Dr Ulrike Bauer


Research Interests

  • Biomechanics and ecology of plants and plant-insect interactions
  • Function, development and evolution of biological materials and surfaces
  • Trapping mechanisms of carnivorous plants

2017 – present Royal Society University Research Fellow, School of Biological Science, University of Bristol, UK
2014 – 2016 Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, School of Biological Science, University of Bristol, UK
2010 – 2013 Henslow Research Fellow, Robinson College / Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK
2006 – 2010 PhD student, Trinity College / Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK
2000 – 2006 Undergraduate (Diploma of Biology, with distinction), University of Würzburg / University of Düsseldorf, Germany
2020

D Labonte, A Robinson, U Bauer & W Federle. Disentangling the role of surface topography and intrinsic wettability in the prey capture mechanism of Nepenthes pitcher plants. Acta Biomaterialia 119: 225-233. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2020.11.005.

2020 C Thorogood & U Bauer. Shedding light on photosynthesis in carnivorous plants. A commentary on: 'Nepenthes × ventrata photosynthesis under different nutrient applications. Annals of Botany 126: iv-v. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcaa092
2020 U Bauer, UK Müller & S Poppinga. Mechanical ecology – taking biomechanics to the field. Integrative and Comparative Biology: icaa018. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icaa018
2020 I Karl & U Bauer. Inside the trap: biology and behaviour of the pitcher-dwelling crab spider, Misumenops nepenthicola. Plants People Planet: 2020;2: 290-93. https://doi.org/10.1002/ppp3.10104
2019 MR Golos, A-K Lenz, RO Moreno-Tolero, S. Davis & U Bauer. Pitcher plant plastination: preserving botanical specimens for education and display. The Journal of Plastination 31: 15-21. http://journal.plastination.org/archive/jp_vol.31.2/JP_vol.31.2_Dec19_pages15-21.pdf
2018 CJ Thorogood, U Bauer & SJ Hiscock. Convergent and divergent evolution in pitcher plant traps. New Phytologist 217: 1035-41. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.14879
2018 U Bauer, R Jetter & S Poppinga. Non-motile traps. In: AM Ellison & L Adamec (eds). Carnivorous Plants – Physiology, Ecology and Evolution, p. 194-206. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780198779841.
2018 S Poppinga, U Bauer, T Speck & AG Volkov. Motile traps. In: AM Ellison & L Adamec (eds). Carnivorous Plants – Physiology, Ecology and Evolution, p. 180-93. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780198779841.
2018 D Darnowski, U Bauer, M Méndez, J Horner & BJ Płachno. Prey selection and specialization by carnivorous plants. In: AM Ellison & L Adamec (eds). Carnivorous Plants – Physiology, Ecology and Evolution, p. 285-93. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780198779841.
2018 JD Horner, BJ Płachno, U Bauer & B Di Giusto. Attraction of prey. In: AM Ellison & L Adamec (eds).Carnivorous Plants – Physiology, Ecology and Evolution, p. 155-66. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780198779841.
2016 U Bauer, K Rembold & TU Grafe. Carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plants are a rich food source for a diverse vertebrate community. Journal of Natural History 50, 483-95. https://doi.org/10.1080/00222933.2015.1059963
2015 U Bauer, M Paulin, D Robert & G Sutton. Mechanism for rapid passive-dynamic prey capture in a pitcher plant. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112, 13384-89. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1510060112
2015 C Collett, A Ardron, U Bauer, G Chapman, E Chaudan, B Hallmark, L Pratt, L Torres-Perez & DI Wilson. A portable extensional rheometer for measuring the viscoelasticity of pitcher plant and other sticky liquids in the field. Plant Methods 11: 16. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13007-015-0059-5
2015 U Bauer, W Federle, H Seidel, TU Grafe & CC Ioannou. How to catch more prey with less effective traps: explaining the evolution of temporarily inactive traps in carnivorous pitcher plants. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282: 20142675. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.2675
2013 U Bauer, M Scharmann, J Skepper & W Federle. ‘Insect aquaplaning’ on a superhydrophilic hairy surface: how Heliamphora nutans Benth. pitcher plants capture prey. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 280: 20122569. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2012.2569
2012 U Bauer, B Di Giusto, J Skepper, TU Grafe & W Federle. With a flick of the lid: a novel trapping mechanism in Nepenthes gracilis pitcher plants. PLoS ONE 7: e38961. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0038951
2012 U Bauer, CJ Clemente, T Renner & W Federle. Form follows function: morphological diversification and alternative trapping strategies in carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plants. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 25: 90-102. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02406.x
2011 U Bauer, TU Grafe & W Federle. Evidence for alternative trapping strategies in two forms of the pitcher plant, Nepenthes rafflesiana. Journal of Experimental Botany 62: 3683-92. https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/err082
2010 U Bauer. Mechanisms, ecology and evolution of prey capture by Nepenthes pitcher plants. PhD thesis, University of Cambridge, UK.
2010 TU Grafe, S Goutte, HH Ahmadsah, O Konopik, M Scharmann & U Bauer. Updated checklist of the amphibians of the Ulu Temburong National Park and Brunei Darussalam. Sciencia Bruneiana 11: 53-59.
2009 U Bauer, C Willmes & W Federle. Effect of pitcher age on trapping efficiency and natural prey capture in carnivorous Nepenthes rafflesiana plants. Annals of Botany 103: 1219-26. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcp065
2009 CM Clarke, U Bauer, CC Lee, AA Tuen, K Rembold & JA Moran. Tree shrew lavatories – a novel nitrogen sequestration strategy in a tropical pitcher plant. Biology Letters 5: 632-35. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2009.0311
2009 U Bauer & W Federle. The insect-trapping rim of Nepenthes pitchers: surface structure and function. Plant Signaling & Behavior 4: 1019-23. https://doi.org/10.4161/psb.4.11.9664
2009 U Bauer & W Federle. The role of the peristome in the trapping process of Nepenthes. In: S McPherson. Pitcher Plants of the Old World, Vol. I, p. 72-77. Redfern Natural History Productions, Poole, UK. ISBN: 9780955891823.
2008 U Bauer, HF Bohn & W Federle. Harmless nectar source or deadly trap: Nepenthes pitchers are activated by rain, condensation and nectar. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 275: 259-65. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2007.1402
2007 U Bauer, HF Bohn & W Federle. Biomechanics and ecology of prey capture in Nepenthes pitcher plants. In: CC Lee (ed). Proceedings from the Sarawak Nepenthes Summit 2007, Kuching (Malaysia), p. 48-59.

2020SICB Conference, Austin, TX (invited speaker): Functional surfaces for insect trapping in Asian Nepenthes pitcher plants
2019Structure and Function of Plant Waxes – From Biology to Technology, Bristol, UK (conference organiser): Functional surfaces in plant ecology
2018ICPS Conference, Santa Rosa, CA (invited speaker): Convergent and divergent evolution of pitcher traps
2018Botany, Rochester, MN (invited speaker): Functional surfaces for insect trapping in Asian Nepenthes pitcher plants
2018SEB Annual Meeting, Florence, Italy: Fine-tuning of epicuticular wax crystal structure to adjust trap surface slipperiness in a carnivorous pitcher plant
2017SEB Annual Meeting, Gothenburg, Sweden (invited session keynote): Slip, trip and trap: the biomechanics of pitcher traps and what we can learn from them
2016ICPS Conference, London, UK (invited speaker): The central role of rain in prey capture by Nepenthes pitcher traps
2016Ants and their biotic environment, Munich, Germany: The perfect ant trap: how carnivorous pitcher plants outsmart their prey
2016Royal Entomological Society Meeting, Bristol, UK: Friend or Foe? The Complicated Relationship between Insects and Carnivorous Pitcher Plants
2015SEB Annual Meeting, Prague, Czech Republic: Rapid, passive-dynamic trap movement in a carnivorous pitcher plant
2014GW4 Functional Materials Meeting, Bristol, UK: Springboards, water slides and sticky pools: functional materials and surfaces of carnivorous pitcher plants
2014SEB Annual Meeting, Manchester, UK: How to catch more prey with less effective traps: explaining the evolution of temporarily inactive traps in carnivorous pitcher plants
20142nd International Conference on Biological and Biomimetic Adhesives, Istanbul, Turkey: Where Adhesion Fails: Slippery Surfaces of Insect-Trapping Pitcher Plants
20142nd Bristol-Kyoto Symposium, Kyoto, Japan (invited talk): Where Adhesion Fails: Slippery Surfaces of Insect-Trapping Pitcher Plants
2013SEB Annual Meeting, Valencia, Spain: Where Adhesion Fails: Slippery Surfaces of Insect-Trapping Pitcher Plants
2012Euro Evo Devo, Lisbon, Portugal (invited talk): Wax or wetness? Alternative trapping strategies in carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plants
2012SEB Annual Meeting, Salzburg, Austria: Form follows function: Diversification of trap morphology and trapping strategies in carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plants
2010Trinity College Science Symposium, Cambridge, UK: Of water flumes, waxy walls and toilet bowls: Evolution of trapping strategies in Nepenthes pitcher plants (Best oral presentation award)
2008Zoology Graduate Symposium, Cambridge, UK: Harmless nectar source or deadly trap? Wetness-based activation of traps in carnivorous pitcher plants (Best oral presentation award)
2008Annual Meeting of the German Zoological Society (DZG), Jena, Germany: Harmless nectar source or deadly trap? Wetness-based activation of traps in carnivorous pitcher plants
2007Sarawak Nepenthes Summit, Kuching, Malaysia: Biomechanics and ecology of prey capture in Nepenthes pitcher plants

2019

Biomechanics of Carnivorous Pitcher Plants: Surfaces and Biomaterials for Prey Capture

  • Bremen City University of Applied Sciences, Germany (seminar)
2019

Springboards, Water Slides and Sticky Pools: How Carnivorous Pitcher Plants Catch their Prey

  • Chester Zoo, UK (seminar)
  • Durham University, UK (seminar)
2019

Biomechanics and Ecology of Carnivorous Pitcher Plant Traps

  • University of Lincoln, UK (seminar)
2017

Biomechanics and Ecology of Prey Capture in Carnivorous Pitcher Plant Traps

  • University of Reading, UK (seminar)
2016/17

Springboards, Water Slides and Sticky Pools: How Carnivorous Pitcher Plants Catch their Food

  • ETH Zürich, Switzerland (seminar)
  • Friends of the Bristol Botanic Garden, UK (public lecture)
  • Seychelles Natural History Museum, Seychelles (public lecture)
2015

The slippery and the slimy: how pitcher plants trap their prey

  • Kew Gardens, UK (public lecture)
2015

Springboards, water slides and sticky pools: how carnivorous pitcher plants catch their food

  • University of Greifswald, Germany (seminar)
  • Friends of the Oxford Botanical Garden, UK (public lecture)
2014

Indonesia’s Wild East: from Sulawesi to Papua in Wallace’s footsteps

  • Brunei Nature Society, Brunei Darussalam (public lecture)
  • Panaga Natural History Society, Brunei Darussalam (public lecture)
2014

Where Adhesion Fails: Slippery Surfaces of Insect-Trapping Pitcher Plants

  • University of Bristol, UK (seminar)
2013

Sumboi-Sumboi: Charismatic Pitcher Plants of Brunei Darussalam

  • 1st Brunei Nature Festival, Brunei Darussalam (public lecture)
2013

Pasir Putih: Introducing the Biodiversity of the Tutong White Sands

  • 1st Brunei Nature Festival, Brunei Darussalam (public lecture)
2012/13

Turning the tables in plant-animal interactions: the tricks and traps of insect-eating pitcher plants

  • Cambridge Philosophical Society, UK (public lecture)
  • University of Bristol, UK (seminar)
2011/12

Of water flumes, waxy walls and toilet bowls: Trapping strategies of carnivorous pitcher plants

  • Jepson Herbarium, Berkeley, CA (seminar)
  • Universiti Brunei Darussalam (seminar)
  • Panaga Natural History Society, Brunei Darussalam (public lecture)
2011

Von Kloschüsseln und Wasserrutschen: ungewöhnliche Beutefangstrategien bei tropischen Kannenpflanzen

  • Nees Institute for Biodiversity of Plants, Germany (seminar)
2010

Of water flumes, waxy walls and toilet bowls: Evolution of trapping strategies in Nepenthes pitcher plants

  • Wolfson Science Society, Cambridge, UK (public lecture)
  • University of Cambridge, UK (seminar)
2009

Plant-insect interactions: Pitcher plants as food source, habitat and deadly predators of insects

  • Amateur Entomological Society, Cambridge, UK (public lecture)
2009

A journey to the pitcher plants of Sarawak

  • Panaga Natural History Society, Brunei Darussalam (public lecture)
2008

Harmless nectar source or deadly trap? Wetness-based activation of traps in carnivorous pitcher plants

  • Trinity College Cambridge, UK (seminar)
2006

Biomechanics of insect-plant interactions: Nepenthes pitcher traps and skilful circumventers (with Holger Bohn)

  • Brunei Nature Society, Brunei Darussalam (public lecture)
  • Panaga Natural History Society, Brunei Darussalam (public lecture)
2018Royal Society Research Grant for Research Fellows (£ 151,155.40)
2017Royal Society Research Fellows Enhancement Award (£ 108,748.00)
2017Royal Society University Research Fellowship (£ 530,572.45)
2016Royal Society Research Grant (£ 14,614.80)
2015Lady Emily Smyth Agricultural Research Station Pump-priming Fund (£ 15,000.00)
2015Category Winner Evolutionary Biology, Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition
2015Biomechanics Section Talk Prize (runner-up), SEB Annual Meeting, Prague
2014Rank Prize Funds New Investigator Award (£ 20,000.00)
2013Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (£ 87,000.00)
2011Royal Society International Travel Grant (£ 3,200.00)
2010Henslow Research Fellowship of the Cambridge Philosophical Society (£ 62,502.00)
2010Student Poster Prize (runner-up), ATBC Conference, Bali
2008Best Talk, Zoology Graduate Symposium, University of Cambridge
2006Trinity College Cambridge External Research Scholarship
2005DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Short Term Studentship for Final Projects (€ 2,675.00)
2019 "The tricks and traps of insect-eating pitcher plants" – interactive street science session as part of the Bristol Soapbox Science event
2019 "The tricks and traps of insect-eating pitcher plants" – booth at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition Discovery Hub late opening session in London
2019 "The biomechanics of plant-insect interactions" - exhibit at the Cambridge University Library for DISCOVERY – 200 years of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
2018 "Insects and pitcher plants – a sticky situation or a slippery slope?" - pub(lic) talk at the Good Chemistry Brewery during the Bristol Pint of Science event
2017-2019 "How pitcher plants trap prey" - guest teaching session with year 4 primary school children at Crossways Junior School, Bristol
2016 "From juicy critters to tasty poop: the dinner habits of carnivorous pitcher plants" - interactive educational session for families with children (age 5+) at the Kew Science Festival in Kew Gardens, London
2015 "Mmmmmm Food" - booth about plant-insect interactions at the Bristol Festival of Nature
2015 "How working part-time makes pitcher plants more effective ant killers" – popular science article on The Conversation
2015 TV interview for BBC Points West
2015 Interview for the Canadian CBC science radio show Quirks & Quarks with Bob McDonald
2014 Webinar on carnivorous plants with year 5 school children from Yeomoor Primary School (Somerset)
2013 "Sumboi-Sumboi: charismatic pitcher plants of Brunei Darussalam" and " Pasir Putih: introducing the biodiversity of the Tutong White Sands" – public lectures at the 1st Brunei Nature Festival in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
2012 TV interview for ITV East Anglia News
2012 Scientific advisor for the SE Asian Nepenthes Study & Research Foundation (SEANSRF) which promotes education, research and nature conservation in Thailand
2010 Contribution to the educational EU film project Nanoyou
2010-present Foundation and administration of a facebook group promoting nature conservation in Brunei
2007 Interview for the BBC Radio 4 science radio show Leading Edge
2006-2017 Botanical lay excursions to pitcher plant sites in Brunei Darussalam for Brunei Nature Society and Panaga Natural History Society
  • Supervision of PhD, MSci/MRes and undergraduate project students, including visiting students from Germany and France, during field- and lab-based projects
  • Development and delivery of undergraduate lectures on plant-insect interactions at the University of Bristol, UK
  • Development and delivery of a half-day undergraduate lab on plant-insect interactions at the University of Bristol, UK
  • Delivery of a half-day undergraduate lab on insect biology at the University of Cambrige, UK
  • Setting and marking of exam questions
  • Thesis examinations and vivas (Phd, Masters)
  • Annual progress monitoring for the University of Bristol, UK
  • Admissions interviews for undergraduate applicants at Robinson College Cambridge, UK
  • Small group tutorials ('supervisions') and lab demonstrations for NatSci undergraduates at the University of Cambridge, UK
  • Sports coaching: rowing, strength & conditioning, and fitness classes

2020-2021
Veronika Weis, visiting student (Bremen City University of Applied Sciences, Germany): 3D morphometrics of Nepenthes gracilis pitcher traps
2020-2021 Oonah Lessware, MRes (University of Bristol): Developmental biology of superhydrophilic, directional, anti-adhesive plant surfaces
2019-2020 George Hale, MSci (University of Bristol): Investigating the relationship between morphology and drop impact behaviour in dicotyledonous leaves
2018-2022 Anne-Kristin Lenz, PhD (University of Bristol): Adaptations of plant leaves for avoiding, dissipating or exploiting impact energy
2018-2022 Michal R. Golos, PhD (University of Bristol): The effect of plant surface micro-topography on wetting, surface contamination, and insect adhesion and locomotion
2015-2016 Hannah Berg, MSci (University of Bristol): The function of rain-driven leaf vibrations for prey capture and herbivore defence
2015 Emily Wood & Sid Dougan, final year Biology BSc (University of Bristol): Quantification of nectar production by Nepenthes pitchers and nectar intake by foraging Camponotus ants
2014 Marion Paulin, training intern (École Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie de Toulouse, France): Rain-driven vibration of the N. gracilis pitcher lid
2012 Michaël Sauvagnat, MRes (University of French Guyana, France): Attraction and recruitment of ants to pitcher plants (field project)
2008 Hannes Seidel, final year Biology BSc (University of Würzburg, Germany): Implications of intermittent trap activation for prey capture by Nepenthes pitcher plants (field project)
2007 Christoph Willmes, final year Biology BSc (University of Würzburg, Germany): Ontogeny of Nepenthes pitchers and implications for prey capture (field project)
2007 Ingolf Karl, final year Biology BSc (University of Würzburg, Germany):Behaviour and ecology of the pitcher plant inhabiting crab spider, Misumenops nepenthicola (field project)
2007 Tilo Weber, final year Biology BSc (University of Würzburg, Germany): Wetness-based trap activation in Nepenthes pitcher plants: implications for ant recruitment (field project)

 

1996-2000Horticulturist at the Botanic Garden of the City of Solingen, Germany
  • German (native)
  • English (fluent)
  • French (conversant)
  • Malay (conversant)
  • Rock climbing, slacklining, running and hiking
  • Nature photography and birdwatching
  • Crafting and building stuff
  • Gardening
  • Cooking