I grew up in Hamburg, Germany. There I also got most of my educational training. My relation to Sweden began when I squeezed in a course at Linköping University in 1984.
My scientific career started with work on cetaceans, which had been my dream since childhood. I did my MSc and PhD on cetacean behavior and vision, respectively, and co-founded the European Cetacean Society.
Currently I am most fascinated by the function and evolution of vertebrate eyes. The discovery of multifocal lenses in fish eyes in 1999, for which we received the prestigious Rank Prize for opto-electronics in 2004, added to this fascination and is the base of most of my current work. Because vision is so very important to humans, spin-offs into medicine and technology are always just around the corner.
On my way to Lund I passed through the labs of Kuno Kirschfeld (PhD), Russell D. Fernald (post-doc), Melanie C.W. Campbell (research fellow), and Hans-Joachim Wagner (research fellow). I am very grateful to all these people who supplied me with a broad base of knowledge and an amply equipped tool-case of scientific methods. I am even more grateful to my wonderful parents who raised me and my three brothers in an environment of insatiable curiosity, encouraged free and critical thinking, and allowed us to pursue wild ideas of all kinds. I am a biologist with heart, soul, and mind. I love Nature and listen cheerfully to the many surprising lessons she can teach us.