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Capturing pollen from wind and insects

Study of the evolution of plant reproduction by seed begins with pollen-ovule interactions. In gymnosperms, e.g. conifers and cycads, pollen delivered by wind or by animal is captured by a pollination drop. By looking at the chemical profiles of these drops researchers in my lab have discovered a number of adaptations, such as defense systems and reward systems (nectar). Recently, we have also begun to work on flowering plant nectar. We mainly study conifers, because some aspects of sustainable forestry in British Columbia depend on understanding seed and embryo development. We have investigated cone induction, population genetics, phenotypic variation, parasitism and disease.

I currently teach undergraduate courses in Evolution and Biodiversity (BIOL184), Tree Biology (BIOL325), Development and Genetics of Model Plants (BIOL326), and Plants & People (BIOL334). For more details check out the UVic Biology course listings.

Relaxation: If you are on the campus of UVic and you need a nice walk to boost your spirits, here is pdf made by my son Max of four walks that are lovely rain or shine. Maps