Independent Research Groups

Entomology (Emeritus group)

The overall goal of the Emeritus Group is to study evolutionary adaptations in insects which are mediated by chemical signals. Research  focuses on detoxification enzymes in insects (CYP450), and resistances against Bt toxins.
Group leader: Prof. (em) Dr. David G. Heckel

Max Planck Research Group Predators and Toxic Prey

Scientists in the group study the evolution and chemical ecology of aposematic defenses.
Group leader: Dr. Hannah Rowland

Max Planck Research Group Extreme Events

Extreme events - including extreme weather, abrupt socio-political changes, and technological transitions - can produce severe and non-linear responses. Scientists in this group investigate the nature and impacts of extreme events in biological, societal and earth systems.
Group leader: Dr. Huw S. Groucutt

Lise Meitner Research Group Social Behaviour (starting August 2021)

The research group studies how social organization affects disease dynamics, with the aim to identify properties of social groups that protect them against disease. The research combines laboratory experiments with live ant colonies, computational analyses of individual and collective behaviour, and molecular approaches.
Group leader:
Dr. Yuko Ulrich

Research Group Sequestration and Detoxification in Insects

Scientists in the group study the interaction between crucifer-feeding flea beetles (Phyllotreta species) and their host plants using molecular and biochemical tools, analytical chemistry, as well as behavioral ecology.
Group leader: Dr. Franziska Beran

Research Group Olfactory Coding

The central question of the Research Group is to investigate how odors are coded and processed in the insect brain to lead to a specific odor perception.
Group leader: Dr. Silke Sachse

Research Group Plant Defense Physiology

The interaction of plants with deleterious organisms such as herbivorous insects is the main topic of this group. The plants' recognition of the aggressor, subsequent signal transduction, and initiation of direct and indirect defenses are investigated on molecular, biochemical, and physiological levels. The analysis of the digestion fluid in carnivorous plants is another topic under investigation.
Group leader: PD Dr. Axel Mithöfer

Research Group Biosynthesis/NMR

The Research Group elucidates the structures of ecologically relevant low-molecular natural products, investigates the tissue- and cell-specific occurrence of secondary metabolites in plants and studies their biosynthetic pathways by means of NMR spectroscopic methods.
Group leader: Dr. Christian Paetz

Research Group Mass Spectrometry/Proteomics

Research of the group is focused on the biosynthesis and the structure elucidation of natural compounds from plants and insects. Furthermore, experiments are conducted to investigate new plant and insect signaling substances.
Group leader: Dr. Aleš Svatoš

Max Planck Fellow Group Plankton Community Interaction

The central objective of the group is to understand the nature and role of chemical signals that shape complex species assemblies in the aquatic environment. The major focus is the elucidation of plankton community interactions on a microscopic scale to deduct mechanisms of global plankton functioning.
Group leader: Prof. Dr. Georg Pohnert