Karen Alim

Karen Alim studied physics in Karlsruhe, Manchester and Munich. She obtained an MSc in Theoretical Physics in 2004 working with Alan J. Bray from Manchester University, U.K., followed by a Diplom (MSc) in Physics and Biophysics at the LMU Munich. During her PhD with Erwin Frey at the LMU in Munich she investigated the form of biological materials like DNA/actin and patterning mechanism during leaf development. As a grad fellow at the KITP in Santa Barbara, United States, she investigated the mechanics of plant growth. After her doctoral degree in 2010 she joined Michael P. Brenner’s group at Harvard University where she focused on the adaptation dynamics of the network-like forager Physarum polycephalum. In 2015 she started as an independent group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization. In 2019 she joined the Technical University of Munich as a permanent professor. Karen is recipient of the John Birks Award of Manchester University and held an appointment as lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Harvard University. In 2020 Karen was awarded an ERC Starting Grant.

Contact

Physics Department
Technische Universität München
Ernst-Otto-Fischer-Str. 8, EG.036
85748 Garching b. München

k.alim(at)tum.de
Phone: +49 89 289 12192

Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization
Am Faßberg 17, Room 2.95
37077 Göttingen

karen.alim(at)ds.mpg.de
Phone: +49 551 5176 454

Research Experience

Oct 2019 – present Professor (W3)
Technical University of Munich
Aug 2015 –       Sep 2022 Max Planck Research Group Leader
Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization Germany · Göttingen
Sep 2010 –
Jul 2015
PostDoc
Harvard University · Area of Applied Mathematics · Brenner
United States · Cambridge
Jun 2010 –
Aug 2010
PostDoc
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich · Arnold Sommerfeld Center for Theoretical Physics · Frey
Germany · Munich
Aug 2009 –
Dec 2009
Grad Fellow
University of California, Santa Barbara · Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics · Shraiman
United States · Santa Barbara

Teaching Experience

Oct 2019 –
present
Lecturer
Technische Universität München · Physics
Germany · München
Proseminar on Classics in Biophysics
Sep 2015 –
Sep 2019
Lecturer
Georg-August-University Göttingen · Physics
Germany · Göttingen
Student seminar on Physical Forces Shaping Morphology; Introduction to Complex Systems; Theoretical Biofluid Mechanics; Student seminar on Classics in Biophysics
Jan 2014 –
May 2014
Lecturer
Harvard University · Area of Applied Mathematics
United States · Cambridge
Applied Mathematics 105 – Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations
Oct 2005 –
Feb 2008
Teaching Assistant
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich · Arnold Sommerfeld Center for Theoretical Physics (ASC)
Germany · Munich
Quantum Mechanics; Student seminar on Soft Matter and Biological Physics; Electromagnetism; Nonlinear Dynamics and Complex Systems
Sep 2003 –
May 2004
Teaching Assistant
The University of Manchester · Theoretical Physics Division
United Kingdom · Manchester
Mathematics and Theoretical Physics for first year physics student

Education

Oct 2006 –
Jun 2010
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
Theoretical Physics · Dr. rer. nat (PhD)
Germany · Munich
Sep 2003 –
Aug 2004
The University of Manchester
Theoretical Physics · Master of Science
United Kingdom · Manchester
Oct 2002 –
May 2006
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
Physics and Biophysics · Diplom
Germany · Munich
Oct 2000 –
Sep 2002
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Physics · Vordiplom
Germany · Karlsruhe

Awards & Scholarships

Jul 2020 Grant: ERC Starting Grant “FlowMem”
Jul 2020 Grant: Individual Research Grant by the German Research Foundation
May 2020 Grant: Single PI project within the FOR 2581 on Plant Morphodynamics – continuation
Apr 2017 Grant: Single PI project within the FOR 2581 on Plant Morphodynamics
Nov 2014 Grant: Single PI project within the SFB 937 on Collective Behavior of Soft and Biological Matter
Jun 2013 Award: Membership of the Elisabeth Schiemann-Kolleg of the Max Planck Society
Oct 2011 Scholarship: Postdoctoral fellowship from the Stiftung der Naturforscher Leopoldina
Jun 2007 Scholarship: Graduate Fellowship from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes
Jun 2004 Award: John Birks
Oct 2000 Scholarship: Undergrad Fellowship from the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung