names and research details.

To list of awardees and research topics

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Actualia (engl.) · Promoting young researchers

DBG honors best Master theses

Photo and graphics collage of a selection from the awarded master theses in 2022. Photos and graphs: Franziska Eidloth, Lea Klepka (2), Vera Wagner (2), Magdalena Slawinska, Andreas Holzinger und Carlos Agios. Photos and graphs: Franziska Eidloth, Lea Klepka (2), Vera Wagner (2), Magdalena Slawinska, Andreas Holzinger und Carlos Agios

In 2022 DBG has awarded 15 early career plant scientists and their outstanding master theses. The diverse range of topics included research results that were published in a Nature article. The many topics covered: nickel resistance in a Noccaea caerulescens infecting pathogene, genetic markers to identify the alga Pantocsekiella, ER-tonoplast membrane contact sites, whether some endemic Euphorbia species resulted from polyploidisation, Glyoxalase I among Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes, how Galium wirtgenii adapts to restored meadows, how heat and nitrogen amounts influence growth and development of potato plants, invention of an in vivo NADH/NAD+-monitoring system in pattern-triggered immune response, how N-deficiency in Helianthus annuus induces UV-screening compounds, a new electro-physiologic method to characterize the PIN-FORMED8 transport protein, how stomatal morphology impacts gas exchange, transcriptional control of photosynthetic gene expression, how lipids regulate the membrane-actin interface in polar growing plant cells, antibacterial gene silencing approaches, as well as mesofauna biodiversity in tree cavity habitats.
The DBG warmly congratulates the successful award winners and thanks the contact persons who managed the selection process at the individual universities and handed over the certificates.

Names of the awardees and contents of awarded theses

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Actualia (engl.) · Promoting young researchers

Prizes for the best Master theses awarded

Awardees received their certificates from the responsible contact persons of the DBG. The photos visualize two presentations of certificates as well as a glimpse into the diversity of research topics. Photos (clockwise, starting top left): Raphael von Büren, Maleen Hartenstein, Maxim Faroux, Julia Metzsch, Andreas Holzinger, Paul Buschbeck, Andreas Weber

16 excellent Master theses in the plant sciences were awarded by our Society in the preceding year. The awarded persons (twelve female and four male scientists) did research in the following topics and questions:  

At which site parasites infect host plants; how plant defence strategies against pathogenic bacteria evolved; plant-microbe interactions; evolution of C3-C4 intermediate photosynthesis; localization of membrane transport proteins; genetic structure of allopolyploid marsh orchids; karyotype evolution in sugar beet; role of cyclophilin in the redox regulatory network; status of the threatened plant Sand Silvercrack; terpene biosynthesis in cyanobacteria; functional characterization of enzymes involved in violaxanthin biosynthesis; pathogen hypersusceptibility and defence in Arabidopsis suppressor mutants; localization analysis of enzymes involved in Lewis a-epitope formation; glutaredoxins as well as habitat requirements of alpine tussock graminoids.

The prizes, which have been awarded for eight years in a row by now, are supported by a certificate and a financial appreciation and were coordinated at the participating universities thanks to DBG’s local representatives. DBG congratulates all awardees, thanks the contact persons involved and wishes all awardees success in their further careers.  

All awardees’ names and titles of the master theses are listed here

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Actualia (engl.) · Promoting young researchers

DBG has awarded prizes for the best Master theses

The awardees received the deeds for their genteic, physiologic or evolution-related research projects. Photos: some of the awardees with the contact persons of the universities

Sorry, in German only

Auch wenn  die Verleihungen und die Übergabe der Urkunden dieses Jahr Pandemie-bedingt auf Distanz und nicht bei Abschlussfeiern stattfanden, konnte die DBG wieder mehrere herausragende Master-Abschlussarbeiten in den Pflanzenwissenschaften auszeichnen. Die vielfältigen Arbeiten aus den 12 Hochschulen, von denen die DBG Mitteilungen erhielt, thematisierten: 

  • CAM-Photosynthese und physiologische Charakteristika
  • Pflanzenmerkmale und Attraktivität für bestäubende Insekten
  • wie eine Glykosilierung die Geißel-Bewegung beeinflusst
  • Evolution der RNA im Moos Physcomitrium patens
  • Tetrapyrrol-Synthese
  • in vivo-Analyse der Protein Translokation in Peroxisomen
  • physiologische Stressantwort in Synechocystis
  • neue Modellorganismen zur Erforschung der frühen Landpflanzen-Evolution
  • wie Genom-Duplikationen und wiederkehrende Hybridisierung die Artbildung beeinflusst
  • zwei neue Methoden: neu etabliertes optogenetisches System, Genom-Editierung mittels CRISPR/Cas9 in der Grünalge Volvox carteri
  • wie man kontinuierlich Wasserstoff produzieren könnte, wenn man verschiedene Organismen geschickt miteinander kombiniert.

Die DBG dank den Kontaktpersonen an den Universitäten, für Ihr Engagement bei der Auswahl der besten Master-Arbeiten des vergangenen Jahres, die in diesem Jahr mehrheitlich an weibliche Forschende verliehen wurden.

Zu den Titeln, Preisträger*innen, Bildern und Abstracts

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Actualia (engl.) · People and Careers · Promoting young researchers

DBG honours best plant science master theses

Prof. Dr. Christian Wirth (supervisor of the master thesis), awardee Hellen Bellasus, Ronny Richter (co-supervisor of the master thesis), Prof. Dr. Alexandra Weigelt (jury member), Prof. Dr. Severin Sasso (DBG's contact partner at Leipzig University) (f.l.t.r.). Photo: Anja Kahl

Temperature regulation in tree canopies, heavy metals and herbivory, speciation, development of fluorescent sensors for hypoxia investigations, a phytopararetrovirus of sugar beet, (bio-)synthesis and chemistry of suberin and leucine, as well as the development of orchards in the city were topics of the ten awarded master theses, which were given DBG's awards for best plant science master theses in 2019. The work was carried out at the universities of Bayreuth, Bielefeld, Bonn, Dresden, Cologne, Leipzig, Münster, Oldenburg, Rostock, Salzburg, and the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie. DBG thanks all involved jury members at the universities.

​read more about all 10 awarded theses

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Actualia (engl.) · People and Careers · Promoting young researchers

DBG Honoured best Master Theses

Bielefeld University awarded certificates for the best Master theses of the year 2017. Among them the prize for the best plant science master thesis of Jan Hendrik Hoerner (third from right). Photo and Copyright: Ch. Weische, Bielefeld University on 6th Dec 2017

Why an invasive pest slug devoured some lettuces while others remain untouched was one of the topics of the honoured master theses (little hint: it were not the salads themselves). The other young plant scientists elucidated specific functions of N-glycosylated proteins in plants, analysed the effects of inhibited chloroplast's development on genetic expression, tested, which substances of an invasive plant contributed to substantial crop failure. One thesis clarified three algal taxa of Trachelomonas, that were validly described already 100 years ago. For the fourth time the German Society for Plant Sciences (DBG) has awarded outstanding MSc theses. This year they were given to three female and two male biologists from the universities of Bielefeld, Münster, Salzburg, Kiel as well as LMU in Munich. The summaries and images of the outstanding works are now on the website.  

See overview

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