Recognizing Plant Physiology first authors: Karen Kloth

Karen Kloth, first author of PECTIN ACETYLESTERASE9 Affects the Transcriptome and Metabolome and Delays Aphid Feeding

Current Position: Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Laboratory of Entomology, Wageningen University

Education: BSc and MSc in Biology, Phd in genetical genomics of plant-aphid interactions

Non-scientific Interests: Outdoor swimming, snorkeling, cross-country skiing, cycling, gardening

Brief bio: My early scientific career didn’t follow the conventional path, and in hindsight it feels reassuring that one can shape his or her own career. After obtaining my MSc, I worked in an educational department at the zoo and a governmental agency for several years (where I learned a lot and had great colleagues), before I decided to quit half of my job to do an internship in molecular phylogenetics. It was 2011 when I got the opportunity to do a full-time PhD in genetical genomics of plant-aphid interactions at Wageningen University. It was amazing to dedicate all my time to science. I had a split PhD position between three groups: the Lab. of Entomology, the Lab. of Plant Physiology and the more applied Bioscience team. This construction worked excellently. I got to know many people and was educated in the fundamental aspects of insect behavior and quantitative genetics and simultaneously worked on building a high-throughput phenotyping platform for the industry. After that, I was lucky to get a postdoc at the Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC) in northern Sweden where I could combine my love for plant physiology and Scandinavia. During two years, the UPSC was a stimulating and pleasant environment for me. In the group of Dr. Benedicte R. Albrectsen I finished my work on a fascinating phloem protein in 2017 (read more at and got introduced into the world of cell walls, microscopy and northern lights. The results you can read in this new manuscript. Currently, I am back at Wageningen University on a personal Veni grant and pursue phloem-based resistance mechanisms to aphids.