Sarah Name: Behrens, Sarah

Status: Postdoc


Tel.: +49-(0)251-83-


Research interests:

  • Evolution of transcription factor and microRNA binding sites
  • Probabilistic models of DNA sequence evolution (e.g. Markov models)
  • Analysis of next generation sequencing data (e.g. RNAseq, ChIP-seq data)
  • Word statistics and motif enrichment analysis
  • Host parasite coevolution

Curriculum vitae:


  • WS 2013/2014: Coordination of the MSc module Computational and statistical sequence analysis; more information
  • WS 2012/2013: Contributions to: MSc module Biocomputing, BSc module Modern Methods in Evolutionary Biology, MSc module Molecular phylogeny
  • WS 2010/2011: Contributions to: BSc module Modern Methods in Evolutionary Biology, MSc module Molecular phylogeny
  • SS 2008: BSc seminar for Prospective teachers (probability theory, together with Prof. Dr. M. Löwe)
  • WS 2007/2008: Seminar on Biomathematics (together with Prof. Dr. M. Löwe)
  • WS 2006/2007: Tutorials: Probability Theory II
  • SS 2006: Tutorials: Probability Theory I
  • WS 2004/2005: Tutorials: Stochastics
  • WS 2003/2004: Tutorials: Stochastics
  • SS 2003: Tutorials: Mathematics for Bio- and Geosciences B
  • WS 2002/2003: Tutorials: Higher Mathematics I

Supervision of BSc theses:

  • In silico prediction and characterization of microRNA targets in infected Tribolium castaneum larvae (BSc Thesis, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, 2013).
  • VennTo: Ein Tool zur Visualisierung von RNAseq Daten (BSc Thesis, Westfälische Hochschule Recklinghausen, 2013)
  • Development of a Database for Invertebrate Immune Genes (BSc Thesis, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, 2010).

Organized workshops:

  • Workshop on ''The Evolution of the Microsporidian Nosema (with special emphasis on microRNAs)'' for members of the DFG-SPP ''Host Parasite Coevolution'', Münster, 2013
  • Bioinformatics Workshop for members of the DFG-SPP ''Host Parasite Coevolution'', Rothenberge, 2010


  1. Behrens, S., Peuß, R., Milutinovic, B., Eggert, H., Esser, D., Rosenstiel, P., Schulenburg, H., Bornberg-Bauer, E., Kurtz, J.
    Infection routes matter in population-specific responses of the red flour beetle to the entomopathogen Bacillus thuringiensis. BMC Genomics, BMC Genomics, 15:445 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-445, 2014.

  2. Feldmann, R., Fischer, C., Kodelja, V., Behrens, S., Haas, S., Vingron, M., Timmermann, B., Geikowski, A., Sauer, S.: Genome-wide analysis of LXRα activation reveals new transcriptional networks in human atherosclerotic foam cells. Nucl. Acids Res. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt034, 2013.

  3. Behrens, S., Nicaud, C., Nicodème, P.: An automaton approach for waiting times in DNA evolution. J. Comput. Biol., Vol. 19, Number 5, pp. 550-562, 2012.

  4. Falconnet, M., Behrens, S.: Accurate estimations of evolutionary times in the context of strong CpG hypermutability. J. Comput. Biol., Vol. 19, Number 5, pp. 519-531, 2012.

  5. Bucsenez, M., Rüping, B., Behrens, S., Twyman, R.M., Noll, G.A., Prüfer, D.: Multiple cis-regulatory elements are involved in the complex regulation of the sieve element-specific MtSEO-F1 promoter from Medicago truncatula. Plant Biology, doi: 10.1111/j.1438-8677.2011.00556.x, 2012.

  6. Göke, J., Jung, M., Behrens, S., Chavez, L., O’Keeffe, S., Timmermann, B., Lehrach, H., Adjaye, J., Vingron, M.: Combinatorial Binding in Human and Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells Identifies Conserved Enhancers Active in Early Embryonic Development. PLoS Comput. Biol., vol. 7 (12) pp. e1002304, 2011.

  7. Żemojtel, T. Kiełbasa, S.M., Arndt, P.F., Behrens, S., Bourque, G., Vingron, M.: CpG deamination creates transcription factor binding sites with high efficiency. Genome Biol. Evol., doi: 10.1093/gbe/evr107, 2011.

  8. Behrens, S., Vingron, M.: Studying the evolution of promoters: a waiting time problem. J. Comput. Biol, Vol. 17, Number 12, pp. 1591-1606, 2010.

  9. Behrens, S., Löwe, M.: Moderate deviations for word counts in biological sequences. Journal of Applied Probability, Vol. 46, No. 4, pp. 1020-1037, 2009.

  10. Behrens, S., Moderate und große Abweichungen zur statistischen Analyse biologischer Sequenzen. PhD thesis, 2008.

  11. Behrens, S., Grenzwertsätze für empirische Funktionen von Partialsummen zur Untersuchung von DNA- und Proteinsequenzen. Diploma thesis, 2005.

Talks and Posters:


DFG SPP 1399 Project