Our research on biomechanics and ecology of plants and plant-insect interactions
What looks like a contraption from a SciFi movie is a Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer - short ToF SIMS. Our collaborator Reinhard Jetter in Vancouver has one, and Michal got to play with it during his visit at the end of 2019 (photo by Michal Golos).
Using lasers to measure the vibrations of a Nepenthes gracilis pitcher lid when it is hit by a rain drop.
This is essentially a weigh bridge for ants! We use it to measure how much nectar each individual ant carries home after visiting a pitcher plant.
Looking after our pitcher plant collection in a climate-controlled growth room in the basement of the Bristol Life Science Building.
Measuring the viscoelastic properties of the pitcher trap fluid with a portable rheometer in our field site in Brunei Darussalam.
By measuring the electrical conductance between two electrodes fixed to opposite margins of the pitcher rim, we were able to monitor surface wetting - and hence slipperiness - in the natural environment over the course of several weeks.
Sampling the attractive nectar from a pitcher trap in my field site in the Tutong White Sands, Brunei (photo by Bruno Di Giusto).
Coming back from a long day out in the field (photo by Joachim Moog).
Working late at night (photo by Joachim Moog).
Sampling pitcher prey under suboptimal conditions in a peat swamp forest in Brunei (photo by Joachim Moog).
After prolonged and unusually heavy rainfalls in spring 2009, our field site in the interior of Belait district in Brunei was inaccessible.
Using a logging railway to access the peat swamp forest in Belait district, Brunei (photo by Dan Thornham).
Ulrike's first-ever field project looked at the influence of constant experimental wetting on the trapping success of Nepenthes bicalcarata pitchers in a peat swamp forest in Brunei (photo by Joachim Moog) .
In 2008, Ulrike spent two weeks on the top of Mt. Mulu in Sarawak, Malaysia, as part of an international team investigating one of the most amazing plant-animal mutualisms ever! High up in the cloud forest, mountain tree shrews visit the pitcher traps of Nepenthes lowii to collect nectar. They then use the pitchers as a toilet - yes, you read that right! - and leave their nutrient-rich droppings in exchange for the sweet treat (photo by Katja Rembold).
Fruit-shopping on the local market (photo by Dan Thornham).
Opening a young coconut is an essential skill when you do field work in the tropics (photo by Anne Peattie)!
Inevitably, we got peer-pressured into singing karaoke.
The best thing about field work in Brunei is the food!
Anne recording impact responses of leaves in the departmental allotment.
Photographing pitcher plants in central Mindanao, Philippines (photo by William Hoyer).
The unique tree-climbing growth form of Nepenthes veitchii in Maliau Basin, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.
With the world's largest pitcher plant, Nepenthes rajah, in Mt. Kinabalu National Park, Sabah (photo by Ansou Gunsalam).
Taking a moment to watch birds in the morning during a field trip to Brunei (photo by Anne Peattie).
Stunning sunrise from Mt. Trusmadi, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.
With Nepenthes sibuyanensis on the steep slopes of Mt. Guiting-Guiting, Sibuyan, Philippines (photo by Chien Lee).
Encouraging a giant katydid to show its wings in the central highlands of West Papua, Indonesia (photo by Katja Rembold).
With an unnamed new species of Nepenthes at about 3,000m elevation in the central Papuan highlands (photo by Katja Rembold).
A mountain tree shrew, Tupaia montana, caught 'in flagranti' on the 'toilet pitchers' of Nepenthes lowii on Mt. Mulu, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo.
Ulrike tries her hand (or feet?) at the traditional Hornbill dance of the Iban people of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo.
Birdwatching in Papua, Indonesia (photo by Chien Lee).
The bizarre upper pitcher of Nepenthes hamata on the summit of Mt. Mulut, Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Nepenthes tentaculata, a wide-spread highland species across much of SE Asia. This form from Mt. Mulut on the island of Sulawesi is particularly attractive with its lipstick-like red-glossed pitcher rim.
At the foot of a rainforest tree giant in Nantu nature reserve, Northern Sulawesi (photo by Andrew Murray).
Camping (and botanizing) at 3,000 m a.s.l. near lake Habbema in the Central Papuan Highlands.
Entering a traditional tree house in the lowland rainforest of Papua, Indonesia (photo by Mathias Scharmann).
With the world's largest seed, the endemic Coco de mèr, on Praslin island, Seychelles (photo by Gina Morimoto).
On the Copolia glacis, Mahé island, during a field trip to the Seychelles in 2017.
The endemic Seychelles pitcher plant, Nepenthes pervillei, is one of the evolutionarily oldest species of Asian pitcher plants.
Dwarfed by the limestone spires of Tsingy de Bemaraha in Western Madagascar (photo by Chien Lee).
Photographing the unique summit vegetation of Mt. Marojejy, Northern Madagascar (photo by Katja Rembold).
Having fun with lemurs in Madagascar (photo by Bill Kimbrough).
On top of the world, crossing the knife-edge ridge of Mt. Guiting-Guiting, Sibuyan island, Philippines (photo by William Hoyer).
You don't have to travel the world to see carnivorous plants! Drosera rotundifolia sundews growing in a bog in Hampshire, UK.
Maybe the greatest honour in Ulrike's scientific career so far was getting to meet one of the pioneers of carnivorous plant research, Barry Juniper, in July 2019 (photo by Alanna Kelly).
Visiting carnivorous plant collectors and enthusiasts Siggi and Irmgard Hartmeyer in Southern Germany.
In a good old German tradition, Ulrike receives a hand-crafted PhD hat after passing her viva in 2010 (photo by Karin Moll).
Delivering a session keynote during the carnivorous plant symposium at the 2017 SEB Annual Meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden (photo by Simon Poppinga).
With colleagues and collaborators during the 2018 SEB Annual Meeting in Florence, Italy.