Agnes Dellinger, PhD

I am a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research at the University of Vienna, Austria. I am interested in understanding the relative importance of abiotic and biotic processes in driving plant diversification at macro- and microevolutionary scales, and how flowers diversify and evolve under continuous or divergent pollinator-mediated selection.

In my research, I combine observational and experimental field work with the structural and functional investigation of flower morphology. I use time-calibrated molecular phylogenies to trace trait evolution across time, and analyse these data in conjunction with environmental niche data.

Research

Since 2012, I have been working towards establishing the Neotropical plant tribe Merianieae (Melastomataceae) as my model system for addressing questions related to macro- and microevolutionary processes of plant diversification. The ca. 300 species of Merianieae harbour an exceptional diversity of different pollination strategies (i.e. buzz-pollination by bees, pollination by passerine birds and by mixed assemblages of vertebrates such as hummingbirds, bats, rodents) and are distributed from lowland rainforests to high-altitudes in the Andes. This offers an ideal set-up for exploring longstanding questions of lineage diversification in one of the Earth’s prime biodiversity hotspots.

Join us!! I'm recruiting postdocs and grad students (Fall 2022) to work on parallel trait evolution, pop gen, and speciation in penstemons with us at U of SC, thanks to new awards from NSF and from NIH MIRA!! Find out more here: http://wessingerlab.github.io Please RT!

Our new paper on POLLEN TRANSPORT and DISASSORTATIVE POLLINATION now out in @CurrentBiology. #pollination @SCAPE_Poll_Ecol Free PDF https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1dTYg_LsQSP54C

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New pollinator observations in Melastomataceae!

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