Former lab members

Dawn Little, postdoc (2003-2006)



Dawn worked on two projects: the CAGE database for genomic expression in Arabidopsis and the gene expression changes resulting from oviposition by Pieris butterflies on Arabidopsis.

Following position: specialist for regulatory affairs, Novartis, Nyon

Current position: regulatory affairs manager,  GSK consumer healthcare, Nyon


Natacha Bodenhausen, PhD student (2002-2007)


Natacha studied the signaling pathways involved in the plant response to insect herbivory. Using available Arabidopsis mutants lacking important defense signals, she studied gene expression changes with microarrays and tried to correlate transcript profiles with insect performance in order to assess the effect of plant defenses on insect growth.

Following positions:
– postdoc with Joy Bergelson, Chicago University
– postdoc with Julia Vorholt at ETHZ, department of Microbiology
– research scientist at Agroscope, Reckenholz, Zurich

Current position: scientist at FIBL, Frick, Switzerland


Floriane Consales, master student (2007)


Floriane was interested in plant-insects co-evolution. She showed that insects are able to weaken plants defenses in the case of an attack. Indeed application of oral secretions to wounded leaves suppressed the induction of two defense-related genes.

Current position: technician at the Genomic Technologies Facility, CIG, UNIL


Wouter Kegge, master student (2008)


Wouter tested the role of G-proteins in defense against herbivores.
Following position: PhD at Utrecht University.


Frédéric Masclaux, postdoc (2006-2009)


Fred worked on the detection of neighbors and on competition in Arabidopsis plants, as part of an interdisciplinary research project with Laurent Keller (funded by the Research Committee of the FBM). He found that competitive ability and not kinship is the main factor controlling growth in plant-plant interactions.

Following positions:
– postdoc, IST, University of Lausanne
– postdoc at the DEE, University of Lausanne, with Ian Sanders


Friederike Bruessow, PhD student (2007-2011)


Friederike discovered that egg deposition on Arabidopsis leaves inhibits defenses against caterpillars through antagonism between SA and the JA pathways.

Current position: postdoc at MPI Köln with Jane Parker


Fabian Schweizer, PhD student (2007-2012)


Fabian studied the involvement of Arabidopsis transcription factors in defense against herbivory. He revealed a crucial role for MYC2, MYC3, and MYC4 as master regulators of defense gene expression in the JA pathway.

Following positions:
– postdoc in the group of Laurent Zimmerli (Taipei), innate immunity in plants.
– postdoc in the group of Alain Goossens (VIB, Ghent, BE), funded by FNS and EMBO fellowships. Regulation of secondary metabolism in Catharanthus roseus.


Merel Steenbergen, visiting student (2012-2013)


Merel was a master student from Utrecht University (group Saskia van Wees). She visited our group as part of an internship from September 2012 to April 2013. Merel studied how insect eggs negatively impact the jasmonate pathway.

Following position: PhD, Utrecht University


Camilo Ayra-Pardo, visiting scientist (2014)


Camilo visited the lab for 3 months (9-11.2014), funded by a grant from the FNS International Short Visits program. At the time of the visit, he was Senior researcher, head of environmental biotechnology laboratory in the Plant Department of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Havana, Cuba

Current position: Associate Professor, Henan Provincial Engineering Laboratory of Insect Bio-reactor, Nanyang University, China


Aurelia Emonet, master student (2014)


Aurélia was a master student from the MLS master program of the University of Lausanne. She worked in the lab on plant defense signalling in response to insect oviposition in Arabidopsis.

Current position: PhD student in the group of Niko Gledner, DBMV, Lausanne


Christelle Bonnet, PhD student FNS (2011-2016)

chistelle 2

Christelle did a whole-genome expression profiling of Arabidopsis and Brassica nigra plants that are challenged with different attackers. This project is part of an ESF-funded consortium (EUROVOL) that studies plant volatile emission in response to multiple biotic and abiotic stresses.

Current position: manager, Japan International Tobacco, Geneva

contact Christelle

André Schmiesing, PhD student FNS (2011-2016)


André worked on the characterization of egg-derived elicitors and on plant defense signalling in response to insect oviposition in Arabidopsis.

Current position: scientist in phytopathology at Strube Research, Söllingen, Germany

contact André

Steve Lassueur, lab technician (2008-2016)


Steve was trained as a technician in the DBMV from 2008 to 2011. He worked until 2016 on the ESF project, helping Christelle with microarray analyses of Brassica nigra samples and also studied SA- and JA-pathway crosstalk in response to oviposition in Arabidopsis.

Current position: lab technician at the Nestlé Institute of Health Science, EPFL, Lausanne

contact Steve

Olivier Hilfiker, PhD student (2012-2017)


Olivier graduated from Lausanne University. He carried-out his Master project in our group on the role of egg-derived elicitors in triggering defenses against microbial pathogens in Arabidopsis. For his PhD, he studied mechanisms of egg-induced protection against bacterial infections.

Current position: scientist at Philipp Morris International, Neuchâtel


Manon Rebeaud, apprentice (2016-2017)

Manon spent one year in our group as part of her apprenticeship of lab technician.

Current position: school of medical lab technician


Sarah Ranty, visiting student (spring 2017)

Sarah spent a few months in our lab to learn about molecular plant-insect interactions.

Current position: master student in Toulouse