Karen Alim studied physics in Karlsruhe, Manchester and Munich. During her PhD with Erwin Frey at the LMU in Munich and as a grad fellow at the KITP in Santa Barbara, United States, she investigated patterning mechanisms during leaf development. 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. Since 2015 she is an independent group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization. In 2019 Prof. Alim was appointed to the Physics Department of the TUM.