My general research interests include
the systematics of the economically important plant genera Rubus, which
includes blackberries and raspberries, and Mentha, including spearmint and
peppermint. These groups have long been considered taxonomically difficult
due in part to polyploidy (more than two sets of chromosomes), agamospermy
(asexual seed production) in Rubus, and hybridization.
I primarily use molecular techniques, in
particular DNA sequencing, to address evolutionary biology questions. These
data can be used, for example, to infer evolutionary relationships
(phylogeny reconstruction), test hypotheses of hybridization, examine
biogeographic patterns, and consider modes of speciation especially in
polyploid taxa. I am also interested in systematics of subfamily Rosoideae
and the Rose family (Rosaceae), tribe Mentheae of the mint family
(Lamiaceae), and subfamily Chloridoideae of the grass family (Poaceae).
Current Research Projects:
Plant Protection Research Institute -
"Taxonomic Status and Phylogenetic Affinity of an Invasive Blackberry
in South Africa"
Flora of North America & Jepson
Flora - Rubus
National Science Foundation - "RUI: Molecular
Phylogenetics and Allopolyploidization in Rubus (Rosaceae)"
Students in the Lab:
Ashley Wint: Genetic Diversity in introduced and
phoenicolasius and native R. occidentalis
List of Recent