Humboldt Fellow from Ukraine at the Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology

Prof. Dr. Dmytro Leontyev working at a digital microscope, photo: Martin Schnittler
Prof. Dr. Dmytro Leontyev working at a digital microscope, which enables automatic image analysis and recognition of characteristics. The microscope was purchased recently using funds from the University’s investment fund and the Research Training Group RESPONSE. – Photo: Martin Schnittler
Sporocarp with stem belonging to the Lamproderma genus produces the ‘shiny skin’ Photo: Dmytro Leontyev
Amoebae that are able to build fruiting bodies: a sporocarp with stem belonging to the Lamproderma genus, which translates to ‘shiny skin’. The peridium is so thin that the light being reflected outside and inside interferes - so-called false colours are created that are similar to the iridescent plumage of hummingbirds. - Photo: Dmytro Leontyev

Only three of more than a hundred larger groups of organisms with one nucleus, also known as Eukaryotes, are generally visible to us: animals, plants, and at least some fungi. The rest is often amalgamated into a group called ‘Protists’, but make up the majority of the fundamental genetic diversity of life. The Myxomycetes (slime mould) are one of these groups. They belong to the Amoebozoa, but have migrated to live on land and produce small fruiting bodies, whose spores are spread with the wind. The actual vegetative phase consists of microscopic Amoebae, which take on the role of predators in soil ecosystems and the decomposing remains of plants: they feed on bacteria and thus control the decomposition processes.

However, a modern depiction of the group’s systematics is still missing and this is where the researchers expect to break new ground. ‘The fundamental information in the evolution of animals, the vascular plants and true fungi have long been known, but there is still a lot more to learn about lower Eukaryotes such as slime mould,’ says Humboldt fellow Professor Leontyev. Dmytro Leontyev completed his doctorate at the V.N. Karasin Kharkiv National University in Kharkiv in 2007. He is now one of the world’s specialists in the field that deals with the evolution and systematics of Protists. He has been head of the Department of Botany at the H.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University since his habilitation in 2016.

Dmytro Leontyev knows Greifswald from previous periods of research funded by scholarships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). A fellowship from the Fulbright Foundation at the Arkansas University (Fayetteville, USA) and a Temminck Fellowship for Leiden (Netherlands) complete his list of international experience.

During his work at the research group General and Special Botany, Professor Leontyev can make headway for his research by capitalising on the full arsenal of modern research equipment that is available at the Campus for Zoology and Botany in the Soldmannstraße. At the same time, he shall contribute towards one of the twelve subprojects in the DFG’s Research Training Group RESPONSE that was a successful joint bid by the Institutes of Botany and Zoology.


Further Information

The Humboldt Research Fellowship for postdoctoral researchers makes it possible for scholars with excellent academic achievements to carry out a long-term period of research on a topic they have chosen themselves and in collaboration with an academic host of their choice, at a research institution in Germany. Some publications from this collaboration can already be found online on the research portal Research Gate.

To the media photos

Contact at the University of Greifswald
Prof. Dr. Martin Schnittler
Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology
Research Group ‘General and Special Botany’
Soldmannstraße 15, 17489 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 420 4123