Victoria outside their grandmother's house in Nyssa, OR, USA

Victoria Luizzi: Is it worth it to smell nice? Allocation cost of plants floral fragrance under nutrient stress

In this post Victoria Luizzi, PhD candidate at University of Arizona, presents their work ‘Phenotypic plasticity in floral scent in response to nutrient, but not water, availability in the perennial plant Arabis alpina (Brassicaceae)’, discuss the importance phenotypic plasticity for plants and revisit their experience at Sweden before starting their PhD. About the paper Animal-pollinated plants use a variety of strategies to attract pollinators to … Continue reading Victoria Luizzi: Is it worth it to smell nice? Allocation cost of plants floral fragrance under nutrient stress

George Perry conducting research.

George Perry: So, how far might extinct birds have moved seeds?

In this instalment of “Behind the Paper”, Professor George Perry (he/him/his) of the University of Auckland shares with us the background of the paper “Reconstructing ecological functions provided by extinct fauna using allometrically informed simulation models: an in silico framework for ‘movement paleoecology”. About the paper Imagine if you could attach a high-resolution biotelemetric tracker on a dinosaur or a moa or a giant ground … Continue reading George Perry: So, how far might extinct birds have moved seeds?

Anina with Erica fascicularis in the Kogelberg

Anina Coetzee: Diversity is about sharing colours

In this post Anina Coetzee, lecturer at Nelson Mandela university presents her latest work ‘’Facilitation and competition shape a geographical mosaic of flower colour polymorphisms’, discusses when it is important for plants to be similar and shares her passion for fynbos. Our study investigated the phenomenon of morphological diversity that is maintained in the absence of obvious divergent selective pressures. Specifically, in a group of … Continue reading Anina Coetzee: Diversity is about sharing colours

Rebecca at work in the glasshouse in Western Sydney

Rebecca Vandegeer: plant silicon defences against herbivores under drought

In this post Rebecca Vandegeer presents her study ‘Leaf silicification provides herbivore defence regardless of the extensive impacts of water stress’, discusses the importance of Silicon for plant growing and the joy of working with plants and insects  My name is Rebecca Vandegeer and I recently completed a postdoctoral research fellowship with the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University. There is growing … Continue reading Rebecca Vandegeer: plant silicon defences against herbivores under drought

Selfie of Dr Adam Frew

Meet the editors: Adam Frew

Adam is an ecologist interested in plant-microbe and plant-insect interactions. His research investigates plant defences against herbivores, the ecology of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and everything in-between. He usually employs experimental approaches in controlled environment (glasshouse/growth chamber) and field studies to tease apart the functional ecology of the interactions between mycorrhizal fungi, plants, and herbivores. He recently took up an ongoing position at the University of … Continue reading Meet the editors: Adam Frew

Nacho Villar in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

Nacho Villar: the challenges of experimentally resolving the functional roles of large tropical forest herbivores

Nacho Villar, a post-doc at the Netherlands Institute of ecology, remembers the good times he had at Brazil, the challenges of running an animal exclusion experiment in the Brazilian Atlantic forest and how persistence, hard work and a little of cachaza are the key for a successful research. Frugivory underpins the nitrogen cycle. That’s what our latest work published at Functional Ecology shows. A game-changer for tropical … Continue reading Nacho Villar: the challenges of experimentally resolving the functional roles of large tropical forest herbivores

Michel at the WisAsp common garden

Michael Eisenring: Within-crown heterogeneity can affect herbivore performance in tree canopies

Dr. Michael Eisenring presents his work at University of Wisconsin titled “Spatial, genetic and biotic factors shape within‐crown leaf trait variation and herbivore performance in a foundation tree species”. He discusses the importance of sub-individual trait variation and how overcoming his fear to heights was worth it. 

Continue reading “Michael Eisenring: Within-crown heterogeneity can affect herbivore performance in tree canopies”
Charlotte Poeydebat taking notes in the field (c) Soline MARTIN-BLANGY

Charlotte Poeydebat: Effects of tree diversity on forest resistance to insect herbivores

Charlotte Poeydebat, postdoc at University of Bordeaux, presents her work “Climate affects neighbour‐induced changes in leaf chemical defences and tree diversity–herbivory relationships”, discusses the importance of research networks to address general questions in ecology and share her passion for ecosystems research. 

Continue reading “Charlotte Poeydebat: Effects of tree diversity on forest resistance to insect herbivores”

“Both groups are picking the flowers when they’re feeding – they’re walking about and you can see them pick flower after flower after flower after flower.” Jurene Kemp talks to Ken Thompson in our new podcast!

Find our podcasts on apple, spotify and stitcher, or your favourite podcast app. “It seems that both groups are picking the flowers when they’re feeding – they’re walking about and you can see them pick flower after flower after flower after flower.” In this podcast, Jurene Kemp talks about her paper, Cryptic petal coloration decreases floral apparency and herbivory in nocturnally closing daisies – recently … Continue reading “Both groups are picking the flowers when they’re feeding – they’re walking about and you can see them pick flower after flower after flower after flower.” Jurene Kemp talks to Ken Thompson in our new podcast!