Symposium "Complex Chemistry and its Ecological Context"

Date: June 20-21, 2016

Lecture Hall, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Hans-Knöll-Straße 10, 07745 Jena

How does chemical complexity contribute to biodiversity? Chemistry naturally plays a pivotal role in all hierarchical levels of biological organization. While its importance in the subcellular domain is well-acknowledged, at the ecological level its role is only recently intensely studied in the relatively new field of chemical ecology. Interactions of mutualism, symbiosis and antagonism among bacteria, fungi, plants, insects, and vertebrates can be so intricate as to obscure the complexity of their underlying chemical basis. To fully appreciate how the immense variety of structures and reactions found in nature contributes to biological diversity, the quest for molecular novelty must be driven forward by deep chemical understanding and intuition combined with penetrating biological insight. This symposium features four outstanding scientists who exemplify this chemically-motivated approach to studying various types of biological interactions, providing a timely view toward future directions for research in chemical ecology.


Monday, June 20, 2016

16:00-16:45Emily Balskus, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, USA     
"Chemical Discovery in the Human Microbiota"
17:00-17:45Sarah O’Connor, Biological Chemistry Department, John Innes Centre, UK
"Chemistry and Biology of Plant Metabolism"
18:00-18:30Commission Meeting
19:00Dinner at the "Haus im Sack"

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

09:00-09:45  Natalia Dudareva, Department of Biochemistry, Purdue University, USA
"A Story of Supply and Demand: Benzoic Acid Biosynthesis and Beyond"
10:00-10:45Michiko Taga, Plant & Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, USA  
"Nutrient Cross-Feeding in Microbial Communities"
11:00-11:30Coffee Break
11:30-12:30Commission Meeting

Download PDF of the program