The Max-Planck Society has begun a new Institute with a major focus on
Arabidopsis and its wild relatives.
The institute encourages interdisciplinary, collaborative approaches to
examine the functional and genetic basis of insect resistance in
Arabidopsis. This information provides the foundation for studying
evolutionary ecology of plant-insect interactions in wild relatives of
The Institute of Chemical Ecology will focus on chemical interactions among
plants and their herbivores, emphasizing the functional basis of
evolutionary forces shaping chemical ecology. The Institute will be an
interdisciplinary group of about 100 researchers and 30 support personnel.
Initially there will be four departments: Organic Chemistry (Willi Boland),
Biochemistry (Jonathan Gershenzon), Molecular Ecology (Ian Baldwin), and
Molecular and Population Genetics (Thomas Mitchell-Olds). A fifth
department will be started later. We will hire 50 scientists and postdocs
in the next few years.
The institute is located in Jena, in the new federal state of Thuringia.
Jena is a university town of 100,000 people, in a culturally rich region
with extensive forests and fields, located midway between Berlin and Munich.
Additionally, several hundred scientists maintain active research programs
in biology, molecular biology, and chemistry in nearby labs at Friedrich
Schiller University and other institutes in Jena. The Institute of Chemical
Ecology is international in character, with English being the official language.