Thomas Schmitt Lab
|The main focus of my research
is the evolution of chemical communication in insects. Insects heavily
rely on their olfactory senses within species to find mating partners,
accept kin or maintain integrity in their social group (pheromones).
Therefore, they use highly specific chemicals or compositions of chemicals
which provide certain information on the identity and/or quality of
a potential mate or kin. Little is known how sexual and natural selection
leads to the use of these specific chemical signals by the sender.
Between species, insects predominantly use chemicals to find and/or
identify their resources (kairomones). It is not well understood how
receiver’s perception is influenced by change of prey or specialization.
My research group uses a variety of model organisms - mainly Hymenoptera
and Coleoptera - to study how selection shapes the signal on the sender’s
side and the specificity of the perception on the receiver’s