More than 200,000 animal species produce poison to defend themselves against predators or to kill their prey. These poisons are usually complex mixtures of different toxins that have been functionally optimized over the course of evolution. For this reason, animal poisons are also a valuabl ... more
Prof. Dr. Andreas Vilcinskas
Fraunhofer-Institut für Molekularbiologie und Angewandte Oekologie IME
Andreas Vilcinskas, born in 1964, studied biology at TU Kaiserslautern and at Freie Universität Berlin (FU Berlin). He received his doctorate from the Zoology Dept. at FU Berlin in 1994 and completed his qualification as a professor (“habilitation”) there in zoology in 1998. From 1999 to 2004 he held a visiting professorship in Evolutionary Biology and Specialized Zoology at the Department of Biochemistry and Biology at the University of Potsdam. In 2004, he accepted the post of Professor for Applied Entomology at Justus Liebig University Giessen, where he headed the LOEWE Special Focus Area in Insect Biotechnology, funded by the Hessian Excellence Program from 2011 to 2013. He has directed the LOEWE Center for Insect Biotechnology and Bioresources since 2014. From 2006 to 2013, he was the Executive Director of the Institute of Phytopathology and Applied Zoology at Justus Liebig University Giessen. From 2014 to 2015, he was the spokesperson for the Interdisciplinary Research Center there, and he has been the Executive Director of the newly-formed – and the world's first – HE institution for insect biotechnology since 2015. From 2009, he simultaneously headed the Fraunhofer Bioresources project group, which is planned to be expanded into an independent Fraunhofer Institute for Bioresources, occupying a newly constructed building in 2020.
I want to leave the world in a better state than I found it.
Andreas Vilcinskas is a distinguished global pioneer in the field of insect biotechnology and has published the first three books addressing this new research field. His research interests focus on molecular, development and evolutionary biology, as well as immunology and the chemical ecology of insects. With the establishment of the Animal Venomics platform he is expanding his research beyond insects to include poisonous animals. As a diver and underwater photographer he has been interested in marine toxic animals for decades