José did his licenciatura degree at the University of Costa Rica, working on the pollination biology of Meriania macrophylla. There, José confirmed yet another shift to passerine pollination in the Merianieae. He decided to continue research on the pollination biology of Melastomataceae and is now joining our lab in Vienna to work on floral evolution and pollination in the Neotropical tribe Blakeeae. We will start working on the excellent spirit collections of flower material available through my long-term collaborators Darin S. Penneys and Frank Almeda, and gradually work our way through a large number of floral functional traits to understand how Blakeeae flowers adapted to different buzz-bee-pollinators and how they changed during shifts to vertebrate pollination in Neotropical cloud forests. Stay tuned for results, José will be doing a lot of fieldwork in his home country!

Euglossine bee buzzing flower of Blakea litoralis at the Tropical Field Station La Gamba (Costa Rica) (c) Constantin Kopper.