Research   Publications  Presentations  help    to staff list 

Diploma in Biology (Ecology, Zoology and Media Sciences) at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena.

Diploma thesis "The effects of environmental stresses on the cold hardiness in insects - Do ice nucleating agents bind heavy metals?" at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim / Norway

Current Research (PhD Thesis):

Predators that search actively for food need information on where their prey is to be found. Since the information emitted by their prey is often minimal, predators rely on volatile information that is emitted by the host plant of the herbivores. Such information takes the form of plant odours which can contain over 100 structurally different volatile compounds, of which most are terpenes next to aromatic compounds and other organic volatiles. Recent studies have shown that the presence of a few key substances from the complex plant volatile blend is sufficient for predators to locate their prey.

We would like to determine which volatiles are most efficient at attracting different classes of predators and whether the compounds that are attractants share some general structural features. The reaction of the predatory mites to different amounts of volatiles is another point of interest.
We will start this project using the well established tritrophic system of the two spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae and the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. The predatory mites will be exposed to different volatiles as single substances or as mixtures in a Y tube olfactometer.
As odour sources we will use transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana and synthetic compounds.