Celebrating 20 Years of the MPI for Chemical Ecology

  • 20 years MPI-CE

The Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology will celebrate its 20th Anniversary on September 21/22, 2017.




All alumni are invited to participate. Registration is closed now.

The 20th Anniversary Program

Venue: Lecture hall of the Abbe Centre Beutenberg, Hans-Knöll-Straße 1, 07745 Jena (talks) and MPI for Chemical Ecology, Hans-Knöll-Straße 8, 07745 Jena

September 21, 2017

09:00 - 09:20

Opening Prof. David Heckel, Prof. Rosenthal, president of the FSU, and Dr. Schröter, mayor of the city, welcome address of Prof. em. Meinwald, Cornell University (video)

09:20 - 09:40

Honorary talk of the chair of our scientific advisory board Prof. Julia Kubanek, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

09:40 - 10:20

Historical Overview by Prof. Wilhelm Boland (in German with English slides)
Chemische Ökologie in Jena; ein Institut wird erwachsen

10:20 - 10:30

Max Planck Jena Choir

10:30 - 11:00

Coffee Break

11:00 – 12:30


Prof. Ian T. Baldwin, Department of Molecular Ecology
20 years of training genome-enabled field biologists

Prof.  Wilhelm Boland,  Department of Bioorganic Chemistry
Leaf beetles: from defensive chemistry to evolution

Prof. Jonathan Gershenzon, Department of Biochemistry
20 years of biochemical ecology: sharp memories, sweet stories and volatile moments

12:30 - 13:15

Snack Buffet

13:15 - 14:15

Prof. Bill Hansson, Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology
Smelling to survive - Insect smell-guided behavior

Prof. David Heckel, Department of Entomology
Coevolutionary arms race in the insect midgut

14:15 - 17:00

Guided tours through "Open Departments“


Speed Informing with alumni working in industry (Sven Adolph, Cristina Daolio, Jan-Willem de Kraker, Lynn Ullmann-Zeunert and Aaron Windsor) and our junior scientists


September 22, 2017


Award Ceremony

09:10 - 09:30

Meike Burow, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Feedback regulation of metabolism and development by glucosinolate defense compounds

09:30 - 09:50

Martin Heil, Laboratorio de Ecología de Plantas, Cinvestav, Irapuato, Mexico
Extracellular DNA and other DAMPs as immunity inducers in plants and humans


09:50 - 10:10

Alfredo Ibañez, Institute for omic Sciences and Applied Biotechnology (ICOBA), Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima, Perú
Mass spectrometry: from whole plants to small fungi

10:10 - 10:30

André Kessler, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
Plant-to-plant communication and its role in driving herbivore population dynamics

10:30 - 11:00

Coffee Break


11:00 - 11:20


Amy Lawton-Rauh, Genetics and Biochemistry Department, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA
Molecular evolution and population dynamics of adaptation to glyphosate in Amaranthus palmeri: rapid, massive proliferation of a highly conserved gene modulated by population structure

11:20 - 11:40

Shenghong Li, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China
Unusual specialized metabolites of two Himalayan Lamiaceae plants and their biological functions

11:40 - 12:00

Annette Reineke, Arbeitsgruppe Entomologie, Institut für Phytomedizin, Hochschule Geisenheim, Germany
Effects of elevated CO2 on interactions between grapevine plants, a fungal pathogen and a herbivorous insect

12:00 - 12:20

Kathrin Steck, Centro Champalimaud - Neurociências, Lisboa, Portugal,
The gustatory basis of protein homeostasis in Drosophila melanogaster

13:00 - open end

Potluck buffet

14:00 -16:00


  • Chemical experiments for children (seminar room)
  • Painting with plant colors  (seminar room)
  • Quiz: "Are you ready for a Max Planck?" (cafeteria)
  • Odor quiz: "How well can you smell and recognize odors?" (cafeteria)
  • "Being a Manduca": Try to collect nectar from a flower (cafeteria)
  • A world map of odors (cafeteria)
  • Insect memory (communication area)
  • Face painting (communication area)


Latin dance with Guillermo

Highlights from our 20th anniversary

  • Highlights from our 20th anniversary event