PhD MSc Agnes Dellinger

Associate Researcher
m: agnes.dellinger@univie.ac.at

© Agnes Dellinger

Research interests


  • Pollination biology, buzz-pollination
  • Flower evolution and flower diversity
  • Pollinator shifts and diversification
  • Mountain ecology
  • Population dynamics and population genetics

Pollinator mediated selection has played a major role in shaping the flowering plant diversity we observe on Earth today. The results of pollinator mediated selection become particularly apparent when comparing two closely related species which differ in their pollinators, i.e. which have shifted pollinators (e.g. from bee to hummingbird). Such pollinator shifts lead to divergent floral phenotypes in adaptation to attract, reward and fit with the different pollinators. Drivers of pollinator shifts have rarely been investigated but changes in pollinator quantity (abundance) and quality (efficiency) may be most important.

In my research, I investigate the drivers and consequences of pollinator shifts in the neotropical plant tribe Merianieae (Melastomataceae). Merianieae include around 300 species, are distributed from Brazil to Nicaragua and most diverse in the tropical Andes (Northern Peru, Ecuador, Colombia). During my PhD, I could show that Merianieae are ancestrally buzz-pollinated by bees (ca. 75 % of extant taxa) and have shifted repeatedly to pollination by mixed assemblages of vertebrate pollinators (ca. 10 % of taxa; hummingbirds, bats, rodents, flowerpiercers; Dellinger et al. 2019, American Naturalist) or passerine birds (ca. 15 % of taxa; Dellinger et al. 2014, Current Biology). Merianieae show complex adaptations to these different pollinators in their flower morphology, and in particular in the androecium (Dellinger et al. 2019, New Phytologist).

To answer my research questions, I use multifaceted, interdisciplinary approaches and work both at the macro- and microevolutionary level. My work includes extensive field experiments and plant collecting in the Latin American Andes, phylogenetic comparative methods, morphological and morphometric studies (e.g. Scanning Electron Microscopy, High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography, 3D-flower models, geometric morphometrics) as well as population genomics and niche modelling (Dellinger et al. 2016, New Phytologist).

FWF-Project

Pollinator shifts and floral Evolution in the Merianieae (Melastomataceae)

Project T 1186 Firnberg-Programm

Modelling abiotic and biotic drivers of a plant radiation

 Teaching

Current Courses

 Curriculum Vitae

Current position

  • 2021/6– Associate Researcher

Education and scientific career

  • 2019/9–2021/6 Post-doc university assistant (FWF-Project "Pollinator Shifts and Floral Evolution in the Merianieae")
  • 2019 PhD Theses "Pollinator Shifts and Floral Evolution in Merianieae (Melastomataceae)"
  • 2017/10–2019/8 Prae-doc university assistant (FWF-Project "Pollinator Shifts and Floral Evolution in the Merianieae")
  • 2015–2017/09 Prae-doc university assistant, PhD-student
  • 2014 Research associate at the Department for Botany and Biodiversity research (CVL, head: Stefan Dullinger)
  • 2010–Master programme in Community and Landscape Ecology (University of Vienna, Austria); 2010/2011 Erasmus exchange, University of Lund, Sweden
  • 2007–2010 Bachelor programme in Ecology (University of Vienna, Austria)
  • 1999–2007 Secondary School, Klosterneuburg, Austria

Publications


Showing entries 21 - 36 out of 36

2017


Dellinger, A., Artuso, S., Fernandez-Fernandez, D., Penneys, D. S., Michelangeli, F. A., Alvear, M., Almeda, F., Städler, Y., & Schönenberger, J. (2017). Bees, birds, bats - and mice? Pollination syndromes and floral traits in Merianieae (Melastomataceae). In IBC 2017, Abstract Book I: Oral Presentations (pp. 59). [T1-18-06]


Dellinger, A., Artuso, S., Fernandez-Fernandez, D., Penneys, D. S., Michelangeli, F. A., Alvear, M., Almeda, F., Städler, Y., & Schönenberger, J. (2017). Functional differentiation and floral trait convergence in accordance with pollinator shifts in Merianieae (Melastomataceae). In IBC 2017, Abstract Book I: Oral Presentations (pp. 205). [T2-37-05]


Dellinger, A., Paun, O., Fernandez-Fernandez, D. M., Penneys, D. S., & Schönenberger, J. (2017). Impact of pollinator shifts on mating systems and population genetic diversity in a Neotropical plant group. In Population Biology in a Changing World. 30th Conference of the Plant Population Biology Section of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland - GfÖ: Abstracts (pp. 31)


2016


Dellinger, A., Essl, F., Hojsgaard, D., Kirchheimer, B., Klatt, S., Dawson, W., Pergl, J., Pysek, P., Van Kleunen, M., Weber, E., Winter, M., Hörandl, E., & Dullinger, S. (2016). Niche dynamics of alien species do not differ among sexual and apomictic flowering plants. New Phytologist, 209(3), 1313-1323. doi.org/10.1111/nph.13694


2015


2014


Dellinger, A., Essl, F., Dullinger, S., & Hörandl, E. (2014). Effects of reproductive systems on ecological niche use of invasive species. In 16. Treffen der Österreichischen Botanikerinnen und Botaniker


Dellinger, A., Essl, F., Dullinger, S., & Hörandl, E. (2014). Move out without a pollinator: effects of reproductive systems on ecological niche use in invasive species. In 28th Annual Meeting of the Scandinavian Association for Pollination Ecologists - SCAPE


2013


Dellinger, A., Penneys, D., & Schönenberger, J. (2013). Floral food-bodies and a bellows-like mechanism in bird-pollinated Axinaea (Melastomataceae). In Abstract Volume of the Annual Conference of the Scandinavian Association for Pollination Ecology, Lammi, Finland, 24-27 October 2013


Dellinger, A., Penneys, D., & Schönenberger, J. (2013). Floral food-bodies and a bellows-like mechanism in bird-pollinated Axinaea (Melastomataceae). In K. Püssa, R. Kalamees, & K. Hallop (Eds.), Vegetation Patterns and their Underlying Processes


Dellinger, A., Penneys, D., & Schönenberger, J. (2013). Floral food-bodies and a bellows-like mechanism in bird-pollinated Axinaea (Melastomataceae). In Abstract volume of the Young Researchers’ Day, Network of Biological Systematics Austria, Vienna, Austria, 29th November 2013


Showing entries 21 - 36 out of 36


Dellinger, A. (2013). Floral Structure and Pollination Biology of Axinaea (Melastomataceae). Master thesis,  Universität Wien, Wien. PDF available at: othes.univie.ac.at/28151/


Dellinger, A., & Berger, A. (2009). Vergesellschaftung, Habitatspezifität und pflanzensoziologische Bewertung der Vorkommen von Trifolium saxatile im Schalftal, Ötztaler Alpen, Tirol. Verh. zool.-bot. Ges., 146, 125-138. (Bachelorarbeit)