starbild Welcome to the Chemical Ecology group!

We study chemically mediated interactions between organisms. Our superior research question is how insects use chemical messengers (semiochemicals) for orientation within complex environments enabling them to locate mates and food sources as well as to avoid natural enemies and suboptimal living conditions. Of particular interest is the question how plant volatiles and pheromones influence insect behaviour. Our research approach is an integrative one, i.e. we are interested in mechanistical "how-questions" as well as in evolutionary "why-questions" addressing for example possible costs and benefits of an observed behavior. Finally, our focus is also directed towards "what-for" questions asking whether our basic research results can be used to develop environmentally sound insect control methods. To investigate this wide range of research questions we use a diverse methodical toolbox including chemical identification and synthesis of semiochemicals, behavioral observations in the lab and under field conditions, electrophysiological and histological techniques as well as methods for the application of semiochemicals in the field.


E. Wajnberg & S. Colazza (Eds.) Recent Advances in Chemical Ecology of Insect Parasitoids. Wiley-Blackwell (2013). Download flyer