Evolutionary Botany

My research deals with ecological and evolutionary questions in the framework of plant – insect interactions, with a main focus on flowers. In my group we study adaptation of plants to pollinators, herbivores and abiotic factors, functions and evolution of floral signals, and the evolution of reward and deception. We use field experiments as well as experimental evolution in the greenhouse, genomic tools, and methods to study the plant phenotype. Last but not least we use behavioral experiments with pollinator insects and herbivores to study how insect behavior impacts selection on plants.

  • Generalized olfactory detection of floral volatiles in the highly specialized Greya-Lithophragma nursery pollination system
    Schiestl, Florian P.; Wallin, Erika A.; Beck, John J.; Friberg, Magne; Thompson, John N.
    Arthropod-plant Interactions  10.1007/s11829-021-09809-5 Published: APR 2021
  • Herbivory and pollination impact on the evolution of herbivore-induced plasticity in defense and floral traits
    Ramos, Sergio E.; Schiestl, Florian P.
    Evolution Letters  DOI: 10.1002/evl3.200  DEC 2020
  • Chemical and Functional Complexity in Flower Fragrance
    Schiestl, Florian P.
    Chimia  DOI: 10.2533/chimia.2020.820  OCT 2020
  • Floral signals evolve in a predictable way under artificial and pollinator selection in Brassica rapa
    Zu, Pengjuan; Schiestl, Florian P.; Gervasi, Daniel; Li, Xin; Runcie, Daniel; et al.
    Bmc Evolutionary Biology  DOI: 10.1186/s12862-020-01692-7  SEP 24 2020
  • Floral Odors Can Interfere With the Foraging Behavior of Parasitoids Searching for Hosts
    Desurmont, Gaylord A.; von Arx, Martin; Turlings, Ted C. J.; Schiestl, Florian P.
    Frontiers In Ecology And Evolution  DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2020.00148 Published: MAY 27 2020
  • Evolution of Floral Fragrance Is Compromised by Herbivory
    Ramos, Sergio E.; Schiestl, Florian P.
    Frontiers In Ecology And Evolution 8 Article Number: 30 DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2020.00030   FEB 19 2020
  • Rapid plant evolution driven by the interaction of pollination and herbivory
    Ramos, SE; Schiestl, FP
    SCIENCE, 364 (6436):193-+; doi: 10.1126/science.aav6962 APR 12 2019
  • Emergence of a floral colour polymorphism by pollinator-mediated overdominance
    Kellenberger, RT; Byers, KJRP; Francisco, RMD; Staedler, YM; LaFountain, AM; Schonenberger, J; Schiestl, FP; Schluter, PM
    NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 10 10.1038/s41467-018-07936-x JAN 8 2019
Florian Schiestl

Prof. Dr. Florian P. Schiestl
University of Zurich
Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
8008 Zurich

Tel: +41 (0)44 634 84 09

Research topics

  • Pollination biology
  • Chemical communication
  • Plant speciation
  • Floral mimicry



  • Molecular Biology (cooperating Ueli Grossniklaus)
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Plant Ecology
  • Plant Evolutionary Biology