Desalegn Etalo is a multifaceted life scientist with a keen interest in systems biology, eager to understand the way living systems operate and interact with each other, a stepping-stone to unravel the processes behind co-evolution of organisms. With this understanding, he strives to develop biodiversity-centered resilient agricultural or ecological intervention strategies. In the past decade, he has broadened his knowledge and expertise working from gene to organisms on plant stress physiology, plant-microbe (pathogenic and beneficial) interactions, parasitic plant-host interactions and on microbial ecology. Understanding how microbes shape the evolutionary trajectory of higher organisms in all these domains is his passion. He considers chemicals a lingua franca in multipartite interactions and as such they are the basis of his studies. Currently, together with colleagues at the Laboratory of Phytopathology, he is developing the field of Translational Phytopathology.