Research in our lab focuses on the macroevolution, macroecology, and conservation of flowering plants. While we often incorporate global phylogenetic perspectives, many projects in my lab focus on gathering empirical data on the biology of particular plant species (particularly in Southwestern BC and the Rocky Mountains), or lineages (Anemone, Mimulus, Plectritis).
Historical patterns of plant trait change
We investigate how plant communities have been changing over time from a variety of perspectives. To understand the mechanisms underlying the effects of space versus intrinsic traits we have conducted community-level analyses to investigate the role of traits such as pollinator composition, floral traits, and the spatial heterogeneity of coflowering neighbors (invasive and native) on the reproductive success of native plant species. Recently, we have begun to incorporate herbarium collections into our investigations with the aim of expanding our understanding of how important components of biodiversity will change with climate.
Phylogenetics of Canada's plant diversity
Our lab empoys phylogenetic tools to uncover important drivers of diversification. We explore the roles of intrinsic traits (e.g., ploidy, floral shape, colour) and extrinsic traits (e.g., geographical distribution) in determining the variation we observe in flowering plant diversity. We are currently involved in determining how speciation and extinction rates relate to polyploidization and contribute to patterns of rarity and vulnerability in Canada.
Want to know more about the use of phylogenies as tools? You can see an article summarizing my work at [PhylogeneticTools].
For those interested in pursuing graduate studies under my supervision, please e-mail
me with your specific research interests.
Links to my publications can be found here.