CV page

Ayse Gül Ünlü


My research is driven by the urgent need for a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly pest management in agriculture. I am interested in the communication between predators and prey in an agricultural context, which can serve as basis for novel techniques to manipulate and control pest species. 


My research focuses on the identification of chemical cues of lady beetles, which have a repellent effect on aphids on different crops. An enhanced comprehension of this tritrophic communication network may contribute to the development of a sustainable aphid pest management.


I completed my PhD at the Philipps-Universität Marburg under the supervision of Dr. Roman Bucher, in September 2020.  Our research project focused on the role of predator-prey naiveté in the invasion success of lady beetles on two continents (Europe and North America). In particular, we were interested in differences in interactions between native and non-native lady beetles and pea aphids, studying antipredator behaviors of aphids and predation by lady beetles. In addition to predator-prey interactions, we investigated intraguild interactions between ants and native and non-native lady beetles.  Here, we were interested in the role of species-specific chemical cues on lady beetles' elytra and their contribution to the aggression behavior of ants.

Selected publications

Ninkovic, V., Glinwood, R., Ünlü, A. G., Ganji, S., & Unelius, C. R. (2021) Effects of Methyl Salicylate on Host Plant Acceptance and Feeding by the Aphid Rhopalosiphum padi. Frontiers in Plant Science, 12, 710268-710268 

Bucher, R., Japke, L. M., Ünlü, A. G., & Menzel, F. (2021) Interactions of ants with native and invasive lady beetles and the role of chemical cues in intraguild interference. Chemoecology, 31, 323-334

Bertleff, D., Diekmann, J., Brand, S., Uenlue, A. G., & Bucher, R. (2021) Predation and avoidance behaviour in aphid‐ladybird interactions of native and invasive ladybirds in Europe. Ecological Entomology, 46, 41-47

Ünlü, A. G., Terlau, J. F., & Bucher, R. (2020) Predation and avoidance behavior of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum confronted with native and invasive lady beetles in Europe. Biological Invasions, 22, 1647-1656

Ünlü, A. G., Obrycki, J. J., & Bucher, R. (2020) Comparison of native and non‐native predator consumption rates and prey avoidance behavior in North America and Europe. Ecology and Evolution, 10, 13334-13344