I was born in the beautiful city of Freiburg, in southern Germany. After school, I first spent a year in Norway, and then studied biology at the Universities of Mainz, Sussex and finally Tübingen, where I also got my Diploma (1989) and my PhD (1993) i Biology. For my PhD thesis, I studied flight control and visual orientation in a stingless bee, in Porto Alegre in southern Brazil.
After the birth of Sebastian (1993) and Helena (1994) I started a new project on hawkmoth colour vision. The family moved to Canberra, the capital of Australia, in 1997, and to Lund, in autumn 1998. Here I joined the Vision Group where I now work as a Professor of Sensory Biology.
I am interested in general principles and evolution of colour vision, and in the trade-offs that animals make between colour vision, spatial and temporal resolution, and sensitivity. Over the years, I have been working on many different animals including horses, seals, geckos, birds, frogs, butterflies, moths, bees, damselflies and velvet worms: for each biological research question, there is an ideal study organism.
Besides research, I like teaching a lot, and strongly believe in research-based teaching. For me, one of the greatest joys as a scientist is the supervision and coaching of students who start developing their own research interests.
Since my children have grown up now, I have more time again for reading, listening to Baroque music, hiking and taking care of my garden.