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Dorothea Tholl

Professor of Biological Sciences
409 Latham Hall (MC 0390)
220 Ag Quad Lane
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Major Fields of Interest

Biology, Functional Genomics, and Biochemistry of Chemical Communication

Current Research

The Tholl Lab studies the formation and biological functions of small molecules or "info"-chemicals in organism-environment interactions. Current research is focused on the 1) Genomics, metabolism, and functions of volatile "messengers" in plant roots and the rhizosphere; 2) Biochemical evolution, chemical ecology and genetic engineering of insect pheromones.

  • 2011-2018 Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
  • 2005-2011 Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
  • 2003-2005 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Mentor/Collaborator: Eran Pichersky; Joint appointment as junior group leader with Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany. Mentor: Jonathan Gershenzon
  • 1997-2002 Postdoctoral Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany. Mentor: Jonathan Gershenzon
  • 1997-1998 Visiting scientist, laboratory of Rodney Croteau, Institute of Biological Chemistry, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
  • 1996 Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Biology, Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany; summa cum laude, “Purification, cloning and heterologous expression of a homospermidine synthase from Rhodopseudomonas viridis
  • 1992 Diploma Major Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Minor Microbiology and Organic Chemistry, Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany, Diploma thesis “Characterization of transgenic tobacco cells containing the gene of a bacterial lysine decarboxylase”
  • 2017 Wernsman Seminar Speaker Award, NC State.
  • 2016 Recognized through the Virginia Tech National Distinction Program.
  • 2016 Department of Biological Sciences Outstanding Service Award.
  • 2016 Elected Co-Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Plant Volatiles.
  • 2015 Virginia Tech College of Science Diversity Award (to all members of the Biological Sciences diversity committee since its inception).
  • 2011 Virginia Tech Scholar of the Week.
  • 2007 Arthur C. Neish Young Investigator Award, Phytochemical Society of North America.
  • 2006 Full Membership of Sigma Xi (The Scientific Research Society; Virginia Tech University Chapter).
  • 2005 International Travel Supplemental Grant Award, Virginia Tech.