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Plant-animal interactions: from mutualism to angatonism

Grant number: 18/03196-7
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: June 30, 2018 - July 15, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Principal Investigator:Marlies Sazima
Grantee:Marlies Sazima
Visiting researcher: Judith Lee Bronstein
Visiting researcher institution: University of Arizona, United States
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The research about pollination mutualisms started in Brazil in the XIX century, with Fritz Müller and its correspondences with Charles Darwin. Worldwide, only in the 1950s such research field developed studies with natural systems in a deeper ecological and evolutionary context. In Brazil, the research field re-initiated in the 1960 and 1970 decades, and is being developed in many research institutions. Recent initiatives consolidated the studies in Pollination Biology in Brazil, with increasing participation on the international literature. Among these initiatives, we highlight the Brazilian Pollinator Initiative, coordinated by the MMA, the Brazilian Network of Plant-Pollinator Interactions (REBIPP) and the first and second Brazilian Pollination Symposium, held in Araras-SP e Catalão-GO, respectively. These two meetings were supported by FAPESP (Proc. 2014/07387­0 e 2016/09146-6). These activities and the increasing number of publications in international journals, including Nature and Science, demonstrate the importance of the Brazilian research field on pollination biology in the international scientific scenario. In this context, the frequent presence of great international researchers at the Biosystematics and Pollination Laboratory contributes to the development of ongoing projects and by offering excellent courses in the graduate level. In one decade of foreign professors visits, we have received great names as Joseph Williams (USA), Gary Stiles (Colombia), Leonardo Galetto (Argentine), Klaus Lunau (Germany), Santiago Benitez-Vieyra (Argentine), Jeff Ollerton (UK), Günter Gerlach (Germany), Bo Dalsgaard (Denmark), Luis Navarro (Spain), Nick Waser (USA) and Mary Price (USA), and Scott Armbruster (UK), the majority of them supported by FAPESP. This year, we intent to invite another great name in the field of Ecology of Mutualisms, including Pollination Biology, the professor Judith Bronstein, of University of Arizona (USA). She began to work in the 1980s, studying the pollination mutualisms between figs and wasps. Throughout her career, she greatly contributed to the understanding of mutualisms in general, from the ecological factors that influence the mutualisms to how these interactions persist along the evolutionary time. Her list of publications includes journals such as Ecology Letters, Ecology, Evolution, TREE, PNAS, The American Naturalist, New Phytologist, among others. In this sense, the research made by Prof. Judith Bronstein is marked by integrate distinct approaches, which is in accordance with the Brazilian perspective in the field of Pollination Biology. Through this project, the professor will offer a course about the ecology and evolution of antagonisms and mutualisms between plants and animals, with the Prof. Dr. Goggy Davidowitz, at the Programas de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Biologia Vegetal. She will also discuss ongoing research and current discussions at the laboratory since her abilities is directly related to research projects that I supervise. Furthermore, research projects of ex-oriented groups working in other institutions will also benefit from the visit of the researcher. In addition, the visiting professor will also give a master lecture at the 69º National Botany Congress. (AU)

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