The team

Our team consists of 10 students of the Leibniz Universität Hannover and the Leibniz-Institut of Astrophysics Potsdam. It can be separated in two distinct teams: The Bio and Tech team.

Team - Bio

Pia Bensch

Pia Bensch, born in 1998, studies plant biotechnology in Hannover since her bachelors and is currently working on her masters degree. While studying and working in the lab, she gained experiences with working in vitro and a project leader certificate to work with GMOs. She decided to take part in the Überflieger2 contest two weeks before dead line while doing an Erasmus exchange in Portugal.

Team Leader Biotechnology Expert
Elsa Culemann

Elsa Culemann joined Glücksklee at the very beginning and is responsible for the public outreach. As a Master student of International Horticulture she is an expert of plant cultivation, literature research and data evaluation.

Public Outreach Plant Expert
Nils Wörz

Nils Wörz, born 1997 in Ludwigsburg, studied biochemistry at the University of Bayreuth. After a short visit to the University of Freiburg to study biochemistry and biophysics, driven by his interests in plant biochemistry and gene technology, he decided to change gears in late 2020, move to Hannover and persue a master in plant biotechnology.

POC (Bio) Lab Personnel Science Advisor
Justin Sondheim

Justin M. Sondheim, born 1992 in Pforzheim, became a gardener for ornamental plants and studied Horticulture at the University of applied sciences in Weihenstephan Bavaria. His part time job at the state institute for agriculture in bavaria inspired him to attend a master in plant biotechnology at the Leibniz University Hannover. His main focus lies on gene technology, functional genomics and synthetic biology.

Science Advisor Plant Expert Lab Personnel
Dorian Rudy

Dorian Rudy, born in 2000 in Eilenburg, is studying Molecular and Applied Plant Sciences and is about to receive his bachelor's degree. After this, he would like to continue his master's degree in plant biotechnology. He first got interested in plants during his studies and now he loves to be in the lab.

Plant Expert Lab Personnel

Team - Tech

Marcel Greve

Marcel Greve, born 1994 in Hildesheim, is currently completing his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Prior to his studies he completed an apprenticeship as Automotive Management Assistant, therefore he will take over our financial planning. He also has experience in production and assembly through internships.

Finances Assembly
Dominik Woiwode

Dominik is part of the software team and thus responsible for collecting and transmitting sensor and image data from the experiment to the ground. He is studying Computer Science in the Master's programme at Leibniz Universität Hannover since 2020 and specialises in the field of Data Science. Dominik can provide some experience from the QUEST project, which flew as part of the rexus-bexus program.

Assistant Team Leader Software
Dörthe Behrens

Dörthe Behrens, born in 1998, is currently completing her bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and would like to specialize further in mechanical design, CAD and KBE systems as well as product development in her master's degree. During her time as a working student in aerospace engineering, she was already able to gain initial experience in this field.

POC (Tech) Design Engineer Stress Analysis Engineer Production Planner
Jakob Marten

Jakob Marten, born in 1998, studied Computer Engineering at the Leibniz University Hannover. During the project he finished his master degree and will be working as research assistant at the Institute for Microelectronic Systems at Leibniz University Hannover.

Software Hardware
Rouven Lemmerz

Rouven Lemmerz is part of the sensor and software team. He is currently doing a PhD in plasma astrophysics at the Leibniz-Institut of Astrophysics Potsdam. Previously he completed his master in physics at the LMU in Munich and his bachelor at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB). Space and astronomy are part of his passions.

Science Advisor


Dr. rer. nat. Natalija Hohnjec

Dr. rer. nat. Natalija Hohnjec is the laboratory head of Section IV Plant Genomics, Institute of Plant Genetics, Leibniz University Hannover. Dr. Hohnjec is a remarkable person with exceptional great knowledge about the symbiosis of organisms, like Rhizobia and Mycorrhizal-fungi which are both capable of colonizing the model plant M. truncatula. She has been of indescribably great help to our project. Therefore we would like to thank her and we would also like to give thanks to Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Helge Küster acting director from the Institut of plant genetics, section of plant genomics. Without both of their immense support and expertise, we would not be able to reach the heights of our goals.

As an expert of Medicago truncatula, plant-microbe interactions, nodulation and functional genomics, Dr. Hohnjec introduced our bioteam into the secrets of growth and nodulation of M. truncatula. With her expertise and help, our bioteam was able to learn all the steps needed, to bring our plants to life and to nodulate them. After landing, she will also train our team in performing transcriptomic analyses.

Plant expertise