The ecological and molecular basis of pollinator-driven speciation in Australian orchids

This project explores the critical role of pollinators in plant speciation and evolution.

Pollination is a unique step in the plant life cycle with many plants dependent on animals for this critical step. Although it has long been hypothesised that pollinators have played a key role in plant speciation, a great deal remains to be learnt about this topic. This project can be tailor made to suit the interests and expertise of potential Honours and PhD students. For example, under this topic, exciting opportunities exist for students with interests in the following areas: pollination ecology, chemical ecology, bioinformatics and phylogenetics, and molecular biology.  All projects provide the opportunity for students to participate in field work, use state-of-the-art Next Generation Sequencing technology, and work in our fully equipped chemical ecology and/or molecular laboratories. 

In addition to offering exciting new insights into plant ecology and evolution, this project will also provide vital information for orchid and pollinator conservation.