Dr. Meike Piepenbring
Born in Wuppertal, Germany, in 1967. She obtained the degree of Licence des Sciences Naturelles at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France, a Master in Biology at the University of Cologne, Germany, and a Ph.D. and Postdoctorate (Habilitation) in Mycology at the University of Tübingen, Germany, in the group of Dr. Franz Oberwinkler, as well as a diploma equivalent to a master in Spanish as Foreign Language (Instituto Cervantes, Spain).
She started to investigate tropical fungi in 1992 looking for smut fungi in Costa Rica. Later she travelled to many countries of the neotropics, working for a volume on smut fungi for Flora Neotropica (Piepenbring 2003). Since 2001, she is Professor of Botany and Mycology at the Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She worked in several projects on investigation mainly of tropical plant parasitic microfungi, authoring about 100 publications in scientific journals, chapters of books, or books, on fungi or plants. She gave botany or mycology courses in Ecuador, Honduras, and Panama, supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). From 2008 to 2009 she worked as guest professor for mycology and botany at the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí, Panama, supported by the DAAD. She organizes exchange activities between universities in Ecuador, Panama, and the University of Frankfurt (DAAD). From 2006 to 2008 she was president of the German Mycological Society (DGfM). For scientific investigation, teaching, and participation in congresses she visited 24 countries all over the world.
Dr. Tina Antje Hofmann
Born in Eastern Germany in Karl-Marx-Stadt (today Chemnitz), in 1981. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies in the group of Prof. Dr. Meike Piepenbring at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main in Germany. From 2004 until 2009 she traveled several times to Panama as DFG and DAAD fellow for research project`s on plant parasitic microfungi (Asterinales, Microthyriales). In 2010 she was awarded for her Ph.D. research work by the Faculty of Biological Sciences of the Goethe University and won the Oscar Brefeld Award of the German Mycological Association (DGfM).
In 2010 she emigrated to Panama and worked afterwards as a lecturer of several postgraduate courses at the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí (UNACHI). From 2013 until 2017 she was member of the Sistema Nacional de Investigación (SNI) and formed part of several other SENACYT funded research grants in Panama. Since 2013 she is the research group leader at the Centro de Investigaciones Micológicas (CIMi) at the UNACHI and since 2014 the curator of the mycological section of the Herbarium UCH. She worked on several fungal inventory projects in Western Panama and has authored more than 30 publications in scientific journals and chapter of books on fungi and plants.