I am lucky to get to the field twice this summer! 😀 The first fieldtrip featured joint work with Fabián Michelangeli and Juan Angulo from The New York Botanical Garden and Robín Hilario from Lima in the frame of the Melastomataceae Peru 2022 expedition! We hit the montane forests of the Parque Nacional Yanachaga-Chemillén close to the town of Oxapampa. While Fabián and Robín focused on collecting as many melastome species as possible, Juan and I did pollination experiments in the surroundings of the field station. Juan worked on a really cool and largely unstudied group of Miconias, doing manual pollination experiments with their tiny flowers to figure out mating system evolution and pollinator guilds. Meanwhile, using video cameras and direct observations, I documented the pollinator assemblages and floral traits of the local flowering Melastomataceae species, including beautiful Blakea paludosa, Miconia muricata, Miconia nervosissima, and some Monochaetums, and local Solanum species. First impression: there is quite some partitioning of buzz pollination niches going on! In addition, I ran artificial vibration experiments, mimicking buzzing bees – we have a lot of work in the lab and herbarium ahead to process all the collected samples! Thank you to all my amazing colleagues on the trip and new friends I have made in Peru! I am looking forward to the next trip!
- Busy fall: proposals, papers, analyses, meetings
- A fun side project with high-school student Leah Maier
- Summer fieldwork 2022, part 2: pollination of co-flowering Rhexia!
- Fieldwork summer 2022 – part 1: pollinator communities and reproductive biology of Peruvian Melastomes!
- The role of geographical, phenological and ethological isolation in maintaining species boundaries in Rhexia