Dipl.-Biol. Dr. Veronika E. Mayer

Assistant Professor (half-time)
4. floor, room 411
t: +43 (0)1 4277-540 81
m: veronika.mayer@univie.ac.at

© Veronika Mayer

Research interests

At the core of my research lies the complex and dynamic connectivity of plants linking them to their environment. I am particularly fascinated by mutualisms between plants and insects and their structural adaptation and reciprocal interaction. Currently, I am working on plants living with mutualistic ants (myrmecophytes) and investigating (a) the intriguing role of fungi as third partner in ant-plant associations, and (b) the sophisticated forms of communication between host plants and their inhabiting ants. The model systems I am focusing on are the Cecropia spp.-Azteca spp. ant-plant mutualism and Piper spp.-Pheidole bicornis system.

Besides ants and plants, the functional aspects of accessory fruit structures are still fascinating to me. Specifically, I address the structural background and radiation processes in several Dipsacaceae groups.


  • Phylogeny and evolution of ant-cultivated Chaetothyriales (Ascomycota)
  • Microbial community analysis in the neotropical ant-plant association: Azteca spp. – Cecropia spp.
  • Ecological processes in the fungal patches cultivated by arboreal ants
  • Food sources in the Cecropia-Azteca ant-plant association
  • Volatiles in myrmecophytic host-plants and their impact on ant-behaviour


  • Rumsais Blatrix, Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, CNRS, Montpellier, France
  • Stefan Dötterl, Organismic Biology, Department of Ecology, Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants, University of Salzburg, Austria
  • Lena Fragner, Department of Ecogenomics and Systems Biology, University of Vienna, Austria
  • Sybren de Hoog, Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institut, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Christina Kaiser, Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science, Division Terrestrial Ecosystem Research, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • Adrián Pinto Tomas, Centro de Investigación en Estructuras Microscópicas (CIEMIC), Universidad de Costa Rica, Costa Rica
  • Andreas Richter, Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science, Division Terrestrial Ecosystem Research, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • Hermann Voglmayr, Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, University of Vienna, Austria
  • Dagmar Woebken, Research network CMM, Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science, Division Microbial Ecology, University of Vienna, Austria

Curriculum Vitae

Current position

  • 1997 - Assistant professor (half-time)

Education and scientific career

  • 1999 - 2005 Associate Editor of the journal TAXON and Regnum Vegetabile (IAPT)
  • 1993 - 1996 Research assistant in projects on systematics and morphology of Dipsacaceae, and the function of their fruit structures at the University of Vienna (Austria)
  • 1988 - 1993 Dissertation at the University of Vienna (Austria)
  • 1989 - 1991 Fellow of the "Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes"
  • 1981 - 1987 Study of Biology at the LMU Munich and FU Berlin, Diploma from the FU Berlin (Germany)
  • 1986/87 DAAD Fellow at the UC Berkeley (USA)


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Mayer, V., Blatrix, R., & Voglmayr, H. (2017). Evolutionary and functional ecology of ant-plant-fungus symbioses. In 16th International Symposium on Insect-Plant Relationships: Abstractbook (pp. 105). [Poster 21]


Mayer, V. (2016). Dipsacaceae (inclusive Triplostegia). In J. W. Kadereit, & V. Bittrich (Eds.), Flowering Plants. Eudicots: Aquifoliales, Boraginales, Bruniales, Dipsacales, Escalloniales, Garryales, Paracryphiales, Solanales (except Convolvulaceae), Icacinaceae, Metteniusaceae, Vahliaceae (Vol. 14, pp. 145-164). (The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants ; Vol. 14). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-28534-4_11



Arranz, S. E., Avarre, J-C., Balasundaram, C., Bouza, C., Calcaterra, N. B., Cezilly, F., ... Molecular Ecology Resources Primer Development Consortium (2013). Permanent Genetic Resources added to Molecular Ecology Resources Database 1 December 2012 - 31 January 2013. Molecular Ecology Resources, 13(3), 546-549. DOI: 10.1111/1755-0998.12095

Gegenbauer, C., Mayer, V., Zotz, G., & Richter, A. (2013). Uptake of ant-derived nitrogen in the myrmecophytic orchid Caularthron bilamellatum. In Abstracts online: Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation

Mayer, V. (2013). Von Pflanzen, Ameisen und Ameisen-Pflanzen-Forschern im Regenwald der Österreicher. In R. Albert, W. Huber, S. Pamperl, W. Wanek, A. Weber, & A. Weissenhofer (Eds.), 20 Jahre Tropenstation La Gamba, Costa Rica (pp. 74-79). Wien: Verein zur Förderung der Tropenstation La Gamba, Costa Rica..



Weber, A., Wei, Y-G., Puglisi, C., Wen, F., Mayer, V., & Möller, M. (2011). A new definition of the genus Petrocodon (Gesneriaceae). Phytotaxa, 23.

Showing entries 0 - 20 out of 75