Chemical Ecology

Chemical Ecology

Organisms exist in complex and competitive environments. In order to optimize their adaptation to these environments they can cooperate, compete, evade, kill, or be killed. To orchestrate these complex interactions, chemical signaling evolved to transmit information, and is the earliest form of communication.
Chemical Ecology
Illustration: Canva

Chemical ecology is an interdisciplinary field of research centered on identifying these chemical signals and studying their significance in ecological interactions. This session calls on researchers to present their work on all facets of these chemical signals and the ecological interactions which they facilitate.

Prof. Martin Kaltenpoth —​ Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Mainz, Germany

Portrait of Martin Kaltenpoth
Image: Martin Kaltenpoth


Full professor for Evolutionary Ecology, Institute for Organismic and Molecular Evolution at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and director of the Department of Insect Symbiosis at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

He and his group investigate the evolution, chemical and molecular basis of insect interactions with mutualistic bacteria. His team uses a combination of ecological experiments, phylogenetic reconstruction, molecular, chemical analytical and microbiological tools in a broad spectrum of insect taxa including beetles, bugs, wasps and flies to derive the general principles of insect-microbe symbioses.

Chemical Ecology I session
March 29, 3:30–4:15 pm CEST

Prof. Georg Pohnert —​ Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena, Germany

Portrait of Georg Pohnert
Image: Georg Pohnert

Group leader and chair for Bioorganic Analytics, Friedrich Schiller University Jena. Vice president for research at the Friedrich Schiller University. Max Planck fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena. He is editor of the Roempp online dictionary, and on the editorial board of Natural Products Reports, Marine Drugs, Botanica Marina and Bioanalytical Reviews.

The research focus of his team lies on the chemical defense and communication strategies of algae, bacteria and mosses using modern bioorganic analytics, organic chemistry and ecology as study approaches. His research group develops and uses analytical techniques, including comparative metabolomics to monitor chemically mediated interactions in plankton and microbial biofilms.

Chemical Ecology II session
March 31, 1:05–1:50 pm CEST