Chair of Pharmaceutical Biology

AG Lackus - Molecular Chemical Ecology


Prof. Dr. Nathalie Lackus

Juniorprofessur for plant metabolism
and metabolomics
Chair of Pharmaceutical Biology
Julius-von-Sachs-Institute for Biociences
Julius-von-Sachs-Platz 2
97082 Würzburg

Phone: + 49 931 31-86923
Fax: + 49 931 31-86182

ORCID: 0000-0002-0419-8937

Molecular Chemical Ecology

In the field of Molecular Chemical Ecology, we study plant chemical compounds, so-called specialized metabolites, which play an important role in plant-environment interactions. The focus of our research group is to understand the biosynthesis and evolution of specialized metabolites in woody plants (poplars and willows (Salicaceae)) and herbaceous perennials (goldenrod (Asteraceae)). Further goals are to investigate the ecological function of specialized metabolites in biotic plant-environment interactions (herbivores, pathogens), to understand structure-function relationships, and to elucidate the molecular mechanisms leading to the chemical diversity of plant specialized metabolites.


How and when are plant specialized metabolites formed? Which enzymes are involved? Can the formation of metabolites be reconstituted in heterologous hosts?


Is the biosynthesis of specialized metabolites conserved within different plant species/families? Is there a convergent evolution of metabolic pathways?

(Multi-) Functionality

What is the ecological function of specialized metabolites in plant-environment interactions? Do specialized metabolites have more than one function? What are molecular structure-function relationships?


MSc/BSc Thesis und Internships

We offer opportunities for students to join our group and conduct research in the field of plant chemical ecology. The research projects focus on the biosynthesis, evolution and function of specialized metabolites related to plant-environment interactions. State-of-the-art molecular biological, biochemical and bioanalytical methods are used.


Inquiries are welcome and if you are interested, please contact us by e-mail or by phone + 49 931 31-86923.