Adrian Brückner

Since May 2015: PhD thesis at TU Darmstadt: “ The influence of resource on chemical defense and life-history patterns in oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida)”


10/2010 - 05/2015: Student of Biology and Chemistry (for secondary school teachers) at TU Darmstadt.

Major subjects: history and didactics of natural science, animal ecology


07/2014 – 11/2014: Stay at Karl-Franzens-University (University of Graz) in Graz, Austria with PD Dr. Günther Raspotnig (Biodiversity and Evolution, Institute for Zoology)


Reviewer for Chemoecology, Ecological Entomology, PeerJ and Systematic & Applied Acarology


Research interests     


I am interested in the chemical ecology of arthropods, especially in oribatid mites as model-systems for chemical ecology in soil. Overall, I am fascinated by the evolution, functions and biosynthesis of all kinds of chemical substances (e.g. defensive compounds, pheromones or nutrients), which could help to understand ecological networks and species specific relations. Furthermore, I love to discover and describe new species of mites.

Research domains: 

Chemical Ecology

Acarology and mite Taxonomy

Experimental Ecology





brueckner (at)

B1|01, Room 260

Adrian Brückner

Fachbereich Biologie

Technische Universität Darmstadt

Schnittspahnstr. 3

64287 Darmstadt



Phone +49 6151 16-75415

Research founded by 







Resource dependence of chemical defense and life history patterns in oribatid mites


(25)        Brückner A., Kaltenpoth M., Heethoff M. (submitted) De novo biosynthesis of simple aromatic compounds by an arthropod (Archegozetes longisetosus).


(24)        Brückner A., Schuster R., Wehner K., Heethoff M. (submitted) Nutritional quality modulates intraspecific trait variability.


(23)        Brückner A., Heethoff M., Norton R.A., Wehner K. (submitted) Body size structure of oribatid mite communities in different microhabitats. Int J Acarol


(22)        Brückner A., Hoenle P.O., von Beeren C. (submitted) Mandibular gland chemistry of Eciton army ants: a chemo-evolutionary perspective.


(21)        Heethoff M.*, Brückner A.*, Schmelzle S.*, Schubert M.*, Bräuer M., Meusinger R., Dötterl S., Norton R.A., Raspotnig G. (submitted) Life as a fortress – Structure, function, and adaptive values of morphological and chemical defense in the oribatid mite Euphthiracarus reticulatus (Actinotrichida).  *=joined first authors


(20)        Frank K., Brückner A., Blüthgen N., Schmitt T. (submitted) In search for cues: dung beetle attraction and the significance of volatile composition in dung.


(19)        Wehner K., Heethoff M., Brückner A. (2018) Seasonal fluctuation of oribatid mite communities in forest microhabitats. PeerJ (resubmitted)


(18)        Brückner A., Schuster R., Smit T., Heethoff M. (2018) Imprinted or innate food preferences in the model mite Archegozetes longisetosus (Actinotrichida, Oribatida, Trhypochthoniidae). Soil Org 90: 23-26

(17)        Wehner K., Heethoff M., Brückner A. (2018) Sex ratios of oribatid mites differ among microhabitats. Soil Org 90: 13-22


(16)        Brückner A., Schuster R., Wehner K., Heethoff M. (2018) Effects of nutritional quality on the reproductive biology of Archegozetes longisetosus (Actinotrichida, Oribatida, Trhypochthoniidae). Soil Org 90: 1-12


(15)        von Beeren C., Brückner A., Maruyama M., Burke G., Wieschollek J., Kronauer J.C. (2018). Chemical and behavioral integration of army ant-associated rove beetles - a comparison between specialists and generalists. Front Zool 15:8


(14)        Brückner A., Heethoff M. (2018). Nutritional effects on chemical defense alter predator-prey dynamics. Chemoecology 28: 1-9


(13)        Brückner, A., Schuster, R., Smit, T., Pollierer, M.M., Schäffler, I., Heethoff, M. (2018) Track the snack - olfactory cues shape foraging behaviour of decomposing soil mites (Oribatida). Pedobiologia 66: 74-80



(12)        Brückner A., Klompen H., Bruce A.I., Hashim R., von Beeren C. (2017)  Infection of army ant pupae by two new parasitoid mites (Mesostigmata: Uropodina). PeerJ 5:e3870


(11)        Kühsel S., Brückner A., Schmelzle S., Heethoff M., Blüthgen N. (2017) Surface area – volume ratios in insects. Insect Sci 24: 829-841


(10)        Frank K.*, Brückner A.*, Hilpert A., Heethoff M., Blüthgen N. (2017) Nutrient quality of vertebrate dung as a diet for dung beetles. Sci Rep 7:12141 *=joined first authors


(9)           Brückner A., Hilpert A., Heethoff M. (2017) Biomarker function and nutritional stoichiometry of neutral lipid fatty acids and amino acids in oribatid mites. Soil Biol Biochem 115:35-43


(8)           Rosumek F.B.*, Brückner A.*, Blüthgen N., Menzel F., Heethoff M. (2017) Patterns and dynamics of neutral lipid fatty acids in ants - implications for ecological studies. Front Zool 14:36 *=joined first authors


(7)           Brückner A., Heethoff M. (2017) The ontogeny of oil gland chemistry in the oribatid mite Archegozetes longisetosus Aoki (Oribatida, Trhypochthoniidae). Int J Acarol 43(5): 337-342


(6)           Brückner, A., Heethoff, M., Blüthgen, N. (2017) The relationship between epicuticular long-chained hydrocarbons and surface area - volume ratios in insects (Diptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera). Plos One 12: e0175001


(5)           Brückner, A.*, Raspotnig, G.*, Wehner, K., Meusinger, R., Norton, R.A., Heethoff, M. (2017) Storage and release of hydrogen cyanide in a chelicerate (Oribatula tibialis). PNAS 114(13): 3469-3472 *=joined first authors


(4)           Brückner A., Heethoff M. (2017) A chemo-ecologists’ practical guide to compositional data analysis. Chemoecology 27: 33-46



(3)           Brückner A., Wehner K., Neis M., Heethoff M. (2016) Attack and defense in a gamasid-oribatid mite predator-prey experiment – sclerotization outperforms chemical repellency. Acarologia 56: 451-461


(2)           Brückner A., Heethoff M. (2016) Scent of a mite – Origin and chemical characterization of the lemonlike flavor of mite-ripened cheeses. Exp Appl Acarol 69: 249-261



(1)           Brückner A., Stabentheiner E., Leis H.-J., Raspotnig G. (2015) Chemical basis of unwettability in Liacaridae (Acari, Oribatida): specific variations of a cuticular acid/ester-based system. Exp Appl Acarol 66(3): 313-335





Brückner A. (2015) Wasserverlust bei blütenbesuchenden Insekten. State examination thesis (equ. to M.Ed.), Technische Universität Darmstadt.