My team


Lotte Caarls (PhD) from The Netherlands did her MSc at the University of Amsterdam and her PhD thesis on 'Hormonal signalling in plant immunity' at Utrecht University in the Plant-Microbe Interactions group, supervised by Corne Pieterse and Saskia van Wees. After defending her thesis in May 2016, she continued a postdoc on identification of Arabidopsis resistance genes against Phytophthora pathogens in the same lab. With her expertise on phytopathology/ plant physiology she is of great value for our VIDI team which she joined in January 2017 with a maternity leave in between.

Setareh Mohammadin (PhD) from The Netherlands/Iran did her MSc at the University of Amsterdam and her PhD thesis on 'From species to trait evolution in Aethionema (Brassicaceae)' at Biosystematics, supervised by Eric Schranz. After defending her thesis highly pregnant in April 2017, she went on maternity leave. With her expertise on (phylo)genomics and bioinformatics she is of great value for our VIDI team which she joins from October 2017 to May 2018. Welcome back to Biosystematics, Setareh!

PhD students

Eddie Griese (MSc) from Germany first did his MSc thesis with me at the Laboratory of Entomology (WUR) on 'Testing the evolutionary enlistment hypothesis in nature: Effect of oviposition-induced plant volatiles on plant fitness' (2012). He started his PhD in 2013 on 'Consequences of variation in butterfly egg-killing plant defences on insect communities and plant fitness in the black mustard', at Wageningen University and FU Berlin (Promotors Marcel Dicke and Monika Hilker), conducting experiments mainly under natural conditions. He was partly financed by a stipend from the DAAD and the CRC 973. For his final year 2018, he will be paid by my Aspasia money to hopefully wrap up his thesis and defend it in 2019!

Luis Paniagua (MSc) from Mexico first did his MSc thesis with me and Enric Frago at the Laboratory of Entomology on elicitors of black mustard responses induced by cabbage white eggs and the role of the egg microbiome therein. After doing his internship at Monika Hilker's lab at the FU Berlin he was offered a PhD position within the CRC 973 project beginning of 2015 to work on 'Bacterial symbionts in cabbage white butterflies, their origin, transmission and impact on host performance and herbivore-induced plant responses (including priming)'.

Sophie Chattington (MSc) from Scotland started her PhD beginning of 2016 on 'Monitoring pre- and post release diversity in local Trichogramma egg parasitoid populations' within the BINGO project. She is conducting field work in different locations in Germany. She is located at the group of Andra Thiel and Thomas Hofmeister, Uni Bremen. For more information please check BINGO-ITN.

Georgios Valsamakis (MSc) from Greece did his MSc at the Laboratory of Entomology in Wageningen and his internship at Monika Hilker's lab at the FU Berlin. He was offered a PhD position within the CRC 973 project in September 2016 to work on 'Molecular ecology of cabbage white butterfly egg-mediated effects on brassicaceous host plant anti-herbivore defences'.

Niccolo Bassetti (MSc) from Italy did his MSc at the Laboratory of Plant Breeding (WUR) and his internship at Keygene. He started his PhD within the VIDI project in November 2016 "On the genetic basis of cabbage white butterfly egg-killing hypersensitive response in the cabbage crop Brassica rapa' ((Co-)Promoters: Eric Schranz, Bas Zwaan and Guusje Bonnema).

Xiuji (Cindy) Wang (MSc) from China is conducting her PhD on digestive adaptation mechanism of Lepidoptera larvae to host plants at Beijing Forestry University. She received a stipend of the China Scholarship Council to conduct a visiting PhD scholarship with us. She started in October 2017 and stays here for year to learn new techniques and work on different projects within the VIDI project. Welcome to the Netherlands, Cindy!

Giannoula (Anni) Bogka (MSc) from Greece is conducting her PhD on effects of climate and diversification on population structures and host selection behaviour of natural enemies of the olive fruit fly Bactrocera oleae supervised by Bart Pannebakker, Emmanouil Kabourakis, Bas Zwaan and me. This project is part of the large EU projet Life Igit which aims to develop Green Infrastructure (GI) and supporting Sustainable Farming Methods in pilot olive orchards in Greece. She will conduct her field work in the South of Crete. Anni did her MSc thesis with Dani Lucas Barbosa at the Laboratory of Entomology in Wageningen. Welcome to the 2nd floor of Radix building, Anni!

Research assistant

Gabriella Bukovinskine Kiss (MSc) from Hungary worked with me for a long time at the Laboratory of Entomology (WUR) and supported me during my PhD thesis on doing behavioral test with Trichogramma egg parasitoids. Since four years she is a technician at the Laboratory of Genetics (WUR) and will join my team at least one day/ week at Biosystematics group. Her experience in experimental work with plants and insects is of great value for our  VIDI project .


MSc students

Jeroen van Veen (BSc) from The Netherlands joins the VIDI team mid January 2018. He is a Biology student with an interest on plant genetics. He will work during his MSc thesis on QTL mappings of the Pieris egg-induced HR trait in Brassica rapa. Niccolo will mainly supervise him for the coming months. Welcome to the team, Jeroen!


Former group members

Foteini Pashalidou (PhD) from Greece did her PhD with me and her two promoters Joop van Loon and Marcel Dicke at the Laboratory of Entomology (WUR). The title of her nice thesis on egg-mediated priming is: Getting prepared for future attack. She defended her PhD in September 2015 and has since April 2015 a postdoc position at the ETH Zurich with Consuelo de Moraes.