PhD defence

Exploring floral evolution in Pelargonium (Geraniaceae). Linking shapes and macro-evolution

PhD candidate Sara SJ (Sara) van de Kerke MSc
Promotor prof.dr. ME (Eric) Schranz
Co-promotor dr. FT (Freek) Bakker
Organisation Wageningen University, Biosystematics

Wed 20 November 2019 11:00 to 12:30

Venue Aula, gebouwnummer 362


For flowering plants, there are multiple drivers of shape change that effect the process of speciation. In the background, species are constrained by their phylogenetic history, i.e. evolutionary changes that were advantageous to their ancestors, might turn out to no longer be beneficial. At the same time, speciation brought about by pollinator pressure is highly dynamic and can happen quickly. In my research, I aimed to bring together multiple layers of influence on floral shape in Pelargonium (Geraniaceae) in order to paint a comprehensive picture of the evolution of floral diversity in this clade. By building upon the extensive knowledge on speciation processes in the South African Greater Cape Floristic Region, we find that speciation in this clade may not be as clear-cut as expected and place Pelargonium in a broader, evolutionary perspective.