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Dr Ulrike Bauer

Dr Ulrike Bauer

Senior Research Fellow

 5167

 Geoffrey Pope M02

 

Geoffrey Pope Building, University of Exeter , Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD, UK

Overview

I am a tropical ecologist by training, and I am fascinated by form-function relationships in nature. My interdisciplinary Mechanical Ecology Lab broadly studies how plants adapt their surfaces and material properties to cope with physical challenges in their environment or exploit physical principles to their advantage. We strive to understand the mechanisms underlying the specialized function of plant surfaces and materials, the processes and regulators underlying their development, and ultimately, elucidate how mechanical factors shape plant ecology and evolution.

 

Qualifications

2006 – 2010 PhD in Zoology, Trinity College, University of Cambridge, UK

2000 – 2006 Diploma of Biology, University of Würzburg, Germany

Career

2010 – 2013 Junior Research Fellow in Plant Sciences, Robinson College, University of Cambridge, UK

2014 – 2016  Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, UK

2017 – 2023 Royal Society University Research Fellow, Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, UK

2023 – present Royal Society University Research Fellow, Biosciences, University of Exeter, UK

Research group links

Research

Research interests

My Mechanical Ecology Lab tries to understand how plants adapt their surfaces and material properties to cope with physical challenges in their environment or exploit physical principles to their advantage, and how we can apply this understanding to future-proofing our crops, mitigating the effects of global change, and developing innovative biomimetic technologies. Using carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plants as a model, we investigate wetting and directional water transport on micropatterned leaf surfaces, as well as the developmental processes and genetic regulators underpinning the formation of such unusual epidermis patterns. Other projects aim to identify key adaptations that enable plants to withstand high wind forces and impacts from hail or heavy rain. We also study how carnivorous plants make viscoelastic and sticky secretions, how these secretions impede insect movement, and how they interact with other secreted compounds such as enzymes. Together with evolutionary biologists and bioinformaticians, we mine genomes of carnivorous plants for convergently evolved traits that have the potential to confer benefits for pest resistance or enhanced growth, with the long-term aim to transfer them to non-carnivorous model and crop plants.

Publications

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category


Journal articles

Chomicki G, Burin G, Busta L, Gozdzik J, Jetter R, Mortimer B, Bauer U (2024). Convergence in carnivorous pitcher plants reveals a mechanism for composite trait evolution. Science, 383(6678), 108-113. Abstract.  Author URL.

Publications by year


2024

Chomicki G, Burin G, Busta L, Gozdzik J, Jetter R, Mortimer B, Bauer U (2024). Convergence in carnivorous pitcher plants reveals a mechanism for composite trait evolution. Science, 383(6678), 108-113. Abstract.  Author URL.

Ulrike_Bauer Details from cache as at 2024-03-01 16:13:45

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Teaching

Supervision / Group

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