Executive Committee of the DGaaE

About Prof. Dr Jürgen Gross

Prof. Dr Jürgen Gross lives with his wife, twins and dog in the wine town of Schriesheim an der Bergstrasse. He studied biology at the Freie Universität in Berlin (FUB) after completing his training as a biology laboratory assistant. His diploma thesis on the ecology and defence chemistry of the Lapland willow leaf beetle was awarded the Katharina-Heinroth-Prize of the Society of Friends of Nature Research Berlin in 1997. Following the FUB in 2001, he received his doctorate in the field of chemical ecology under Prof. Dr M. Hilker with the topic "On the Evolution of Host Plant Specialization in Leaf Beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelinae)".

After working as a post doc and group leader in Berlin, Dossenheim and Gießen, he has been head of the department "Applied Chemical Ecology" at the Julius Kühn Institute (JKI), Federal Research Institute for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Plant Protection in Fruit and Viticulture, since 2008. In autumn 2014 he habilitated at the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of Ulm and was awarded the Venia legendi for the field of zoology/ecology. Title of the habilitation thesis: Research on Chemically Mediated Communication between Cultivated Plants and Pest Organisms - Basis for innovative Applications in Phytomedicine". Following 6 years of teaching at the University of Ulm (Chemical Ecology and Evolutionary Ecology), he has taught Applied Chemical Ecology at the Technical University of Darmstadt since June 2017.

Prof. Gross works on entomological and chemical-ecological issues with the aim of developing selective biotechnological control methods for insect pests using scents (pheromones and allelochemicals). His current research focusses on investigating the diverse and complex networks of relationships mediated by these chemical messengers between plants, phytopathogens, their vectors (herbivorous insects) and antagonists (predators, parasitoids, entomopathogens). In this context, he focusses on phloem-sucking insects (aphids, leaf fleas and leafhoppers). His work also focuses on the investigation of ecological, physiological and population-biological aspects of various insect pests in fruit growing and viticulture, such as various species of moths (grape and codling moths). Studies on invasive insect species of importance to agriculture (Asian lady beetle Harmonia axyridis, spotted wing drosophila Drosophila suzukii, green shield bug Nezara viridula, marmorated stink bug Halyomorpha halys, reed glasswinged cicada Pentastiridius leporinus) are also an important part of his research. A secondary aspect of his research, which he conducts together with his wife Dr Eva Gross, is dedicated to the interaction of mammals and humans (wolves, elephants and rhinoceroses) with the aim of conflict avoidance.

In 2006, Prof. Gross was awarded a prize for special innovation in agricultural research by the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft and the DFG. He is a member of several national and international scientific societies and the author of numerous publications. From 2005 to 2008, Dr Gross succeeded Prof Dr W. Schwenke as Editor-in-Chief of the international journal "Journal of Pest Science" (formerly "Anzeiger für Schädlingskunde") and was Subject Editor on the Editorial Board until 2022. He is also Associate Editor of the scientific journals "Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution" and "Journal of Plant Diseases and Protection" and a member of the Scientific Committee for Chrysomelids at ZooKeys (Pen Soft, USA). Since 2012 he is the convenor of the international working group "Pheromones and other semiochemicals in integrated production" of the "International Organisation for Biological Control" (IOBC/WPRS). He was also President of the International Society of Pest Information (ISPI) from 2009 to 2012 and from 2016 to 2021. Dr Gross has been on the board of the DGaaE since 2005, including 4 years as one of the deputy presidents and as president since 2017.