The genus Yucca (Agavaceae) is widely recognised for its pollination mutualism with moths of the genera Tegeticula and Parategeticula (both in Prodoxidae), in which pollination by female moths and provision of seeds for pollinator larvae are traded. This insect-plant association is a textbook example of coevolution.
I study the chemical ecology of the yucca/moth mutualism is collaboration with Prof. Olle Pellmyr at University of Idaho (USA) and Prof. Robert Raguso at Cornell University (USA). The current research is focused on three main topics:
During my postdoc I also conducted molecular genetic studies on several non-mutualistic yucca moths of the genus Prodoxus, which is the sister group of the pollinators, to study ecological and allopatric processes of divergence and speciation.
Picture: Joshua trees in Tikaboo Valley, Nevada, USA. Photo: Glenn Svensson.