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Claus Metzner


PD Dr. Claus Metzner

  • Job title: Theoretical Physics
  • Working group: Biophysics Group
  • Address:
    Room 02.078
  • Phone number: +49 9131 85-25613
  • Email:

1997-01  Habilitation
1990-94  PhD
1989-90  Civil cervice
1987-89  Diploma
1983-87  Study of Physics
1983  Abitur
1964  Birth in Erlangen

2005-now:   Privatdozent at Biophysics Group, University of Erlangen:

Statistical Methods for random walks, Network reconstruction from confocal image stacks, Individual and collective cell migration, Cell mechanics, Mechanics of random biopolymer networks, Biochemical reaction networks, Strain- and stress-field reconstruction, Animal Tracking, Application of Machine Learning methods to biophysical data, Neurophysics.

2001-04:   Principal Investigator of independent research group, University of Erlangen:

Collective many-particle effects, Coherent Control, Relaxation Dynamics, Coupled nonlinear oscillators.

2000-01:   Guest Scientist at University of California, Santa Barbara:

Many-particle effects in quantum dot molecules, Strain-induced localization of quantum states, Band-coupling effects, Coherent control.

1998:  Guest Scientist at Institute for Materials Science in Electrical Engineering, University of Bochum:

Selfconsistent theory of electron states in compensation doped quantum wire systems.

1995-96:  Guest Scientist at Quantum Microstructures Devices Laboratory, RCAST, University of Tokyo:

Exciton localization by surface roughness, Density dependent intersubband spectra in quantum wells, Potential fluctuations and Capacity spectra in quantum dot arrays.

1994-95:  Postdoctoral Researcher at Institute of Technical Physics, University of Erlangen:

Donor-acceptor pair luminescence and localized states in modulation doped 2D systems.

o  DFG grant for Principal Investigator position in Fabry Lab.
o  DFG grant for Habilitation in US and Germany.
o  Humboldt Foundation’s Feodor-Lynen grant for research in US.
o  DFG grant for postdoctoral research in Japan.
o  PhD with first rate honors.
o  Diploma with rates 1.0 in Experimental, Theoretical, and Applied Physics.

Lecture series: Link to lecture scripts
Complex Systems (Critical phenomena, networks, evolutionary dynamics, reaction systems, traffic dynamics, socio/econo-physics, discrete and continuous dynamical systems, self-organization, game theory, information, neurophysics, machine learning)

Basic Courses:
Introduction to Physics (Up to 400 students; Responsible for exercises and exames; Covering all fields of physics; Self-developed course material)

Special lectures:
Impurities in semiconductors, Concepts of modern semiconductor physics, Coherent dynamics in semiconductor structures, Hot topics in modern science, Computational physics, Introduction to theoretical biophysics

C++, Python

German and English (fluid), Japanese (rudimental)

Piano, Keyboards, Jazz-Improvisation, Composition

Windsurfing, Karate, Aikido, Fitness and strength training

Reading, Meditation, Mindfulness, Cooking, Blogging, Minimalism

Private Webpage

Complex systems:
Are there general mechanisms behind the emergence of collective system properties ? How can the key parameters be identified that control the collective behavior in complex, non-linear systems ?

How can individual and collective cell migration be modeled as a stimulus-response problem, in which the cells continuously react on their changing local micro-environment by adopting their migration behavior accordingly ?

How to (automatically) construct a course-grained description of neural networks ? How does (deep) learning work ? How does the statistics of neural connection weights change during network training ? How can the learning rate of neural networks be improved ? What is the structure of the ‘loss function landscape’ in neural networks ?

Statistical Methods:
How to analyze and model systems with time- and space-varying statistics ? How to detect and characterize higher-order, non-linear correlations in complex data ?

Machine Learning and AI:
How can machine learning be applied to scientific problems so that it actually helps to understand the investigated systems ? Can the ‘blind’, gradient-based optimization of model parameters be replaced by a more intelligent, human-like way of model improvement ?

Click here for a complete publication list.

Master’s and PhD thesis:

Jonas Rietsch Sleep Stage Classification using Neural Networks
Verena Dietrich Impact of three-node motifs on the dynamics of neural networks
Marc Schuster Synaptic Weight Statistics controls Dynamics in Artificial Neural Networks
Wolfgang Billenstein Inferring network structure from spike trains and the dynamics of learning
Nico Wunderling Dependence of cell migration and proliferation on cell density
Julian Uebelacker Bayesian inference and quantitative prediction of collective behaviour in planar cell colonies
Andreas Rowald The role of the noradrenergic pathway in restoration of locomotion after spinal cord injury
Tobias Denzler Structure dependent translocation of polypeptide chains
Christian Schuetz Biologically plausible neuronal feedback-loop for adaptive stochastic resonance
Florian Martin Simulation of Planar Cell Colony Growth
Arne Monsees Simulation of Force Transmission in Filamentous Polymer Networks
Christoph Mark Statistical analysis of heterogeneous cell migration
Patrick Krauss Modelling of emergent behavior in single and collective tumor cell dynamics
Kai Skodzek Lokale Eigenschaften von Kollagen
Janina Lange Collective migration during the growth of mesenchymal and epithelial cell colonies
Richard Gerum Mechanical plasticity of cells
Franz Stadler Stochastische Modelle zur Beschreibung der anomalen Bewegungsstatistik migrierender Tumorzellen
Max Sajitz-Hermstein Stochastische Modelle fraktionaler Bewegungsvorgaenge im lebenden Zytoskelett
Carina Raupach On the spontaneous motion of cytoskeletally bound markers
Arthur Franz Evolution geregelter chemischer Netzwerke

Bachelor’s thesis:

Alexandra Zankl Analysis of three-node network motifs
Jacob Szkaradzinski Autokorrelationszeiten in neuronalen Netzwerken in Abhaengigkeit von Motiven
Barbara Feulner Analysis of cell trajectories with Restricted Boltzmann Machines
Andreas Kronwald The Cluster Model of Tumor Cell Invasion
Wolfram Barfuss Thermal model of penguin huddling dynamics
Andreas Horlbeck Zeitreihenanalyse von Zufallsprozessen mit nicht-konstanten Parametern
Richard Gerum Modellierung des Huddling-Verhaltens von Pinguinen mittels Multi-Agenten-Simulation
Achim Schilling Dynamik des Bindungsverhaltens des Adhaesionsapparates lebender Zellen
Patrick Krauss Rekonstruktion dreidimensionaler Fasernetzwerke aus konfokalen Mikroskopaufnahmen
Janina Lange Bestimmung der Porengroessenstatistik von Kollagengelen anhand konfokaler Mikroskopaufnahmen
Mykhaylo Flipenko Analytische Untersuchung von Zellmigrationsmodellen
Alexander Heinz Numerische Analyse der Zellmigration in Kollagengewebe

Shorter projects:

Johannes Dieplinger Migration patterns of immune cells in the vicinity of tumor cells – a superstatistical analysis
Torsten Weber Einfluss von Rauschen auf die Lern- und Leistungsfähigkeit rekurrenter neuronaler Netzwerke
Kevin Hoellring Rekonstruktion geometrischer Objekte aus Bildern durch fehler-basierte Modell-Optimierung
Maximilian Duell Modelling the dependence of cell migration on the density of adhesion ligands
Thomas Kipf The shear response of visco-elastic fibers with bending stiffness
Michael Schmidberger Statistical fluctuations in covalent modification cycles
Anja Michl Selfpropelled agents in random potential landscapes
Sebastian Probst Collective invasion of cells into complex tissue
Sascha Maisel Modelling of cytoskeletal dynamics
Richard Gerum Kraftausbreitung im Fasernetzwerk
Mykhaylo Flipenko Analytische Untersuchung von Zellmigrationsmodellen
Alexander Heinz Numerische Analyse der Zellmigration in Kollagengewebe

Mobile: +49 (0)176 444 216 36

ZMPT, Room 02.078
Henkestr. 91
91052 Erlangen
Phone: +49 (0)9131 852 5615
Fax: +49 (0)9131 852 5601

Schleifmuehlstr. 6
91054 Erlangen
Phone: +49 (0) 9131 973037