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Waser, Nickolas M
Professor of Biology, Emeritus
University of Utah
Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2001
Research Specialization - population biology and evolutionary ecology.
Animal visitors such as bumble bees, solitary bees, and hummingbirds play a critical role in the sexual reproduction of many higher plants. How do such pollinators choose flowers, and how does this translate into natural selection on discrete and quantitative traits such as flower color and shape or nectar production? What is the role of animal visitors in gene dispersal, and how does this influence spatial genetic structure of plant populations, the establishment of hybrid populations, and plant speciation? How do the "post-pollination" events beginning after dispersal of pollen and culminating in seed production modify the selection and gene flow caused by pollinators? From a community perspective, how are plant-pollinator interactions organized, how and why are they usually generalized, and what are the implications for resilience of food webs and conservation of endangered species? I am exploring these and related questions, mostly with plant-pollinator systems in the Rocky Mountains and southwestern deserts.
Waser, N. M. 1978. Competition for hummingbird pollination and sequential flowering in two Colorado wildflowers. Ecology 59:934-944.