MIE celebrates Plant Health, featuring Jennifer Gabriel
The year 2020 is the United Nations' International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). Every month, one of our team members introduces his or her interest in plant health. September 2020 is the month of Jennifer Gabriel. In our series for the International Year of Plant Health 2020, I proudly present: Jennifer Gabriel.
“I am Jennifer Gabriel. During my Biology study, my interest in the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) was awakened. I did my MSc thesis project in Molecular Interaction Ecology research group. This provided me insight in the fascinating world of plant-insect interactions. I am currently in the 2nd year of my PhD project, which is funded by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt. I aim to unravel the molecular strategies by which plants defend themselves and how those differ in plant populations with different levels of genetic diversity. I focus on how functional diversity affects interactions between plants, insects and beneficial belowground microbes (rhizobia, mycorrhiza). I work with white clover, because it possesses genetically fixed intraspecific variability for cyanogenesis, a defence against herbivores. At the same time, it is a species related to many agricultural crops. By studying the molecular mechanisms underlying differences in plant-microbe-herbivore interactions in genetic mono and mixed cultures, I hope to contribute to a better understanding of the role of genetic diversity in natural and agricultural ecosystems.”