Leading expert in insect olfaction research

June 12, 2017   No. 6/2017 (177)

Jena Max Planck Director Bill S. Hansson was elected to the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

Bill S. Hansson has been Director of the Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena since 2006. Since June 2014, he is the vice president of the Biological-Medical Section of the Max Planck Society. The Swede was now elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Photo: Anna Schroll

The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina has elected Bill S. Hansson, Director at the Jena Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, as a member of its section "Organismic and Evolutionary Biology".

"It is a great honor for me to become a member of the Leopoldina.  It shows that the German scientific community appreciates my science and wishes my input on future directions. As I work hard to strengthen organismic biology in the Max Planck Society, it is especially suitable to belong to this section," says Bill S. Hansson.

The German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina, since 2008 the National Academy of Sciences, was founded in 1652 and has its headquarter in Halle/Saale. It is considered to be the oldest continuously existing academic association in the world. The election to the Leopoldina is one of the highest honors in the scientific field in Germany. 

Since 2006, the Swede Hansson has headed the Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology at the Jena MPI. Together with his team of researchers he examines neurophysiological and behavioral aspects of interactions between insects and their host plants. Of central importance is the understanding of how odor information is perceived by insect antennae and further processed in the brain and how odor perception guides insect behavior.

The Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena investigates the role of chemical signals that mediate the interactions between organisms and their environment. Organic chemists, biochemists, ecologists, entomologists, behavioral scientists, insect geneticists and physiologists work in collaboration to unravel the complexity of chemical communication that occurs in nature.  Their research focuses on the co-evolution of plants and insects, the production of defensive and signaling substances order to adapt to the respective environments as well as odor-guided behavior of insects. Studies also include microorganisms which play an important role in many of these interactions.

Download of high resolution images: http://www.ice.mpg.de/ext/downloads2017.html