Stefanie Volland, PhD
I started my studies at the University of Vienna (Austria), before I transferred to the University of Salzburg, where I received a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology. I then spent the first two semesters of my master’s program as an Erasmus exchange student at the Humboldt University in Berlin (Germany). Under the supervision of Dr. Alfred Goldschied and Dr. Ulrich Zeller I conducted a field study on the population dynamics of small rodents in Brandenburg. After returning to Salzburg I finished my master’s degree in ecology and then joined the lab of Dr. Ursula Lütz-Meindl, for my PhD studies. Working there I focused on cell biology and plant physiology, trying to understand the effects of heavy metals and micronutrients on the physiology of the green algal model system Micrasterias denticulata. By employing a wide range of electron microscopic techniques including, high pressure freeze fixation, followed by electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and electron spectroscopic imaging (ESI) I visualized intracellular metal deposits. After I earned my PhD I had developed a strong background in cell biology, which allowed me to join Dr. David Williams’ lab for my postdoc. Here I’ve been able to hone and broaden my skillset through learning life cell imaging techniques and establishing electron tomography in the lab. My current work is focused on the analysis of the vertebrate photoreceptor ultrastructure employing electron tomography and 3D modeling.