Dr Rocio Perez-Barrales
I did my degree in the University of Seville (Spain), where I stayed for my doctoral studies on the ecology and evolution of stylar polymorphisms in Narcissus (daffodils). After I finished my PhD, I obtained several fellowships to work in pollinator-mediated phenotypic selection on floral traits (continuous and discrete variation) in tropical and Mediterranean plants. My main research interest is studying the role of pollinators as drivers of floral adaptations at ecological and evolutionary scales.
The sessile nature of plants has promoted the amazing diversity in floral forms and reproductive strategies to increase gamete exchange with other individuals in natural populations. These strategies include discrete variation, such as sex polymorphisms (e.g. style dimorphism, heterostyly and related polymorphism), and continuous variation in reproductive traits (position of anthers and stigmas) and perianth traits. The research in my lab aims at understanding the origin and maintenance of this extraordinary floral diversity at ecological and evolutionary scale in relation to pollinators, and its consequences for female and male reproductive success. I address these questions we combine field and greenhouse experiments, with ecological modelling. Current projects include:
- Ecology and evolution of sex polymorphism in the genus Linum (Linaceae)
- Evolutionary ecology of competition and facilitation for pollinator service in Mediterranean Linum (Linaceae) communities
- Pollinator-mediated phenotypic selection, adaptive accuracy and maladaptation in Dalechampia scandens (Euphorbiaceae)