Aphrodite Kantsa

Aphrodite is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Biocommunication Research Group in ETH Zurich.



I was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece. I studied Biology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, including one semester at University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy, in the context of the Erasmus exchange program. My first research interest focused on urban ecology and biodiversity, a topic that I had the opportunity to study both in Thessaloniki and in Rome at the Department of Environmental Biology of Sapienza University. In 2007, I acquired my MSc degree on Environmental Biology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. My thesis focused on the analysis of the urban plant diversity of the city of Ioannina (Western Greece), under the supervision of Prof. Stella Kokkini. In 2013, the published results of this work were highlighted by the European Commision's Science for Environment Policy (issue 360). 

Since 2009, I have been living on the island of Lesvos, where I fulfilled my PhD at the Laboratory of Biogeography and Ecology, supervised by T. Petanidou and co-financed by Greece and the European Union (Heraclitus II program). My research focuses on floral sensory diversity, i.e. color and scent, at a community level and studies its functional role in structuring plant–pollinator interaction networks. Furthermore, I am particularly interested in plant volatile organic compounds both as olfactory signals and as natural products. 

I deliberately think that Euripides, Shakespeare, Darwin and Camus explained pretty much most of everything, I hate cumin, and I love classic crime novels. I can’t stay for long without theatre.

In the spring semester of 2017, I was a contracted lecturer at the Department of Geography, teaching the undergraduate course of Environmental Impact Assessment.


Kantsa A, Raguso RA, Dyer ΑG, Olesen JM, Tscheulin T, Petanidou T. 2018. Disentangling the role of floral sensory stimuli in pollination networks. Nature Communications, 9: 1041.

Petanidou T, Price MV, Waser NM, Kantsa A, Tscheulin T, Kariyat RR, Krigas N, Mescher MC, De Moraes CM, Bronstein JL. Pollination and reproduction of an invasive plant inside and outside its ancestral range. Acta Oecologica, minor revisions.

Kantsa A, Raguso RA, Dyer AG, Sgardelis SP, Olesen JM, Petanidou T. 2017. Community-wide integration of floral colour and scent in a Mediterranean scrubland. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1: 1502-1510.

Kantsa A. 2016. Mediterranean odorscapes: The role of plants' volatile organic compounds in pollination networks. Doctoral Dissertation, University of the Aegean, Mytilene, pp. 225.

Kantsa A, Sotiropoulou S, Vaitis M, Petanidou T. 2015. Plant volatilome in Greece: a review on the properties, prospects, and chemogeography. Chemistry & Biodiversity, 12(10): 1466-1480.

Stefanaki A, Kantsa A, Tscheulin T, Charitonidou M, Petanidou T. 2015. Lessons from Red Data Books: Plant vulnerability increases with floral complexity. PLoS ONE, 10(9): e0138414.

Kantsa A, Tscheulin T, Junker RR, Petanidou T, Kokkini S. 2013. Urban biodiversity hotspots wait to get discovered: The example of the city of Ioannina, NW Greece. Landscape and Urban Planning, 120: 129-137.

Petanidou T, Duffy KJ, Karatza A, Kantsa A. 2013. Reduced fecundity in large populations of a Mediterranean orchid – Evidence for pollinator limitation. Basic and Applied Ecology, 14(1):36-43.

Petanidou T, Godfree RC, Song DS, Kantsa A, Dupont YL, Waser NM. 2012. Self-compatibility and plant invasiveness: Comparing species in native and invasive ranges. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 14(1): 3-12.

Kantsa A, Raguso RA, Dyer ΑG, Olesen JM, Tscheulin T, Petanidou T. 2018. Data from "Disentangling the role of floral sensory stimuli to pollination networks". Figshare. DOI: 10.6084/m9.figshare.5663455.v1

Kantsa, A. Smells like purple: when color covaries with scent in the flowers of an entire community. Behind the paper, Nature Community.