Nathalia Florez

PhD Student

My research interests are systematics, evolution, and behavior of wild bees. I’m particularly interested in the evolution of host-plant choice of oligolectic bees. I will focus on understanding the phylogenetic and evolutionary history of the tribe Emphorini. These new world bees are highly specialized on a small number of plant families which have large pollen grains, including Cactaceae and Convolvulaceae, among others. My research asks important questions about bee-plant evolutionary relationships. Have these specialized interactions driven the diversification of the tribe? Which adaptations allow the usage of those flowers? Have their preferences for certain plant groups changed over time? Those are questions that I expect to answer as a Ph.D. student in the lab.

I’m a biologist from the National University of Colombia and I hold a Master’s degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). I’ve been interested in wild bees since my BS, where I analyzed the mutualistic interactions between bee and plant communities in a tropical dry forest. For my MS thesis, I studied the taxonomic delimitation and distribution of the neotropical species from the small carpenter bee subgenus Ceratina (Zadontomerus).

Research Interests

bee systematics and phylogeny, bee-plant co-evolution, Emphorini.