Insect and Chemical Ecology

Insects are the most species rich group of organisms on earth and have colonised nearly all habitats of our globe. Insects fulfil numerous ecosystem services and are indispensable for healthy ecosystems and thus sustainable development of human societies.

However, insect diversity and abundance are in sharp decline. To gain a better understanding of the reasons why insects thrive or decline, our research group studies the ecology and evolution of insect life cycles in response to environmental change. In particular, we are interested in how microorganisms - bacteria and fungi - help insects colonise inhospitable and rapidly changing environments and develop them as habitats and breeding sites.

In addition, we are involved in the design and maintenance of a campus-wide biodiversity living lab, which provides multiple opportunities for inquiry-based learning and research in the context of biodiversity-inclusive cities and habitat management.


Prof. Dr. Marko Rohlfs

phone: +49 421218- 62936
email: rohlfs1protect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Research interests

Adult Fly Drosophila

Microbes as drivers of insect ecology

Drosophila fruit flies are genetically and experimentally easily accessible models to study the role of bacteria and fungi in insect behaviour, population growth, and species coexistence.

Fly larva Drosophila

Promoting the good microbes and keeping the bad ones in check

Fruit fly larvae must control their microbial environment by promoting bacteria and fungi that produce vital nutrients and suppressing those that form harmful secondary metabolites.


Urban rewilding in support of insects

To counteract the decline of insects, urban habitats need to be managed in a biodiversity-inclusive way that supports the full completion of insect life cycles.