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Agnes Dellinger elected member of the Young Academy of the ÖAW


Agnes Dellinger from the Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research has recently been accepted as a member of the Young Academy of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. We congratulate!

She is a tenure track professor for Plant-Animal-Interactions, with her research focusing on how biotic interactions, such as plant-pollinator interactions, change across variable environmental contexts (i.e. altitudinal gradients) and influence plant macro- and microevolution.

Within this framework, Dellinger is particularly interested in understanding how and when flowers diversify under continuous or divergent pollinator selection regimes, and what conditions promote overlap or shifts in pollination niche space. The pantropical plant family Melastomataceae, with more than 5,800 species and highly diverse pollination strategies (buzz pollination by bees, shifts to pollination by hummingbirds, bats, rodents, passerines, and generalist flowers), serves as a model for these questions.

Her research is interdisciplinary, combining observational and experimental fieldwork with structural and functional morphology, biomechanics, geometric morphometrics, phylogenetic comparative methods, population genomics and niche modelling.

Agnes Dellinger explains: "I feel honored and humbled to have been elected into the Young Academy. As a botanist and in light of the ongoing biodiversity crisis, my priority in my activities in the academy will be to draw awareness to the importance of preserving biodiversity."

She is currently the project leader for two projects, the FWF Project "Flower biomechanics and the buzz-pollination niche" and the Firnberg-Program Project "Modelling abiotic and biotic drivers of a plant radiation". Later this year, Dellinger will launch her recently funded ERC Starting grant project “MountBuzz: relating context-dependent bee-flower interactions to macroevolution” with fieldwork on Melastomataceae pollination networks in South America, Africa and Asia.

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