International Max Planck Research School "The Exploration of Ecological Interactions with Molecular and Chemical Techniques"

The interactions within and among microbes, plants, herbivores, and predators affect individual fitness, population distribution and abundance, community structure, and the functioning of whole ecosystems. Most of the traits controlling these interactions are largely unknown, yet understanding them is crucial to an appreciation of the fundamental processes that structure all ecological systems. Thus, the all-encompassing goal of our Research School is to experimentally explore ecological interactions under natural conditions. The main focus is on the communication between plants, insects, microbes and their environment, as well as the behavioral consequences of these interactions. Students from all over the world trained in organic chemistry, biochemistry, ecology, entomology, neurobiology, ethology, bioinformatics, molecular biology or genetics, with a strong interest in ecological interactions are enrolled in the program. Participants are provided with excellent research conditions in an interdisciplinary environment, within a structured, three-year training program including practical courses, lectures, seminars, and participation in international conferences.