- Junior Professor Dr. Merle Tränkner takes on new tasks
Professorin Dr. Merle Tränkner took on new challenges at the beginning of June 2021. Since 2017, she had been junior professor for “Applied Plant Nutrition” at IAPN and at the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Göttingen. In addition to research and teaching, her professorship included heading the scientific junior research group at IAPN as well as being one of the primary contributors to the international knowledge exchange.
During her professorship, Merle Tränkner together with her junior research team significantly advanced the impact of IAPN’s scientific work. An important step has been the successive improvement of plant analytical facilities in the field of stress physiology in recent years. New insights at the interface of plant nutrition and plant physiology were gained not only in the fields of photosynthesis, water-use efficiency (WUE), drought stress and remote sensing. In addition, Merle Tränkner together with IAPN’s scientific leader Professor Dr. Klaus Dittert established new research topics at the institute, like photoprotection, salt stress as well as interactions of plant nutrients and environment.
Topical research results and methods directly informed her interactive Master’s and Bachelor’s courses. Several awards for students who were supervised by Merle Tränkner confirmed the excellent scientific level of the young researchers at IAPN and the University of Göttingen. Together with her team at IAPN, she presented newest results at the International Symposium on Magnesium in Guangzhou (China) in 2018 and at other national and international congresses. Merle Tränkner also always sought the exchange with agricultural practice. For example, in 2018 she visited oil palm plantations in Indonesia where she gave a presentation about the physiological functions of magnesium (Mg).
In her own research during her junior professorship, Merle Tränkner focused on the role of Mg in photoprotection and WUE of crops. Her research on these topics started during her PhD studies when she worked on the impact of Mg, nitrogen and potassium on the WUE of wheat, barley and tobacco. Together with Dr. Ershad Tavakol and Dr. Bálint Jákli, Merle Tränkner had formed the first group of IAPN PhD students. Their jointly written article “Functioning of potassium and magnesium in photosynthesis, photosynthate translocation and photoprotection” in Physiologia Plantarum has been recognized as a “Top Downloaded Paper 2018-2019” by publisher Wiley.
Now Merle Tränkner took opportunity to accept new tasks in a leading research position with a well-known player in the agricultural sector and, the IAPN team would like to express their warmest gratitude to her for her exceptional commitment to IAPN as well as the successful cooperation. We wish her all the best for the future and her new tasks.