Chemical Ecologist

Biointeractions and Crop Protection


Jozsef's current field of research includes the study of chemically mediated ecological interactions between insects and plants, as well as the intraspecific signalling molecules they use for communication. He works on the behavioural and chemical ecology of a range of agricultural and forest pests: Agrilus biguttatus, a causal agent of Acute Oak Decline (AOD); Psylliodes chrysocephala, which has developed insecticide resistance; and Acanthoscelides obtectus, an important stored-product pest. He is also co-supervising PhD students on areas from bee and fruit fly ecology to soil fungi and chemical ecology. Jozsef is using a range of techniques, in collaboration with others, to decipher the identity and role of semiochemicals that govern ecological interactions among organisms. These include dynamic headspace collection (air entrainment), gas chromatography (GC), GC-coupled electroantennography (GC-EAG), GC-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), microchemical techniques, preparative GC, lab-based bioassays (for example, 4-arm and Y-tube olfactometry) and field behavioural experiments. His latest area of work is on the chemical ecology of the rhizosphere, a little known environment with huge crop protection potential. He is isolating and identifying underground signalling molecules that plants emit from their roots for defence, as well as studying chemically guided interactions between plant roots and underground herbivores.




    +44 (0) 1582 938 867


      Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ


        PhD project

        • Investigating the role of scent and charge in plant-pollinator interactions
        • Characterisation of chemical signalling of three strains of the beneficial soil fungus 'Trichoderma hamatum'
        • Host selection by the olfactory system in the agricultural pest Drosophila suzukii
        • Mechanisms and function of electroreception in bees
        • Fruit Host Selection by the Olfactory System in the Agricultural Pest Drosophila suzukii


        • 2005 - MSc in Biology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
        • 2010 - PhD in Ecology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary


        • Present - member of the Hungarian Entomological Society, Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, Member of the Hungarian Plant Protection Society
        • 2015 - Invited Lecture: SLU Plant communication and trophic interactions PhD course, Ekenäs, Sweden
        • 2012 - Invited Lecture: Embrapa Rice and Beans, Goiania, Brazil
        • 2012 - Invited Lecture: Faculty of Natural Sciences, Keele University, UK
        • 2012 - Fellowship: Royal Society International Exchanges Scheme fellowship
        • 2010 - Fellowship: Hungarian Scientific Research Fund Early Career Fellowships
        • 2010 - Fellowship: Hungarian Scholarship Board Office Overseas Early Career Fellowships
        • 2010 - Award: Hungarian Academy of Sciences Academic Prize for Young Scientists
        • 2007 - Award: International Society of Chemical Ecology (ISCE) Travel Award for Young Scientists
        • 2007 - Award: Hungarian Academy of Sciences Plant Protection Institute Prize for Young Scientists