Evolutionary ecology of above-below-ground plant-animal interaction

Mechanistic Community Ecology, Soil Ecology

Which biotic and abiotic factors drive variation in species interactions remains a central question in ecology. In our lab we take advantage of natural variation in species interaction generated by ecological gradients, and we use different approaches, including field common gardens, behavioral assays, chemical and phylogenetic analyses to address this question. By studying multitrophic interactions in natural settings we aim at harnessing the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms of community assembly, and ultimately, we hope to use this fundamental knowledge for targeted application related to crop production and biological control of insect pests.

Recent Publications

  • Detecting preservation and reintroduction sites for endangered plant species using a two-step modeling and field approach
    Rusconi, Olivia; Broennimann, Olivier; Storrer, Yannick; Le Bayon, Renee-Claire; Guisan, Antoine; et al.
    Conservation Science And Practice 10.1111/csp2.12800  OCT 2022
  • Test of communication between potato plants in response to herbivory by the Colorado potato beetle
    Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Vazquez-Gonzalez, Carla; Rasmann, Sergio; Moreira, Xoaquin
    Agricultural And Forest Entomology 10.1111/afe.12484 JAN 2022
  • Functional Traits 2.0: The power of the metabolome for ecology
    Walker, Tom W. N.; Alexander, Jake M.; Allard, Pierre-Marie; Baines, Oliver; Baldy, Virginie; et al.
    Journal Of Ecology 10.1111/1365-2745.13826 JAN 2022
  • Dose-dependent effects of CeO2 nanomaterials on tomato plant chemistry and insect herbivore resistance
    Xiao, Zhenggao; Fan, Ningke; Yue, Le; Chen, Feiran; Ji, Haihua; et al.
    Environmental Science-nano 10.1039/d1en00837d  DEC 9 2021
  • The functional role and diversity of soil nematodes are stronger at high elevation in the lesser Himalayan Mountain ranges
    Kouser, Yasmeen; Shah, Ali Asghar; Rasmann, Sergio
    Ecology And Evolution 10.1002/ece3.8061  OCT 2021
  • Reconciling trait based perspectives along a trait-integration continuum
    Fontana, Simone; Rasmann, Sergio; de Bello, Francesco; Pomati, Francesco; Moretti, Marco
    Ecology 10.1002/ecy.3472 OCT 2021
  • Spatial and temporal heterogeneity in pollinator communities maintains within-species floral odour variation
    Szenteczki, Mark A.; Godschalx, Adrienne L.; Galman, Andrea; Espindola, Anahi; Gibernau, Marc; et al.
    Oikos 10.1111/oik.08445  SEP 2021
  • Nanosilicon enhances maize resistance against oriental armyworm (Mythimna separata) by activating the biosynthesis of chemical defenses
    Wang, Zhenyu; Zhu, Wenqing; Chen, Feiran; Yue, Le; Ding, Ying; et al.
    Science Of The Total Environment 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146378  JUL 15 2021
  • Eight key rules for successful data-dependent acquisition in mass spectrometry-based metabolomics
    Defossez, Emmanuel; Bourquin, Julien; Reuss, Stephan; Rasmann, Sergio; Glauser, Gaetan
    Mass Spectrometry Reviews 10.1002/mas.21715  JUN 2021
  • Downregulation of the photosynthetic machinery and carbon storage signaling pathways mediate La2O3 nanoparticle toxicity on radish taproot formation
    Xiao, Zhenggao; Yue, Le; Wang, Chuanxi; Chen, Feiran; Ding, Ying; et al.
    Journal Of Hazardous Materials  10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124971 Published: JUN 5 2021
  • Combining phytochemicals and multitrophic interactions to control forest insect pests
    Fernandez-Conradi, Pilar; Castagneyrol, Bastien; Jactel, Herve; Rasmann, Sergio
    Current Opinion In Insect Science 10.1016/j.cois.2021.04.007  APR 2021
  • The effect of community-wide phytochemical diversity on herbivory reverses from low to high elevation
    Fernandez-Conradi, Pilar; Defossez, Emmanuel; Delavallade, Adrien; Descombes, Patrice; Pitteloud, Camille; et al.
    Journal Of Ecology, 10.1111/1365-2745.13649, MAR 2021
  • Spatial and evolutionary predictability of phytochemical diversity
    Defossez, E; Pitteloud, C; Descombes, P; Glauser, G; Allard, PM; Walker, TWN; Fernandez-Conradi, P; Wolfender, JL; Pellissier, L; Rasmann, S
    Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America  10.1073/pnas.2013344118 JAN 19 2021
  • The structure of plant-herbivore interaction networks varies along elevational gradients in the European Alps
    Pitteloud, Camille; Walser, Jean-Claude; Descombes, Patrice; de Santana, Charles Novaes; Rasmann, Sergio; Pellissier, Loic
    Journal Of Biogeography  10.1111/jbi.14014 FEB 2021
Sergio Rasmann

Prof. Dr. Sergio Rasmann
University of Neuchâtel
Institute of Biology
2000 Neuchâtel

Tel: +41 (0)32 718 23 37

Research topics

  • Plant-animal interactions
  • Community ecology along ecological gradients
  • Above-belowground interactions
  • Plant-herbivore-microbe interaction
  • Evolutionary ecology of plant defense strategies



  • Chemical ecology
  • Metabolomics
  • Genomics
  • Entomology
  • Soil ecology