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.

  • 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
  • Real-time evolution supports a unique trajectory for generalized pollination
    Schiestl, FP; Balmer, A; Gervasi, DD
    EVOLUTION, 72 (12):2653-2668; 10.1111/evo.13611 DEC 2018
  • Covariation and phenotypic integration in chemical communication displays: biosynthetic constraints and eco-evolutionary implications
    Junker, RR; Kuppler, J; Amo, L; Blande, JD; Borges, RM; van Dam, NM; Dicke, M; Dotterl, S; Ehlers, BK; Etl, F; Gershenzon, J; Glinwood, R; Gols, R; Groot, AT; Heil, M; Hoffmeister, M; Holopainen, JK; Jarau, S; John, L; Kessler, A; Knudsen, JT; Kost, C; Larue-Kontic, AAC; Leonhardt, SD; Lucas-Barbosa, D; Majetic, CJ; Menzel, F; Parachnowitsch, AL; Pasquet, RS; Poelman, EH; Raguso, RA; Ruther, J; Schiestl, FP; Schmitt, T; Tholl, D; Unsicker, SB; Verhulst, N; Visser, ME; Weldegergis, BT; Kollner, TG
    NEW PHYTOLOGIST, 220 (3):739-749; 10.1111/nph.14505 NOV 2018
  • Crab spiders impact floral-signal evolution indirectly through removal of florivores
    Knauer, Anina C.; Bakhtiari, Moe; Schiestl, Florian P.
    NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 9 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03792-x APR 10 2018
  • Trans-generational inheritance of herbivory-induced phenotypic changes in Brassica rapa 
    Kellenberger, Roman T.; Desurmont, Gaylord A.; Schluter, Philipp M.; et al. 
    SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 8; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-21880-2 FEB 23 2018
  • The function of the floral corona in the pollination of a Mediterranean style dimorphic daffodil 
    Perez-Barrales, R.; Abarca, C. A.; Santos-Gally, R.; et al. 
    PLANT BIOLOGY, 20: 118-127 10.1111/plb.12657 JAN 2018
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