The project is carried out in cooperation between Senckenberg Society for Nature Research (SGN), applied research partner – Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME (Fraunhofer IME) and SME Partners – QuoData GmbH and Institut Dr. Nowak GmbH & Co. KG

Our Team

Prof. Dr. Miklós Bálint
Project leader

Head of Research Group ‘Functional environmental genomics’ at SBiK-F, Professor for Functional Environmental Genomics at Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, Speaker of project area ‘Functional environment genomics’ at LOEWE-TBG

Funktionale Umweltgenomik: Team | Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung


Dr. Luigi de Gaudenzi, MBA
Exploitation, administrative project lead


  • Project controlling and reporting
  • Economic exploitation
  • Stakeholder management
Dr. Valentyna Krashevska
Project management

PostDoc Scientist in the Standardisation of Genetic Methods for Soil Quality Assessment in the Functional Environmental Genomics Working Group at the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (SBiK-F) and LOEWE Centre for Translational Biodiversity Genomics (TBG).


  • Project management 
  • Coordination of the evaluation of sources of variation in metabarcoding and metagenomics in a factorial laboratory experiment  
  • Implementation and adaptation of work plans 
  • Communication with project partners and scientific staff 
  • Communicating the results to non-scientific stakeholders  
  • Preparation of reports
Dr. Elke Eilebrecht
Fraunhofer IME
Applied Research Partner

Head of Department of Ecotoxicology, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME, Schmallenberg, Germany.

Dr. Cecilia Díaz
Fraunhofer IME
Applied Research Partner

Scientist in the department of Ecotoxicology at Fraunhofer Institute IME, leading the Bioanalysis lab. Focused on the study of organisms/microorganisms in the environment, improving the understanding of the composition and diversity of microbial communities and their function.


  • Participation in the identification of sources of variation in metabarcoding and metagenomics in a factorial laboratory experiment.
  • Participation in the elaboration of the main standard procedures
  • Transfer of knowledge to verify the procedure in a routine laboratory.
  • Coordination of a Ring Test

Dr. Dieter Hennecke
Fraunhofer IME
Applied Research Partner

Senior Scientist, Head of the Ecological Chemistry Department at Fraunhofer IME. Active participation as technical expert in various DIN working groups, member of German representatives in ISO TC 190 “soil quality” since more than 10 years.


  • Responsible to present the proposed ISO guideline to the respective ISO TC 190 Soil Quality group
  • Advice on contents necessary to prepare a new ISO standard
  • Communication between ISO TC 190 WG4 and MetaInvert project team
  • Promoting / support for recruiting international laboratories for the ring test

PD Dr. Steffen Uhlig
Quodata GmbH
SME Partner

CEO and Scientific Head of QuoData GmbH


  • Scientific supervisor
  • Development of statistical concepts for validation studies
  • Communication with standardization bodies

Dr. habil Steffen Uhlig is a mathematician and has been scientific managing director of QuoData GmbH since 1999. He leads numerous projects dealing with optimization and validation of measurement methods and with experimental and sampling design.
Dr. Steffen Uhlig is a member of several ISO working groups dealing with the validation of test methods in ISO TC 34 (food), ISO TC 69 (statistical methods) and in ISO TC 147 (water quality).

Dr. Karina Hettwer
Quodata GmbH
SEM Partner

Head of Research and Biotechnology at Quodata GmbH


  • Project management and coordination
  • Organisation and management of method validation studies
  • Statistical analysis
  • Reporting and communication
M.Sc. Kapil Nichani
Quodata GmbH
SME Partner

Head of Technology and Innovation at QuoData GmbH


  • Development and evaluation of workflows and pipelines for sequence data
  • Statistical analysis
Dr. Constanze Krohs
Dr. Nowak GmbH und Co. KG
SME Partner

Head of Ecotoxicology department  at Institut Dr. Nowak GmbH und Co. KG

We at the department of Ecotoxicity do aquatic ecotoxicity tests on environmental samples (pore waters and eluates from soil and sediments) as well as wastewater. This includes tests with different algae of marine and limnic origin, luminescent bacteria, fish eggs and large water fleas. Institut Dr. Nowak performs a broad portfolio of microbiological and chemical analyses on environmental and water samples.


To validate methods developed by our partners in a standard routine laboratory  environment. This includes identification of interfering influences or factors and performance of experiments regarding the stability of methods under changing conditions.

Bachelor and Master in Biology with focus on molecular biology, PhD in molecular Neurosciences.

Since 2021 at Institut Dr. Nowak.