Dr. Tomasz Suchan


My main research is pollination biology, but I am also interested in a range of questions from the broad area of evolutionary ecology and conservation biology. During my PhD studies I’ve had chance to be involved in several conservation projects, allowing me to look at some biological problems from applied perspective. The aim of my project in Lausanne is to identify forces that affect the gene flow of both plant and its pollinators at the landscape level. The species studied - the European Globeflower (Trollius europaeus) and Chiastocheta flies, are involved in a very close mutualistic interaction in which flies can only develop on plant seeds, but are also the main pollinator of the plant. This tight dependence of life cycles of both partners makes them a very good model for studying the spatial genetic patterns related to landscape configuration, combining the data on the two trophic levels. The approach proposed here will allow assessing the significance of different landscape structures and barriers to pollinator dispersal, as well as dispersal effects potentials on the extent of each species’ genetic diversity and thus on the long-term conservation of Trollius and Chiastocheta populations. The results will not only allow to develop appropriate management strategies for conservation of this and other rare plant species, but also to draw further conclusions for the protection of pollinator diversity in fragmented habitats.

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