Lehrstuhl für Tierökologie und Tropenbiologie

Dr. Peter Biedermann

Telephone: +49 (0)931 31-89589
Fax:            +49 (0)931 31-84352
e-Mail:  peter.biedermann@uni-wuerzburg.de

ORCID: 0000-0003-4234-5659
Scopus ID: 24334393600
Google Scholar: Link
ResearchGate: Link
Publons: Link
Website: Link

Emmy Noether Research Group Insect-Fungus Symbiosis

University of Würzburg
Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology
Biocenter -  Am Hubland

97074 Würzburg, Germany

  • Ecology and Evolution of Social Behaviour in Insects, in particular Bark Beetles
  • Ecology and Evolution of Insect-Fungus Mutualisms
  • Evolution of Agriculture in Insects and Humans
  • Ecological Determinants of Forest-Insect Population Dynamics
  • Chemical Ecology of Fungal Endophytes and Their Interactions with Herbivorous Insects
  • Interactions between Native and Invasive Ambrosia Beetles


  • 2009-2012 Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, CH. Awarded with distinction.
  • 2005-2007 M.Sc. in Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, CH. Awarded with distinction.
  • 2002-2005 B.Sc. in Biology, University of Graz, A.
  • 2000 -2001 Study of Physics, University of Graz, A.
Professional Positions
  • 7/2017- Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Ecology, University of Würzburg, DE.
  • 9/12-6/2017 Post-Doctoral Researcher, Insect Symbiosis Group, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Jena, DE.
  • 10-11/2013 Visiting Researcher, Department of Genetics, Wageningen University, NL
  • 4-8/2012 Post-Doctoral Researcher, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, CH.
  • 4-8/2009 Visiting Researcher, Department of Bacteriology, UW Madison/WI, USA.
  • 1-12/2008 Research Assistant, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, CH.
  • 8-12/2007 Visiting Researcher, Southern Res. Station, USDA Forest Service, Pineville/LA, USA.
Research Fellowships
  • 2017-2022 Emmy-Noether Research Group, German Science Foundation (1,425k€)
  • 2015-2016 Marie-Curie postdoctoral fellowship, European Union (165k€)
  • 2012-2014 Postdoctoral fellowship, Swiss National Science Foundation (145k€)
  • 2010-2011 Doctoral fellowship, Austrian Academy of Science (60k€)
  • 2009 F. Hoffmann-Roche Graduate Research Fellowship (25k€)
  • 2007 Cooperative grant, US-Department of Agriculture (8k€)
  • 2007-12 7 other research and travel grants, CH, D, A, USA. (>5k€)
Prices and Awards
  • 2016 STEP Award by the Entomological Society of America (2k€)
  • 2013 Prize of the German Society of General & Applied Entomology (3k€)
  • 2013 Klaus-Tschira Prize for excellent science communication (5k€)
  • 2013 Prize of the Austrian Entomological Society (500€)
  • 2012 Award for best PhD-thesis in the Life Sciences at the University Bern (10k€)
  • 2010 Achievements in Biosciences Prize by Oxford University Press (100€)
  • 2009 Award for the best presentation at the IUSSI meeting (200€)

(Google Scholar)

Entomology and insect behaviour

1. Biedermann PHW & Rohlfs M (2017) Evolutionary feedbacks between insect sociality and microbial management. Current Opinion in Insect Science

2. Vega FE, Simpkins A, Rodriguez-Soto MM, Infante F & Biedermann PHW (2017) Artificial diet sandwich reveals subsocial behaviour in the coffee berry borer Hypothenemus hampei (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae). Journal of Applied Entomology 141(6): 470-476.

3. Kirkendall LR, Biedermann PHW & Jordal BH (2015) Evolution and Diversity of Bark and Ambrosia Beetles. In FE Vega, RW Hofstetter (Eds.), Bark Beetles: Biology and Ecology of Native and Invasive Species. San Diego: Academic Press, pp. 85-156. (book chapter)

4. Nuotcla JA, Taborsky M & Biedermann PHW (2014) The importance of blocking behaviour in the ambrosia beetle Xyleborinus saxesenii Ratzeburg (Coleoptera; Scolytinae). Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für allgemeine und angewandte Entomologie 19: 203-210.

5. Biedermann PHW (2014) Evolution of cooperation in ambrosia beetles. Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für allgemeine und angewandte Entomologie 19: 191-202.

6. Biedermann PHW, Peer K & Taborsky M (2012) Female dispersal and reproduction in the ambrosia beetle Xyleborinus saxesenii Ratzeburg (Coleoptera; Scolytinae). Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für allgemeine und angewandte Entomologie 18: 231-235.

7. Biedermann PHW & Taborsky M (2011) Larval helpers and age polyethism in ambrosia beetles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 108(41): 17064-17069.

links to newspaper articles about this work: Zeit-Online, Bild der Wissenschaften, The New York Times, science.orf.at, Uniaktuell, Tagesanzeiger; Radio interviews: Deutschlandfunk (7/12/11), WDR (15/5/12)

8. Biedermann PHW, Klepzig KD & Taborsky M (2011) Costs of delayed dispersal and alloparental care in the fungus-cultivating ambrosia beetle Xyleborus affinis Eichhoff (Scolytinae: Curculionidae). Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 65:1753–1761.

9. Biedermann PHW (2010) Observations on sex ratio and behavior of males in Xyleborinus saxesenii Ratzeburg (Scolytinae, Coleoptera). In: Cognato AI, Knížek M (Eds) Sixty years of discovering scolytine and platypodine diversity: A tribute to Stephen L. Wood. Zookeys 56: 253-267.

10. Biedermann PHW, Klepzig KR & Taborsky M (2009) Fungus cultivation by ambrosia beetles: Behavior and laboratory breeding success in three Xyleborine species. Environmental Entomology 38(4): 1096-1105.

Insect-microbe interactions and biochemistry

11. Van de Peppel L, Aanen DK & Biedermann PHW (in press): Genetic variation in fungal symbionts from different geographical locations of the two Xyleborine ambrosia beetle species: Xylosandrus germanus Blandford and Anisandrus dispar Fabricius. Fungal Ecology

12. Dohet L, Gregoire JC, Kaltenpoth M, Berasategui A & Biedermann PHW (2016) Bacterial and fungal symbionts of parasitic Dendroctonus bark beetles. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 92 (9).

13. Mayers CG, McNew DL, Harrington TC, Roeper RA, Fraedrich SW, Biedermann PHW, Castrillo LA, & Reed S (2015) Three lineages within the Ceratocystidaceae adapted to symbiosis with three ambrosia beetle tribes with large mycangia. Fungal Biology 119: 1075-92.

14. Flórez L, Biedermann PHW (shared first authorship), Engl T & Kaltenpoth M (2015) Defensive symbioses of animals with prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms. Natural Product Reports 32(7):904-36.

15. Biedermann PHW & Kaltenpoth M (2014) New synthesis: The chemistry of partner choice in insect-microbe mutualisms. Journal of Chemical Ecology 40: 99.

16. Aylward FO, Suen G, Biedermann PHW, Adams AS, Scott JJ, Malfatti SA, del Rio TG, Tringe SG, Poulsen M, Raffa KF, Klepzig KD & Currie CR (2014) Convergent bacterial Microbiotas in the fungal agricultural systems of insects. mBio 5(6): e02077-14.

17. Biedermann PHW, Klepzig KD, Taborsky M & Six DL (2013) Abundance and dynamics of filamentous fungi in the complex ambrosia gardens of the primitively eusocial beetle Xyleborinus saxesenii Ratzeburg (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae). FEMS Microbiology Ecology 83(3): 711-723.

18. De Fine Licht HH & Biedermann PHW (2012) Patterns of functional enzyme activity in Xyleborinus saxesenii fungus-growing ambrosia beetles. Frontiers in Zoology 9:13.

19. Grubbs K.J., Biedermann PHW, Suen G., Adams S.M., Moeller J.A., Klassen J.L., Goodwin L.A., Woyke T., Munk A.C., Bruce D., Detter C., Tapia R., Han C.S. & Currie C.R. (2011) Complete genome sequence of Streptomyces cf. griseus (XyelbKG-1 1), an ambrosia beetle-associated actinomycete. Journal of Bacteriology 193(11): 2890–2891.

Bird behaviour and ecology

20. Delhey K, Peters A, Biedermann PHW & Kempenaers B (2008) Optical properties of the uropygial gland secretion: no evidence for UV cosmetics in birds. Naturwissenschaften 95(10): 939-946.

21. Kärcher MH, Biedermann PHW, Hrassnigg N & Crailsheim K (2008) Predator-prey interaction between drones A. m. carnica and swallows Hirundo rustica or Delichon urbica. Apidology 39(3): 302-309.

22. Biedermann PHW & Kärcher MH (2008) Weather-dependent activity and flying height of Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) and House Martins (Delichon urbica) in southwestern Styria. Egretta 50: 76-81.
links to newspaper articles about this work: Neue Züricher Zeitung, Uniaktuell, derStandard

23. Biedermann PHW (2006) Hidden leks in the Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)? - Investigations from the Khan Khentey Reserve (Mongolia). Acrocephalus 27: 233-247.

Popular science articles

1. Biedermann PHW (2003) Die Kraniche der Welt. Zool. Newsletter 2; Landesmuseum Joanneum Graz.

2. Biedermann PHW (2013) Käfer als fleißige Gärtner. ÖAW Young Science 30/5/2013, ORF Vienna.

3. Biedermann PHW (2013) Kinderarbeit bei Gottes Käfern. Bild der Wissenschaften, Sonderbeilage.

4. Biedermann PHW (2014) Käfer als Pilzzüchter – Biologie und Beobachtungsanleitung von Ambrosiakäfern. Artenschutzreport 33: 43-45. Jena, Germany.

5. Van de Peppel L, Wisselink M, Aanen DK & Biedermann PHW (2016) Genetic diversity in fungal symbionts of ambrosia beetles in Europe. DGaaE Nachrichten 30, in press

6. Uhe C & Biedermann PHW (2016) Heimische Ambrosiakäfer: Sozialverhalten und Funktion im Ökosystem Wald. Artenschutzreport, in press. Jena, Germany.

7. Biedermann PHW (2016) Verborgen unter Blattwerk. Buchrezension zu „Bäume und ihre Bewohner“. Spektrum der Wissenschaften 9/2016, 86.

8. Van de Peppel L, Wisselink M, Aanen DK & Biedermann PHW (2017) Genetic diversity in fungal symbionts of ambrosia beetles in Europe. DGaaE Nachrichten