Ruben studied computer sciences at the Technical University of Berlin. He joined the lab in 2012 and is interested in microbial evolution and the application of machine learning methods to biological data. His current research focuses on the comparative analysis of root-associated microbial genomes.
In the Integrative Bioinformatics group we aim at developing and applying computational tools to understand the evolutionary and ecological principles that govern the structure and dynamics of complex microbial communities, in particular those associated with plant roots and leaves. In this context, we focus on two main research questions: i) what are the principles that govern microbiota establishment, stability and dynamics and, ii) how adaptation occurs in a community context, where multipartite microbe-microbe as well as host-microbe interactions exert selective pressure in all interacting partners.
In order to address these questions, we employ a variety of mathematical and computational tools designed to analyze sequencing data, including marker gene amplicon surveys of natural and synthetic microbial communities, whole genome sequences of cultured microbes, environmental shotgun metagenomics and transcriptomics.
Our lab actively collaborates with experts in experimental and computational biology, both within the department as well as from other institutions across the globe.