My Research

Trying to summarize my research with a few key words, ecological networks, specialization and pollinator diversity might do. But this may miss the point that I am working with many more things than just pollinators.

My research interests are based on my fascination for nature and biodiversity. I am puzzled by how many different species (especially insects) can be found on our planet and how many stories can be told when you look at them closely. In my view, fundamental research that keeps in mind the current environmental challenges is the way we can move towards a better understanding of nature, which will prove useful for a sustainable future (but has also merits in its on right).

I try my best to integrate observation, experimentation and theory to achieve this, mostly asking questions about species communities, interspecific interactions and environmental change. One theme is to identify mechanistic predictors of dynamics and variation in biotic niches and interaction patterns on different scales. I search for ecological conclusions that give sense in light of both theory and natural history, and that are unlikely to be caused by sampling artifacts. Much of my work so far deals with plant-pollinator interactions in a community context, especially with bees and their effects on plants, but I am also studying other mutualistic (seed dispersal) and antagonistic (plant-herbivore, host-parasitoid, predation) interactions. Apart from bees and plants, I have worked about ants, dragonflies and damselflies, birds, neotropical bats, aphids, caterpillars and their parasitoids, and purely theoretical beasts.

Read on

networks morning vs. afternoon

Temporal dynamics in pollination networks within a day can be driven by rapid flower closure in response to pollination (Fründ et al. 2011)

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