During his graduate and postgraduate studies, Hermann M. Niemeyer was trained in Physical Organic Chemistry and Theoretical Organic Chemistry, in the US and Sweden, respectively. Upon returning to Chile in 1978 his interests shifted to Ecological Chemistry, a relatively new discipline of science dealing with chemicals involved in the interactions between organisms.
Hermann has followed a multidisciplinary approach to understanding biological interactions in which chemistry plays a key role. His main research line has dealt with the interaction of cereals and aphids aimed at understanding the behavioral, physiological, and molecular mechanisms, as well as evolutionary processes underlying the interaction. Hermann has also addressed intraspecific chemical communication using lizards, ants, and bees as study subjects. As outreach activities related to his fundamental research with plants and insects, Hermann has explored the native flora of Chile in search for botanicals with activity against insects, and in search of aromas which may be used in the cosmetic industry. During the course of his research, Hermann has supervised the degree work of 24 students within graduate programs in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Genetics, Ecology, and Zoology. Many of his former students are now members of the academic community of Chilean universities and have developed their own research groups. Hermann has also trained in his laboratory 30 students from Latin American countries. Most of them are back in their countries in teaching or research jobs, or are doing graduate studies abroad. Since 2011, Hermann has been involved in archaeometric studies related to prehispanic cultures of northern and central Chile.