USDA National Wildlife Research Center Symposia


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Development of effective repellents requires in depth investigation of the interaction of animals with their chemical environment. This multidisciplinary field, chemical ecology, has received much attention in the area of plant/invertebrate herbivore interactions. At the Denver Wildlife Research Center (DWRC), we have benefited by the close collaboration of chemists and biologists when studying the interactions of vertebrates with natural products. Typically, this combines chemical assays that provide information on the characteristics of chemical cues with bioassays that generate information on the mechanisms that drive animal behavior. The chemistry role in this research can be either supportive or interactive. Two recent studies illustrate the integral role of chemistry in the study of plant/animal interactions.