Hero image for the Center for Chemical Ecology - a monarch butterfly landing on milkweed | Photo: Jack Meyer

Center for Chemical Ecology

Examining the role of chemical interactions between living organisms and their environments

In 2005, Penn State researchers and facilities united as a center of excellence to promote collaborative research and graduate education in chemical and molecular ecology. Inspired by molecules we discover in microbes, fungi, plants, and animals, we strive to mimic nature's flavors, fragrances, medicines, and toxins, and learn how to put them to use for a healthier life and cleaner environment.

The goal of the Center is to not only study connections, but to develop them across our university. As an intrinsically interdisciplinary field, bridges between academic areas will only foster new discoveries, tools and solutions for our world. We plan to develop core ‘B.A.S.E.’ areas:

Behavior, Pheromones, and Sensory Biology

Agroecology and Plant Interactions

Sensors and Artificial Intelligence

Ecophysiology, Exposome, and Exposomics


Image credit: Jack Meyer

News

Jared Ali named director of the Penn State Center for Chemical Ecology

Jared Ali, Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair of Chemical Ecology and associate professor of entomology in the College of Agricultural Sciences, has been named director of the Penn State Center for Chemical Ecology (CCE).

Laser writing may enable ‘electronic nose’ for multi-gas sensor

Environmental sensors are a step closer to simultaneously sniffing out multiple gases that could indicate disease or pollution, thanks to a Penn State collaboration. Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics in the College of Engineering, and Lauren Zarzar, assistant professor of chemistry in Eberly College of Science, and their teams combined laser writing and responsive sensor technologies to fabricate the first highly customizable microscale gas sensing devices.

Jared Ali named Huck Chair of Chemical Ecology

Jared Ali, associate professor of entomology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, has been named the Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair of Chemical Ecology by the University’s Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.

Managing habitat for flowering plants may mitigate climate effects on bee health

Warm, wet weather conditions and changing climate negatively influence the nectar intake and nutritional health of honey bees, but maintaining large tracts of grassy natural habitat with flowering plants around apiaries may help to mitigate the detrimental effects of climate, according to a new study by an international team of researchers.