Prof. Dr. Anke Steppuhn


Institute of Biology

Molecular Ecology


Address Albrecht-Thaer-Weg 6
Room 103 (Altbau)
14195 Berlin
Telephone 030-8385 6586
Email a.steppuhn[at]


2007 Dr. rer. nat. in Biology, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany
2002 Diploma, Biology, Free University Berlin, Germany

Academic appointments / positions held

2016 to present Professor for Molecular Ecology at the Institute of Biology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
2009 – 2016 Juniorprofessor for Molecular Ecology at the Institute of Biology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
2002 – 2007 Scientific associate (Wiss. Mitarbeiter) at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology Jena, Germany

Academic activities

  • Member of the institutional boardof the Institute of Biology (since 2017)
  • Member of the steering committee of the Dahlem Centre of Plant Science (since 2009)
  • Project manager of the genetic engineering facility No. 592/05 (Security Level S1) at the FU Berlin (2010 – 2016)
  • Councillor International Society of Chemical Ecology (2009 - 2012)
  • Member of the concept team of the Young Research Forum Dahlem (JWD, 2013-2014) and before of the Junior Faculty Club (2009-2013).
  • Member of International Society of Chemical Ecology (since 2009)
  • Member of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (GfÖ)
  • Member of American Association for the Advancement of Science (since 2009)



Publications in peer-reviewed journal

  • Hedtmann, C., Guo, W., Reifschneider, E., Heiber, I., Hiltscher, H., van Buer, J., Barsch, A., Niehaus, K., Rowan, B., Lortzing, T., Steppuhn, A. and Baier, M. (2017) The Plant Immunity Regulating F-Box Protein CPR1 Supports Plastid Function in Absence of Pathogens. Frontiers in Plant Science doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.01650

  • Geuss D. Stelzer S., Lortzing T. & Steppuhn A. (2017) An ovicidal response of Solanum dulcamara to insect oviposition. Plant, Cell & Environment. doi: 10.1111/pce.13015

  • Schäfer M, Brütting C, Xu S, Ling Z, Steppuhn A, Baldwin IT & Schuman MC (2017) NaMYB8 regulates distinct, optimally distributed herbivore defense traits. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology. Accepted

  • Lortzing, T., Firtzlaff, V., Nguyen, D., Rieu, I., Stelzer, S., Schad, M., Kallarackal, J., Steppuhn A., (2017) Transcriptomic responses of Solanum dulcamara to natural and simulated herbivory. Molecular Ecology Resources. DOI: 10.1111/1755-0998.12687
  • Pappas M.L., Broekgaarden, C., Broufas, G.D., Kant, M.R., Messelink, G.J., Steppuhn A., Wäckers, F.L., van Dam, N.M. (2017) Induced plant defences in biological control: a double-edged sword. Pest Management Science. DOI: 10.1002/ps.4587
  • Kafle, D., Hänel, A., Lortzing, T. Steppuhn, A. and Wurst, S. (2017) Sequential above- and belowground herbivory modifies plant responses depending on herbivore identity. BMC Ecology. 17:5
  • Lortzing, T., Calf, O.W., Böhlke, M., Schwachtje, J., Kopka, J., Geuss D., Kosanke, S. van Dam, N.M. and Steppuhn, A. (2016) Plant-bleeding for defence: Extrafloral nectar secretion from wounds of Solanum dulcamaraNature Plants. 2(5): 16056
    *see also the relating spotlight article by Heil, M. (2016) Nightshade Wound Secretion: The World's Simplest Extrafloral Nectar?. Trends in Plant Science
  • Bandoly, M. and Steppuhn, A. (2016) Bioassays to investigate the effects of insect oviposition on a plant’s resistance to herbivores. BioProtocol. 6(11): e1823.
  • Lortzing, T. and Steppuhn, A. (2016) Jasmonate signalling in plants shapes plant-insect interaction ecology. Current Opinion in Insect Science. 14: 32–39.
  • Nguyen, D.D'Agostino, N.Tytgat, T.O.Sun, P.Lortzing, T.Visser, E.J.Cristescu, S.M., Steppuhn, A.Mariani, C.van Dam, N.M., and Rieu, I. (2016)Drought and flooding have distinct effects on herbivore-induced responses and resistance in Solanum dulcamara. Plant, Cell & Environment,39(7): 485–1499.
  • Bandoly, M., Grichnik, R. Hilker, M. and Steppuhn, A. (2016) Priming of anti-herbivore defence in Nicotiana attenuata by insect oviposition: Herbivore specific effects. Plant, Cell & Environment. 39(4): 848–859.
  • Bandoly, M. and Steppuhn*, A. (2016) A push-button: Spodoptera exigua oviposition on Nicotiana attenuata dose-independently primes the feeding-induced plant defence. Plant, Signaling & Behavior. 11(1): e1114198.
  • Hilker, M., Schwachtje, J., Baier, M., Balazadeh, S., Bäurle, I., Geiselhardt, S., Hincha, D.K., Kunze, R., Mueller-Roeber, B., Rillig, M.C., Rolff, J., Romeis, T., Schmülling, T., Steppuhn, A., van Dongen, J., Whitcomb, S., Wurst, S., Zuther, E. and Kopka, J. (early view). Priming and memory of stress responses in organisms lacking a nervous system. Biological Reviews. doi: 10.1111/brv.12215.
  • Bandoly, M., Hilker, M., and Steppuhn, A. (2015) Oviposition by Spodoptera exigua on Nicotiana attenuata primes induced plant defense against larval herbivory. The Plant Journal. 83: 661-672.
  • Pappas M.L., Steppuhn A., Geuss D., Topalidou N., Zografou A., Sabelis M.W., Broufas, G.D. (2015) Beyond predation: The zoophytophagous predator Macrolophus pygmaeus induces tomato resistance against spider mites. PLoS ONE 10(5): e0127251.
  • Kumar, P., Pandit, S.S., Steppuhn, A., and Baldwin, I.T. (2014) Natural history-driven, plant-mediated RNAi-based study reveals CYP6B46's role in a nicotine-mediated antipredator herbivore defense. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 111: 1245-1252.
  • Gaquerel E., Steppuhn A.  & Baldwin I.T. (2012) Nicotiana attenuata a-DIOXYGENASE1 through its production of 2-hydroxylinolenic acid is required for intact plant defense expression against attack from Manduca sexta larvae. New Phytologist, 196(2), 574-85.
  • Steppuhn A., Gaquerel E. & Baldwin I.T. (2010) The two alpha-dox genes of Nicotiana attenuata: overlapping but distinct functions in development and stress responses. BMC Plant Biology 10, 171
  • Steppuhn A., Schuman M.C. & Baldwin I.T. (2008) Silencing jasmonate signalling and jasmonate-mediated defences reveals different survival strategies between two Nicotiana attenuata accessions. Molecular Ecology, 17, 3717-3732.
  • Steppuhn A. & Baldwin I.T. (2007) Resistance management in a native plant: nicotine prevents herbivores from compensating for plant protease inhibitors. Ecology Letters, 10, 499-511.
  • Roda A., Halitschke R., Steppuhn A. & Baldwin I.T. (2004) Individual variability in herbivore-specific elicitors from the plant's perspective. Molecular Ecology, 13, 2421-2433.
  • Steppuhn A., Gase K., Krock B., Halitschke R. & Baldwin I.T. (2004) Nicotine's defensive function in nature. PloS Biology, 2, 1074-1080.
  • Steppuhn A. & Wäckers F.L. (2004) HPLC sugar analysis reveals the nutritional state and the feeding history of parasitoids. Functional Ecology, 18, 812-819.
  • Steidle J.L.M., Steppuhn A. & Ruther J. (2003) Specific foraging kairomones used by a generalist parasitoid. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 29, 131-143.
  • Wäckers F.L. & Steppuhn A. (2003) Characterizing nutritional state and food source use of parasitoids collected in fields with high and low nectar availability. IOBC WPRS Bulletin, 26, 203-208.
  • Steidle J.L.M., Steppuhn A. & Ruther J. (2002) The use of pheromones as foraging kairomones by the generalist parasitoid Lariophagus distinguendus Förster (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae).Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Allgemeine und Angewandte Entomologie, 13, 377-380
  • Steidle J.L.M., Steppuhn A. & Reinhard J. (2001) Volatile cues from different host complexes used for host location by the generalist parasitoid Lariophagus distinguendus (Hymenoptera : Pteromalidae). Basic and Applied Ecology, 2, 45-51.

Book / book chapter

  • Steppuhn A. & Baldwin I.T. (2008) Induced Defenses and the Cost-Benefit Paradigm. In: Induced Plant Resistance to Herbivory (ed A. Schaller), pp. 61-83. Springer, Berlin