II am an ecologist, researcher, editor and now: scientific manager living in Belgium.
My greatest passion is about pollinators. Their often ambiguous relationship with plants is absolutely fascinating.
This enthusiasm was raised during the work for my Master thesis in the desert of Namibia, where I studied the pollination biology of the !Nara-melon, an extraordinary cucurbit plant.
The desert is not especially the place where one would expect a vivid life of pollinating insects, so I was amazed how many different bees, beetles and flies were visiting the flowers to feed on nectar, pollen and some special lipid rich bodies on the petals.
This plant is extremely friendly for a beginner like I was to study pollination: everything - flowers, fruits, seeds - is big and sturdy, forget delicate handling! Male and female plants are separate (this is called dioecy), forget cutting anthers to ascertain outcrossing! The weather in the Namib is always sunny, forget cloudy, rainy days where nothing happens! It is just a bit spiky!
Back home, I received this book from a friend - The forgotten pollinators by Nabhan & Buchmann.
This inspiring book just touched a string - I urgently felt and still feel the need to protect and promote pollinators, since I believe that they are absolutely necessary for life on this planet. The now popular notion that they provide an „ecosystem service“ gives credit to their pivotal role.
I contributed to pollinator – and implicitly nature – conservation by doing research myself. But also by creating a journal on pollination providing a platform for others to publish their findings.
Please visit my projects for further reading!