How do plants attract pollinators, and ensure their pollen gets to the correct species?
Kelsey is a Group Leader at the John Innes Centre where her work explores the role of scents in flowering plants.
The vast majority of flowering plants rely on animal pollination to spread their pollen to other individuals of the same species. How do plants attract pollinators, and how do they make sure their pollen gets to the correct species? Flowers use many traits to influence animal pollinator visitation, including colour, shape, and scent.
By making sure that the “right” pollinators visit in the right way, plants can ensure that their pollen is successfully transferred.
The Byers Group studies the evolution and diversification of floral scent at a wide range of scales, from genus-wide evolutionary patterns (lots of species) to floral scent evolution of pairs of species with different pollination systems (e.g. hummingbird versus bumblebee).