Judith Trunschke

assistant undergoing research training at Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution

Visiting address:
Evolutionsbiologiskt Centrum (EBC)
Norbyvägen 18 D
Postal address:
Norbyvägen 18 D
752 36 UPPSALA

Also available at

My courses


I am an evolutionary ecologist, widely interested in plant ecology and evolution, but my major focus is on plant-pollinator interactions and the ecology and evolution of flowers. I am particularly curious about understanding the patterns and processes of pollinator-mediated selection and how spatial and/or temporal variation in pollinator assemblages drives floral divergence and speciation in angiosperms. I am former interested in how other biotic factors or the abiotic environment impacts on plant-pollinator interactions and what are the consequences for floral adaptation. As an experimental field ecologist I like to study natural populations, but have also combined this with greenhouse experiments and will in upcoming projects expand to genetic approaches. I have worked with diverse study systems, but I am most fascinated by alpine flowering plants and orchids.

In my PhD I address different aspects of floral evolution and the role of pollinators in diversification in the plant family Orchidaceae. In a first part I will in a species-comparative approach investigate the correlation between the intensity of plants-pollinators interactions (quantified as degree of pollen limitation) and pollinator-mediated selection to reveal insights how biotic interactions shape selection regimes. In the second part, I will focus on understanding the evolution and adaptation of ecotype-divergence in the moth-pollinated orchid Platanthera bifolia. Here, I will combine field experiments and genetic tools to study the importance of floral trait differentiation for local pollinator adaptation, the patterns and mechanisms of pollinator-mediated selection and reproductive isolation, and distribution and patterns of genetic relationship.

Previous projects

  1. Herbivore-induced changes in floral volatiles (HICFV) and consequences for pollinator behaviour and plant fitness
  2. Pollinator-mediated selection by diurnal and nocturnal pollinators in the orchid Gymnadenia conopsea
  3. Phenotypic plasticity of flower longevity in alpine plants (MSc thesis)
  4. Pollinator-dependence in an alpine plant community in New Zealand (BSc thesis)


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