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Darwin and the Evolution of Flowers









The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG


Organised by Sir Peter Crane FRS, Professor Else Marie Friis and Professor William Chaloner FRS

This meeting will highlight the influence of Darwin on our understanding of the evolution of flowers, presenting new and emerging evidence from seed plant phylogenetics, palaeobotany and morphology. It will review how recent research in these and related fields has brought us closer to resolving the origin of flowers and flowering plants (Darwin's so-called "abominable mystery"). The recent clarification of angiosperm phylogeny at many taxonomic levels, coupled with evidence from the fossil record has given new opportunities for understanding patterns in the evolution of floral structure and biology.

This meeting will also explore how the vast range of floral form seen in the angiosperms has been generated by developmental genetics, and the impacts of contemporary environmental change on the pollination of flowers.

The proceedings of this meeting are scheduled to be published in a future issues of Philosophical Transactions B.

Event organisers

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Schedule of talks

Session 1

5 talks Show detail Hide detail

A Darwinian perspective on the evolution and function of floral diversity

Spencer Barrett et al, University of Toronto, Canada

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The state of seed plant phylogenetics: implications for understanding the origin of flowers

Professor Sarah Mathews

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Developmental perspectives on the origin of the angiosperm carpel

09:30-10:00 Diversity in Obscurity: Fossil Flowers and the Phylogenetic Relationships of the Early Angiosperms

Professor Else Marie Friis

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10:00-10:30 Coffee break

Session 2

4 talks Show detail Hide detail

The limits of flowers

Dr Paula J. Rudall, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

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The evolution of floral biology in basal angiosperms

Professor Peter K. Endress, University of Zurich

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The evolution and loss of oil-offering flowers -- new insights from dated phylogenies and Cucurbitaceae

Professor Susan Renner, University of Munich, Germany

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Diversity and evolution of floral structure and biology in Ericales

Professor Jürg Schönenberger, Stockholm University

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Session 3

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The developmental basis of floral diversity in Ranunculaceae: evidence from the Aquilegia model system

Professor Elena Kramer, Harvard University

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Floral adaptations in Aquilegia: from field to genomic studies

Professor Scott Hodges

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On "various contrivances": pollination, phylogeny and flower form in the Solanaceae

Dr Sandra Knapp, The Natural History Museum

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Speciation genes in the genus Petunia

Professor Cris Kuhlemeier, University of Bern

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Session 4

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Floral adaptation and diversification under pollen limitation

Professor Lawrence Harder

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Pollination biology of orchids - past, present and future

Professor Raymond Tremblay

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Pollinator-driven diversification of the southern African flora

Professor Steven Johnson

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Pollination ecology, floral evolution and the possible impact of climate change in the Southwest Australian Biodiversity Hotspot

Professor Kingsley Dixon, Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, Australia

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Darwin and the Evolution of Flowers

Scientific discussion meeting organised by Sir Peter Crane FRS, Professor Else Marie Friis and Professor William Chaloner FRS.

The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK
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