Chemical Ecology Summer Course Offered at Penn State

Posted: February 17, 2010

An internationally renowned course on insect chemical ecology will be held this summer for the first time in the United States at Penn State’s Center for Chemical Ecology

The two-week graduate summer course, entitled ICE 10, will take place June 1-15 on the Penn State campus. The course will feature guest lectures and discussions with insect chemical ecology experts from around the world.

According to Tom Baker, professor of entomology at Penn State and course coordinator, ICE 10 is a continuation of the highly successful short course series that has been taught at the Swedish Agricultural University at Alnarp every other year. “As a guest lecturer at the short course in Sweden, I realized that offering a similar course in the U.S. would further develop the field of chemical ecology in our country and attract quality students to Penn State.” As a result of this collaboration, a memorandum of understanding has been established between Penn State, the Swedish Agricultural University, and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, with plans for the course to be rotated among these institutions each year.

Guest lecturers will be teaching the principles of chemical ecology, using examples from their own research as well as literature from other researchers. In the evenings, students will have small-group discussion sessions with the speakers. In addition, there will be a field trip to Penn State's Fruit Research Station and Extension Center in Biglerville, and hands-on laboratory experience with techniques in semiochemicals research.

According to Baker, course registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis and will be limited to 40 students.  Graduate students will have priority, but post-docs and others will be accepted as space allows. “The course will only be offered at Penn State every three years, alternating between Penn State, Germany and Sweden, so this is truly an extraordinary opportunity for our students to learn from and interact with the very best researchers in the field,” said Baker.

For more information on the course and to register, go to For more information on Penn State’s Center for Chemical Ecology, go to

Established in 1963, Penn State’s Department of Entomology has grown into a well-balanced department providing undergraduate education, graduate student training and extension outreach education focusing on both domestic and international issues. Twenty-two faculty and more than forty graduate students work on a variety of research topics providing insights into insect chemical ecology, behavior and molecular biology as well as integrated pest management. The department is part of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. For more information about solving insect problems, descriptions of research and education programs or admission to the graduate program, visit the Web site at or contact the department at (814) 865-1895.

 Editors Contact: Kristie Auman-Bauer
(814) 865-2839