Biocommunication & ecology

Biocommunication & Ecology

Chemistry plays a key role in mediating diverse ecological interactions among species, with important implications for agriculture, human health, and environmental sustainability. Our research program explores the ways in which chemical cues and signals mediate interactions among plants, insects, and microbes, with a  primary focus on volatile chemistry and olfaction.

Key areas of interest include: (i) chemical mediation of tri-trophic interactions among plants, insect herbivores, and the herbivore's natural enemies; (ii) pathogen effects on host plant chemistry and implications for host-vector interactions and disease transmission; (iii) the influence of plant-associated microbes on plant interactions; and (iv) factors influencing inter-individual variation in plant chemistry and the evolution of plant signaling phenotypes.

Research topics

  • Chemical Ecology
  • Plant-insect interactions
  • Plant-Pathogen interactions
  • Plant Signaling

Interdisciplinary

  • Ecology
  • Chemical Communication
  • Chemistry
  • Entomology

Contact Person

Prof. Dr. Consuelo De Moraes

ETH Zurich
Institute of Agricultural Sciences
Website
consuelo.demoraes-at-usys.ethz.ch
+41 (0)44 632 39 20


Recent publications

  • Title: Identification of an insect-produced olfactory cue that primes plant defenses
    Author(s): Helms, Anjel M.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.; Troeger, Armin; et al.
    Source: NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 8: AUG 24 2017
    Document Type: Article (Details)
  • Title: Plant spines deter herbivory by restricting caterpillar movement
    Author(s): Kariyat, Rupesh R.; Hardison, Sean B.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.; et al.
    Source: BIOLOGY LETTERS, 13 (5): MAY 2017
    Document Type: Article (Details)
  • Title: Editorial overview: Ecology: The chemical ecology of human disease transmission by mosquito vectors
    Author(s): Mescher, Mark C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.
    Source: CURRENT OPINION IN INSECT SCIENCE, 20: V-VI APR 2017
    Document Type: Editorial Material (Details)
  • Title: Effects of malaria infection on mosquito olfaction and behavior: extrapolating data to the field
    Author(s): Stanczyk, Nina M.; Mescher, Mark C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.
    Source: CURRENT OPINION IN INSECT SCIENCE, 20: 7-12 APR 2017
    Document Type: Article (Details)
  • Title: The volatile emission of a specialist herbivore alters patterns of plant defence, growth and flower production in a field population of goldenrod
    Author(s): Yip, Eric C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.; Mescher, Mark C.; et al.
    Source: FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, 31 (5): 1062-1070 MAY 2017
    Document Type: Article (Details)