Areas of expertise
Plant chemical defense
- 2022- Adjunct Professor "Chemical Ecology", University of Turku, Biodiversity Unit
- 2019-2022 Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Turku, Biodiversity Unit
- 2017-2019 Research Associate, Freie Universität Berlin, Department of Applied Zoology
- 2013-2016 PhD, University of Würzburg Department of Animal Ecology
- 2006-2012 Biology Diploma (MSc), University of Würzburg
Multi-trophic and multi-species interactions are urgently needed to ultimately understand and efficiently implement natural systems into integrated pest control.
My work focuses on the interaction and chemical signalling between systemic fungal endophytes, their grass host, herbivorous insects and predatory insects. I focus on biocontrol mechanisms in a multi-trophic approach where I study both,
(1) how biotic and abiotic factors affect endophyte growth and the production of defensive metabolites, and
(2) how fungal plant symbionts shape the biotic interactions around their host grass.
Residues of agro-chemicals are reported in soils from diverse environments, but the effects on plant physiology and consequences for species interactions are largely unknown. My work uncovers the effect of herbicide residues on
(3) plant physiological and biochemical processes (phytohormones, defense metabolites, volatiles) and cascading effects on
(4) interactions between plants, herbivorous insects and their enemies.