Dongik Chang

Research Assistant

Research focus


My MSc project will focus on how root symbionts of tomato plants alter the direct and inderect defense performance of tomato plants. An integrated “-omics” approach will be followed to unravel chemical and molecular mechanisms that regulate the defense against chewing insect herbivores such as Spodoptera exigua. Transcriptomics and metabolomics will be deployed, and the preference of the generalist predatory mirid bug Macrolophus pygmaeus towardthe blend of Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatile organic compounds (HIPVs) will be assessed. I believe understanding the complex interactions among microbes, plants, insect herbivores and enemies is the key to reduce the overuse of chemical pesticides and preserve our biodiversity. This project is part of the EU Marie Curie ITN MiRA.

As a research assistant, I am supporting TreeDi project to assess functional traits and to sequence tree foliage arthropods on subtropical trees from BEF-China experiment in order to associate the diversity of arthropods with tree diversity.



Multitrophic interactions, beneficial microbes, transcriptomics, GC-MS, plant direct and indirect defence, sustainable pest control.

Short CV


2020 - now

Master student and research assistant in Molecular Interaction Ecology (MIE) research group at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

2019 - now

Master of Science in Evolution, Ecology and Systematics at Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena, Germany

• Major academic interests: Molecular and Chemical Interaction Ecology, Entomology, Biodiversity Research

2013 - 2018

Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health Science at Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea

Bachelor thesis “:” Effect of Monsoon seasonal water flow variation on benthic diatom assemblage structure in Imjin River, Korea.”

• Major academic course highlights: Limnology, Phycology, Molecular Ecology

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Puschstrasse 4
04103 Leipzig

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