Thomas Schmitt is a Professor of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology at the University of Würzburg. He and his group are interested in the evolution and ecology of chemical profiles in insects. In particular, they focus on the evolution of cuticular hydrocarbon profiles and the diverse functions of cuticular hydrocarbons as desiccation barrier and as cues and signals for intra- and interspecific communication. The group investigates evolutionary trajectories and mechanisms which shapes these profiles and uses them as a model for complex traits to understand how these traits evolves in general. Current projects investigate: (1) the evolution of CHC profiles in the context of chemical mimicry and parasite-host interactions; (2) the impact of climatic conditions and microbiomes on the composition of CHCs; and (3) the effect of phylogeny and spatial isolation on cuticular profiles. Hymenoptera are the main study subjects, but the group also started to study mosquitoes, flies and beetles in various climate zones around the world with a focus on the tropics.