German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv)

Research Projects

Within our research group we conduct a wide variety of research projects. In addition we are involved in several collaborative research projects in the larger iDiv consortium, e.g. via Flexpool projects, or beyond. The projects are sorted by research theme. If you are a student interested in an internship or a BSc or MSc project, please contact first person named on the project.

Molecular and chemical mechanisms of aboveground-belowground interactions among plants, herbivores and microbes

Molecular Interaction Ecology

PhD project Axel Touw: “The role of biosynthesis versus transport for glucosinolate allocation in response to aboveground and belowground sink manipulating herbivores”. Funded by iDiv (FZT-118, DFG). 

PhD project Rebekka Sontowski: “Plant defense detoxification strategies of the cabbage root fly, Delia radicum”. Part of CRC ChemBioSys (CRC-1127, DFG).

PhD project Crispus Mbaluto: “Deciphering systemic induced plant responses underlying interactions between below and aboveground feeding herbivores”. Funded by a personal DAAD PhD grant to CM.

PhD project Ming Zeng: “Systemic signalling in mycorrhizal and plant herbivore interactions”. Funded by the iDiv Flexpool (FZT-118, DFG) with Prof Franziska Krajinski-Barth and Dr Ainhoa Martinez-Medina.

PhD project Dimitra Papantoniou: “An integrated "omics" approach to unravel the impact of root symbionts on tomato direct and indirect defenses against herbivores” . Funded by EU Marie Curie ITN MiRA with Dr Ainhoa Martinez-Medina.

Chemical and molecular ecology of tree interactions

Postdoctoral fellow Dr Martin Volf: “Predators, parasitoids or chemicals: what protects tree canopies against insect herbivores?”. Funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to MV.

Student helper on project of  Prof Beate Michalzik: ”Understanding the links between the surface and subsurface biogeosphere”. Part of CRC AquaDiva (CRC-1076, DFG).

Postdoctoral project Dr Ivan Fernandez Lopez: “How trees adapt to changing abiotic and biotic pressure during their long life? Using the endogenous rhythmic growth trait of oak trees to disentangle interplays between morphological, genetic and defence-metabolic plasticity (PlastInOak)”. Funded by the iDiv Flexpool (FZT-118, DFG) with Dr Francois Buscot and Dr Sylvie Hermann and others.

PhD project Gonzalo Garcia De Leo: “Biodiversity effects on tree root exudate metabolomes”. Part of ITN TreeDi, funded by DFG (GRK 2324) and Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) with Dr Steffen Neumann and  Dr Alexander Weinhold.

Guest PhD project Perttu Anttonen: “Associational effects of herbivory across spatial scales”. Part of ITN TreeDi, funded by DFG (GRK 2324) and Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) with Prof Andreas Schuldt.

Plant diversity affecting plant metabolomes and higher trophic level interactions

PhD project Sue Marr: “MacBeSSt: Metabolite Changes in Biodiversity Levels and Seasonal Shifts”. Funded by iDiv Flexpool with Prof  Dierk Scheel, Dr Steffen Neumann and Dr Kristian Peters.

PhD project Jennifer Gabriel: “The importance of genetic plant diversity for functional chemical traits affecting interactions with aboveground and belowground herbivores in white clover (Trifolium repens L.)”. Funded by DBU with Henriette Uthe.

PhD project Christian Ristok: “Influence of above-ground and underground biodiversity on the metabolites of common grassland species“. Funded by DBU with Prof Nico Eisenhauer and  Dr Alexander Weinhold (only students with interest in bioinformatics can apply for an internship).

Postdoctoral project Lucille Cretien (starts April 2019): “Geographical patterns in seedling defence and herbivore interactions”. Funded by Leverhulme Foundation UK with Dr Michael Hanley

Postdoctoral project Dr Jan Schnitzler: “Macroevolutionary and macroecological patterns of plants and their chemical compounds”. Funded by iDiv Flexpool with Prof Alexandra Müllner-Riehl, Prof Ludger Wessjohann and others.

Molecular analyses of biodiversity/metabarcoding of insects

Postdoctoral project Juliana Menger: “Mobile Insect Citizen Science Observatory. A View of Life from the Road: Connecting Citizen Science and Genetics to understand the fate of Germany’s Insects”.  Funded by the iDiv Flexpool (FZT-118, DFG) with Prof Aletta BonnSusanne Hecker  and others.

Postdoctal project Dr Franziska Hufsky: “All-in-one Multiplex-Sequencing” with Prof Manja Marz.

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