Molecular biologist Dr Ainhoa Martinez-Medina is one of eleven young researchers, which are funded from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena in order to apply for third-party funds. For this purpose, she will be supported until the end of 2017 with 20,000 euros for equipment and personnel to expand her work on the biochemical interactions between plants and insects. She works in the iDiv core group "Molecular interaction Ecology" of Professor Nicole van Dam and is studying the molecular and phytochemical key elements that underlie the effects of root symbionts on plant multitrophic interactions. This includes, for example, the communication of plants with insects: With the help of volatile organic compounds (VOC) plants can attract natural enemies to combat herbivores like caterpillars. The molecular mechanisms behind these complex processes are still not well understood. The iDiv researcher wants to gain new insights with experiments on tomato plants, herbivores and parasitic wasps in the coming months. "The support of the FSU Jena closes a gap in the CV of young researchers and may be an important step in their careerallowing me to apply for larger projects in the near future" said Ainhoa Martinez-Medina who was very pleased with the grant. Through the "Programm zur Förderung der Drittmittelfähigkeit“ (Programme for the promotion of the third-party funding ability) the Jena University supports young researchers with a total of around 112,000 euros.