My general interests reside in developing a better understanding of the relation between structure and function associated with water movement in plants in different environments. I am particularly interested in the hydraulics of roots and leaves, the evolution and functional consequences of diversity in leaf designs, the plasticity and adaptive variation in functional traits associated with water transport across environmental gradients, and the water relations of flowers and fruits. My current research is focused on exploring the evolution of leaf form and function within Viburnum, and the relations between leaf and stem traits and environmental variables.
Broadly speaking, I try to understand why life is so diverse (by any yardstick) and why some clades are more diverse than others. Primarily, I use both phylogenetic and ecological methods to study factors affecting evolution of plant-reproductive diversity, but I am also involved in a variety of other diversity related projects. During my PhD studies, I have worked on the evolution of floral morphology in the primrose family, Primulaceae, in relation to transitions in breeding system. I am now working on uncovering ecological factors affecting diversification of inflorescences in the plant clade Portulacineae, in collaboration with Lawrence Harder (University of Calgary).
My interests include plant systematics, desert floras, and the effects of rapid environmental change on ecosystems. After working on the systematics of desert Phacelia species for my master's thesis, I am looking forward to studying the ways that phylogenetic information can help predict plant responses to climate change. I will be investigating using plant functional traits and biogeochemistry to bridge the gap between phylogenetics and studies of global climate change.
Pascal-Antoine Christin, post-doc (2010-2012)
Monica Arakaki, post-doc (2009-2012)
Matt Ogburn, phD student (2007-2012)
Elizabeth Spriggs, undergrad and research technician (2008-2012)
Asya Rahlin, undergrad (2011-2012)
Alejandro Brambila, undergrad (2011-2012)
Sam Schmerler, undergrad (2008-2011)
Kaya Schmandt, research tech (2008-2010)
Anne Williard, undergrad (2008-2009)
Cassidy Metcalf, undergrad (2007-2008)
research interests: Icelandic mosses; botanical illustration
research interests: Flora of Mt. Kinabalu; bananas