Welcome to the Dellinger lab!

Research in my lab is centred on exploring how plant-pollinator interactions are modulated across different (abiotic) environmental contexts, and how these abiotic and biotic contexts contribute to plant diversification at macro- and microevolutionary scales. Within this framework, we are particularly interested in understanding how and when flowers diversify under continuous or divergent pollinator selection regimes, and what conditions promote overlap or shifts in pollination niche space. The pan-tropical plant family Melastomataceae, with more than 5,800 species and highly diverse pollination strategies (buzz-pollination by bees, shifts to hummingbird, bat, rodent, passerine pollination as well as generalist flowers), serves as model for our questions.

To address these questions, we work on a highly interdisciplinary level, combining observational and experimental field work with structural and functional morphology, biomechanics, geometric morphometrics, phylogenetic comparative methods, population genomics and niche modelling. Find out about our research and current projects in the lab here.

Research

Since 2012, Agnes has been working towards establishing the Neotropical plant tribe Merianieae (Melastomataceae) as 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.

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The Dellinger lab is opening its doors!

I am moving back to Austria to start my own lab on Plant-Animal-Interactions...

Busy fall: proposals, papers, analyses, meetings

After all the fieldwork in summer, fall was about crunching deeply into data...

A fun side project with high-school student Leah Maier

Local students from Boulder High School are supposed to do applied science...

Summer fieldwork 2022, part 2: pollination of co-flowering Rhexia!

At the beginning of July, I travelled from Colorado to Florida (what a move to...