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Feb 21 2023

E&E Seminar: “Antagonism, mutualism and diversification in tropical insect flower visitors” by Bruno de Medeiros (Field Museum)

February 21, 2023

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

a bug on a tropical orange flower, with program details


SELE 4289

Please join us on 1/17/23 at 12:30 for an E&E Seminar featuring "Antagonism, mutualism and diversification in tropical insect flower visitors" by Dr. Bruno de Medeiros (Field Museum)


Host: Ignacio Escalante Meza

Abstract: With more than a million species described and many more yet unknown, insects comprise the most diverse group of animals. A large share of this diversity closely interacts with plants, and traditional hypotheses to explain insect speciation and diversification have been based on the antagonism between both taxa. However, it is often unappreciated that these interactions range the entire spectrum between antagonism and mutualism, and this is especially salient in insect species visiting plant reproductive structures. Therefore, the details of how interactions generate diversity are often unclear and broad generalizations may miss important dynamics. By carefully studying the natural history of insect flower visitors, we can use comparative biology to understand how insect-plant interactions generate diversity. In this talk, I will use as primary examples palms and their diverse insect flower visitors, mostly beetles that complete their whole life cycles in their host plants. First, I will show how natural history observations based on literature surveys, collections, and fieldwork reveal new taxonomic, phenotypic and interaction diversity. I then combine this information with genomic datasets to understand the effects of these interactions on diversification at population and macroevolutionary scales. Overall, I find that antagonists do not show different patterns of diversification compared to other interaction types, opening up new avenues for research.


Emily Beaufort

Date posted

Nov 9, 2022

Date updated

Jan 17, 2023