Uppsala Biocenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Linnean Center of Plant Biology in Uppsala, Sweden
Claudia Köhler received her PhD in 1999 from the University of Freiburg, Germany, followed by a postdoctoral training in Ueli Grossniklaus' lab at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. In 2005 she was appointed as assistant professor at the ETH Zurich and accepted an offer as full professor from the Swedish Agricultural University in Uppsala, Sweden in 2010. The main research interest of Claudia Köhler is in genetic and epigenetic mechanisms governing seed development and their impact on plant speciation.
Her research revealed that the endosperm has a major role in establishing postzygotic hybridization barriers between plants of different ploidy as well as between related plant species. This barrier is built by deregulated expression of imprinted genes that are expressed dependent on their parent-of-origin. Imprinted genes receive their “imprint” during gametogenesis, where specific epigenetic modifications are applied that are maintained during endosperm development. The current interest is to identify those modifications and to understand the mode of their establishment.