Anke Dietzsch

Researcher, Julius Kuehn Institute
Brunswick, Germany

About Anke

Languages

English, German, Portuguese

Areas of Expertise

Ecology, pollination ecology, Forest Ecology

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

190362
Anke Dietzsch
Posted about 2 years ago
Jonathan Drori: Every pollen grain has a story
Adam, yes, there is interspecific fertilisation in some instances although it is not the general case. Usually, you have a key-and-lock principle going on. It prevents the pollen germination, pollen tube growth and fertilisation of the ovule of one species in another species. However, in some cases when the pollen of two (usually very closely related) plant species is morphologically and biochemically very similar, this barrier is so low that it is bypassed. That's when you get hybridisation. Some plant species are more prone to hybridisation than others - a lot of garden plants, e.g. Rhododendron species. Even if interspecific fertilisation is theoretically possible in a particular plant species, it might never happen though -- if two species do not share the same pollinators, the pollen of one might never be transported to the other. Avoiding hybridisation is one evolutionary advantage in plant species that have adapted to specialist pollinator species.
190362
Anke Dietzsch
Posted about 2 years ago
Louie Schwartzberg: The hidden beauty of pollination
Louis, thanks so much for your amazing movie and for your talk here on TED. As a pollination ecologist it's great to see the word been spread about the importance of and threats to pollinators. Orchid bees and hummingbirds are iridescent examples of the beauty out there. And even if we do not have them e.g. in Europe, there are countless species of amazing, beautiful pollinators in every habitat on our planet (except for Antarctica...). Movies like yours have built awareness of people towards pollination and pollinators. And this has a knock-on effect on politics, as e.g. the latest decision of the EU member states this last Monday has shown: bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides are now banned continent-wide. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/apr/29/bee-harming-pesticides-banned-europe Thank you again!
190362
Anke Dietzsch
Posted about 2 years ago
Hadyn Parry: Re-engineering mosquitos to fight disease
A study published in Nature just recently has shown that 50-100 million cases of dengue is an underestimation - they now assume there are about 390 million dengue infections per year! http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12060.html Nevertheless, I am not convinced that genetic modifications are the way to go! If we do not know the long-term (not only 10 yrs!) impact of releasing modified organisms to our ecosystems, we should be very careful in starting something we can't reverse...
190362
Anke Dietzsch
Posted about 2 years ago
Hadyn Parry: Re-engineering mosquitos to fight disease
Stephen, I absolutely agree with you on the issue of taking caution when modifying organisms without knowing the long-term effects (with long-term I mean long-term and not a 10 year trial period). However, I would be very careful with assuming that insects are biochemically superior to us - theoretically you could say we all "derive" from a common ancestor (the Enteropneusta, some 540 million years ago) and then evolved very differently. Insects might be biochemically adapted to certain environmental conditions in a better way. However, humans are biochemically very well adapted to other situations. You can't really judge one over the other. Each organism is evolving in its own spatial and environmental constraints, hence adaptions to these constraints.