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Welcome to Insect Chemical Ecology, Ethology and Evolution (IC-E3)

Chemical ecology is the study of how organisms perceive their surroundings through chemical senses, and the
adaptations that enable them to function in a specific chemosensory context. Our work is in an interdisciplinary
field of research. It incorporates aspects of ecology and evolutionary biology, ethology, neurobiology, physiology,
insect systematics and morphology, molecular biology, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, biomimetric engineering
and pest control.

Our goal

We want to understand how insects adapt olfactory-mediated behavior to a changing environment by phenotypic and genotypic modulation, from individual adaptation to evolutionary change.

The knowledge of behaviorally active chemicals and their perception can be brought to application as safe and powerful tools to control and monitor insect populations.

In order to reach the goal we study the modulation of the insect response to chemical signals at behavioural, ecological and evolutionary time scales. Methods range from molecular biology to landscape scale manipulation of behaviour.

An initiative funded by
The Swedish Research Council for Environment (Vetenskaps-rådet), Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (Formas) and The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

Selected recent publications

Anderson P, Anton S (2014). Experience-based modulation of behavioral responses to plant volatiles and other sensory cues in insect herbivores. Plant, Cell & Environment 37: 1836-1844. doi:10.1111/pce.12342

Dekker T, Revadi S, Mansourian S, Ramasamy S, Lebreton S, Becher PG, Angeli S, Rota-Stabelli O, Anfora G (2015). Loss of Drosophila pheromone reverses its role in sexual communication in Drosophila suzukii. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 282: 20143018. 

Kromann SH, Saveer AM, Binyameen M, Bengtsson M, Birgersson G, Hansson BS, Schlyter F, Witzgall P, Ignell R, Becher PG (2015). Concurrent modulation of neuronal and behavioural olfactory responses to sex and host plant cues in a male moth. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 282: 20141884. 

Lebreton S, Grabe V, Omondi AB, Ignell R, Becher PG, Hansson BS, Sachse S, Witzgall P (2014). Love makes smell blind: mating suppresses pheromone attraction in Drosophila females via Or65a olfactory neurons. Scientific reports 4: 7119.  doi:10.1038/srep07119

Majeed S, Hill SR, Ignell R (2014). Impact of elevated CO2 background levels on the host-seeking behaviour of Aedes aegypti. The Journal of Experimental Biology 214: 598-604. doi:10.1242/jeb.092718

McBride C, Baier F, Omondi BA, Spitzer S, Lutomiah J, Sang R, Ignell R, Vosshall L (2014). Evolution of mosquito preference for humans linked to an odorant receptor. Nature 515: 222-227.  doi:10.1038/nature13964

Proffit M, Khallaf MA, Carrasco D, Larsson MC, Anderson P (2015). ‘Do you remember the first time?’ Host plant preference in a moth is modulated by experiences during larval feeding and adult mating. Ecology letters 18: 365–374. 

In media


Bill S. Hansson new vice president of 

the Max Planck Society

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 Ylva Hillbur Deputy General Director of

IITA (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture)

Read more >>>.

Magali Proffit wins the French-Swedish
Prize for Young Researchers 2012

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The smart Fruitfly (in Swedish)

Pheromones - the good pesticides (in Swedish)


Myggforskning kan leda till nya bekämpningsmetoder
P1, Vetenskapsradion 13 november 2014

Media archive >>>

IC-E3 was announced 2006-06-29 as one of 20 Linnaeus grants, covering natural science and medicine.
It covers 10 years, 2006–2016. The research is done within the Chemical Ecology Unit at SLU Alnarp.










































© IC-E3, Updated 2016-01-29