Chemistry plays a key role in mediating diverse ecological interactions among species, with important implications for agriculture, human health, and environmental sustainability. Our research program explores the ways in which chemical cues and signals mediate interactions among plants, insects, and microbes, with a  primary focus on volatile chemistry and olfaction.

Key areas of interest include: (i) chemical mediation of tri-trophic interactions among plants, insect herbivores, and the herbivore's natural enemies; (ii) pathogen effects on host plant chemistry and implications for host-vector interactions and disease transmission; (iii) the influence of plant-associated microbes on plant interactions; and (iv) factors influencing inter-individual variation in plant chemistry and the evolution of plant signaling phenotypes.


  • Aphids harbouring different endosymbionts exhibit differences in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles that can be recognized by ant mutualists
    Hertaeg, Corinne; Risse, Marion; Vorburger, Christoph; De Moraes, Consuelo M.; Mescher, Mark C.
    Scientific Reports 10.1038/s41598-021-98098-2  OCT 1 2021
  • Transcriptomic Profiling Reveals Shared Signalling Networks Between Flower Development and Herbivory-Induced Responses in Tomato
    Ke, Lanlan; Wang, Yangzi; Schaefer, Martin; Staedler, Thomas; Zeng, Rensen; et al.
    Frontiers In Plant Science 10.3389/fpls.2021.722810 SEP 21 2021
  • Application of Plant Defense Elicitors Fails to Enhance Herbivore Resistance or Mitigate Phytoplasma Infection in Cranberries
    Rodriguez-Saona, Cesar; Polashock, James J.; Kyryczenko-Roth, Vera; Holdcraft, Robert; Jimenez-Gonzalez, Giovanna; et al.
    Frontiers In Plant Science 10.3389/fpls.2021.700242 AUG 12 2021
  • A unique volatile signature distinguishes malaria infection from other conditions that cause similar symptoms
    Pulido, Hannier; Stanczyk, Nina M.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.; Mescher, Mark C.
    Scientific Reports10.1038/s41598-021-92962-x  JUL 6 2021
  • Effects of Root-Colonizing Fluorescent Pseudomonas Strains on Arabidopsis Resistance to a Pathogen and an Herbivore
    Loeser, Tobias B.; Mescher, Mark C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.; Maurhofer, Monika
    Applied And Environmental Microbiology 10.1128/AEM.02831-20  JUL 2021
  • A sensory bias overrides learned preferences of bumblebees for honest signals in Mimulus guttatus
    Haber, Ariela, I; Sims, James W.; Mescher, Mark C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.; Carr, David E.
    Proceedings Of The Royal Society B-biological Sciences 10.1098/rspb.2021.0161 Published: APR 14 2021
  • Giant polyploid epidermal cells and male pheromone production in the tephritid fruit fly Eurosta solidaginis (Diptera: Tephritidae)
    Yip, Eric C.; Miko, Istvan; Ulmer, Jonah M.; Cherim, Nancy A.; Townley, Mark A.; et al.
    Journal Of Insect Physiology  10.1016/j.jinsphys.2021.104210 Published: APR 2021
  • Network motifs involving both competition and facilitation predict biodiversity in alpine plant communities
    Losapio, Gianalberto; Schoeb, Christian; Staniczenko, Phillip P. A.; Carrara, Francesco; Palamara, Gian Marco; De Moraes, Consuelo M; Mescher, Mark C; Brooker, Rob W.; Butterfield, Bradley J; Callaway, Ragan M.; Cavieres, Lohengrin A; Kikvidze, Zaal; Lortie, Christopher J; Michalet, Richard; Pugnaire, Francisco; Bascompte, Jordi
    Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 10.1073/pnas.2005759118  FEB 2021
  • Inbreeding in Solanum carolinense alters floral attractants and rewards and adversely affects pollinator visitation
    Kariyat, Rupesh R.; Bentley, Thomas G.; Nihranz, Chad T.; Stephenson, Andrew G.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.; et al.
    American Journal Of Botany, 10.1002/ajb2.1594  JAN 2021
  • Sensory co-evolution: The sex attractant of a gall-making fly primes plant defences, but female flies recognize resulting changes in host-plant quality
    Yip, Eric C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.; Tooker, John F.; Mescher, Mark C.
    Journal Of Ecology, 10.1111/1365-2745.13447    JAN 2021
  • A plant parasite uses light cues to detect differences in host-plant proximity and architecture
    Smith, Jason D.; Johnson, Beth I.; Mescher, Mark C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.
    Plant Cell And Environment, 10.1111/pce.13967  APR 2021
  • Phytoplasma Infection of Cranberry Affects Development and Oviposition, but Not Host-Plant Selection, of the Insect Vector Limotettix vaccinii
    Pradit, Nakorn; Mescher, Mark C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.; Rodriguez-Saona, Cesar
    Journal Of Chemical Ecology  DOI: 10.1007/s10886-019-01137-6 AUG 2020
  • Plant volatiles induced by herbivore eggs prime defences and mediate shifts in the reproductive strategy of receiving plants
    Pashalidou, Foteini G.; Eyman, Lisa; Sims, James; Buckley, James; Fatouros, Nina E.; De Moraes, Consuelo M; Mescher, Mark C
    Ecology Letters 10.1111/ele.13509  JUL 2020
  • Bumble bees damage plant leaves and accelerate flower production when pollen is scarce
    Pashalidou F; Lambert H; Peybernes T; Mescher M; De Moraes CM
    SCIENCE 2020 10.1126/science.aay0496
  • Enhanced heat tolerance of viral-infected aphids leads to niche expansion and reduced interspecific competition
    Porras, Mitzy F.; Navas, Carlos A.; Marden, James H.; Mescher, Mark C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.; et al.
    Nature Communications 10.1038/s41467-020-14953-2  MAR 4 2020
  • Transgenerational impacts of herbivory and inbreeding on reproductive output in Solanum carolinense
    Nihranz, Chad T.; Walker, William S.; Brown, Steven J.; Mescher, Mark C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.; et al.
    American Journal Of Botany 107(2): 286-297 Special Issue: SI DOI: 10.1002/ajb2.1402 FEB 2020
  • Variation in growth and defence traits among plant populations at different elevations: Implications for adaptation to climate change
    Buckley, J; Widmer, A; Mescher, MC; De Moraes CM
    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, 107 (5):2478-2492; 10.1111/1365-2745.13171 SEP 2019
Consuelo De Moraes

Prof. Dr. Consuelo De Moraes
ETH Zurich
Institute of Agricultural Sciences
8092 Zurich

Tel: +41 (0)44 632 39 20

Research topics

  • Chemical Ecology
  • Plant-insect interactions
  • Plant-Pathogen interactions
  • Plant Signaling


  • Ecology
  • Chemical Communication
  • Chemistry
  • Entomology