Dr Kelsey Byers, Research Associate Butterfly Genetics Group: Department of Zoology
In 1879 Charles Darwin wrote that the rapid diversification of flowering plants was an “abominable mystery” and, citing Gaston de Saporta, suggested that the relationship between flowering plants and insect pollinators was responsible for flowering plant diversity. Flowering plants attract insect pollinators with a wide variety of signals which advertise the availability of floral rewards such as nectar and pollen.
As human beings, we are biased towards study of visual signals such as floral colour, yet an invisible signal – that of floral scent – can also play an critical role in pollination. Using examples from two flowering plant groups, this talk will explore how the “invisible hand” of floral scent is involved in pollinator attraction and plant species diversity.
Science on Sundays is a programme of free, informal, monthly drop-in plant science talks, bringing the latest discoveries in plant science to our visitors in a 30 minute nutshell.
11am & repeated at 2pm in the Classroom at 1 Brookside.
Suitable for adults and children age 12+