I am a plant ecologist and I’m mainly interested in how and why plant species are so different to each other. Why did these differences evolve and what are the consequences for ecosystems? For example, plants produce seeds of many different sizes: the coco de Mer (a palm tree native to the Seychelles) can kill you if a seed happens to fall off while you’re standing underneath the tree! In contrast, orchids seeds are so small and poorly provisioned that they can’t even germinate without the help of mycorrhizal fungi. Why this diversity exists and how it persists are the key questions that drive my research.