Plant Ecology & Botanical Garden
The research of the Plant Ecology team focuses on the ecology and evolution of floral signals and plant-pollinator interactions. Most flowering plants depend on pollinators for sexual reproduction and pollination by animals is a main process in terrestrial ecosystems. As many crop plants, such as apples and cherries, are among the plants pollinated by animals, biotic pollination also has an enormous economic value.
Main interests are:
i) the identification of floral signals used by insects to find rewarding wild and crop plants,
ii) to understand mimicry systems of deceptive plants that signal a reward to the pollinators but do not provide it,
iii) to investigate the effects of polyploidisation (whole-genome duplication) on the evolution of floral signals and plant-pollinator interactions, and
iv) to elucidate the importance of floral signals in the evolution of angiosperms