Creating the Future
© Nicholas Roberts

Light in Biology — Photo­syn­the­sis, Visual Processes and Neuronal Applications

Sympo­sium 2023

The Hector Fellow Academy invites you to its 8th Sympo­sium, which will take place in Berlin on July 6, 2023 at 6 pm. The public evening event will be focused on the topic of "Light in biology — photo­syn­the­sis, visual processes and neuronal appli­ca­tions".

Prof. Dr. Peter Hegemann is head of the working group for exper­i­men­tal biophysics and Hertie Senior Profes­sor of Neuro­science at the Humboldt-Univer­sität zu Berlin. The world’s leading expert in photo­bi­ol­ogy is one of the found­ing fathers of optoge­net­ics. He will be the scien­tific host of the 2023 sympo­sium. Peter Hegemann was able to win Dr. Lauren Sumner-Rooney (Museum für Naturkunde Berlin), Prof. Dr. Athina Zouni (Humboldt-Univer­sität zu Berlin) as well as Prof. Dr. Hannah Monyer (Univer­sity Hospi­tal Heidel­berg and German Cancer Research Center) for excit­ing talks.

Lauren Sumner-Rooney is an Emmy Noether Junior Group Leader at Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. Her current research focuses on paral­lel eye and brain changes in animals living in differ­ent light environ­ments, from eagle-eyed hunters to blind cave dwellers. Athina Zouni is profes­sor at the Insti­tute of Biology at Humboldt-Univer­sität zu Berlin. Her research focuses on the biophysics of photo­syn­the­sis. Hannah Monyer is profes­sor at Heidel­berg Univer­sity Hospi­tal and at the German Cancer Research Center. She is one of the leading inter­na­tional scien­tists in the field of brain research. Her research focuses on the molec­u­lar mecha­nisms that lead to synchro­nous neuronal network activ­ity and thus enable cogni­tive processes such as learn­ing and remembering.

The annual symposia of the Hector Fellow Academy aim at placing current scien­tific issues in a socio-polit­i­cal context. Discus­sion rounds promote the dialogue between science and the public and help to initi­ate forward-looking discourses.

We look forward to welcom­ing you to the sympo­sium in 2023!


Regis­ter now for the sympo­sium "Light in Biology".

Regis­tra­tion deadline: Tuesday, July 4 at 6 p.m.

Download flyer Light in Biology| HFA Sympo­sium 2023

Dr. Philip Häusser

TV Presen­ter and Author



Prof. Dr. Julia von Blumen­thal, Presi­dent of Humboldt-Univer­sität zu Berlin


Thematic intro­duc­tion

Prof. Dr. Peter Hegemann, Insti­tute of Biology, Humboldt-Univer­sität zu Berlin


Talk: "Photo­syn­the­sis adventure"

Prof. Dr. Athina Zouni, Insti­tute of Biology, Humboldt-Univer­sität zu Berlin


Talk: "Seeing the world through animal eyes"

Dr. Lauren Sumner-Rooney, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin


Talk: "Optoge­net­ics as a tool for the study of learn­ing and memory"

Prof. Dr. Hannah Monyer, Clini­cal Neuro­bi­ol­ogy, Heidel­berg Univer­sity Hospi­tal and German Cancer Research Center


Closing words

Dr.-Ing. Judith Elsner, Manag­ing Direc­tor of the Hector Fellow Academy



*Subject to change

Scien­tific talks

Prof. Dr.

Athina Zouni


Humboldt-Univer­sität zu Berlin, Insti­tut of Biology

Prof. Dr.

Hannah Monyer

Neurowis­senschaften, Gedächtnisforschung 

Univer­sität­sklinikum Heidel­berg und Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum


Lauren Sumner-Rooney

Biology, Evolu­tion and Biodiversity

Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz Insti­tute for Evolu­tion and Biodi­ver­sity Science