Research in our lab focuses on the macroevolution, macroecology, community ecology, and conservation biology of plants. While we often incorporate global phylogenetic perspectives, many projects in my lab focus on gathering empirical data on the mechanistic underpinnings of plant diversity within particular locales (Southwestern BC and the Rocky Mountains), or lineages (Anemone, Lupinus, Plectritis).
Macroevolutionary patterns of plant speciation and extinction
Our lab empoys phylogenetic tools to uncover important drivers of diversification. Our recent investigations indicate that a combination of intrinsic traits (e.g., floral shape) and extrinsic traits (e.g., geographical distribution) are responsible for much of the variation we observe in flowering plant diversity. We are currently further developing phylogenetic comparative methods to infer speciation and extinction rates from phylogenies and compare these rates between groups with different pollinators within various spatial contexts. Within a particular spatial context we can begin to gather more precise information on the phylogenetic distribution of flowering plants at risk of extinction. From this, we hope to predict which species are more likely to be susceptible to disturbance.
Ecophylogenetics of plant diversity
To understand the mechanisms underlying the effects of space versus intrinsic traits we are currently conducting community-level analyses to investigate the role of traits such as polyploidy, temperature, floral colour/symmetry, and the spatial heterogeneity of coflowering neighbors (invasive and native) on the reproductive success of native plant species. To this end, we are developing genomic tools in Anemone multifida and Plectritis congesta to incorporate historical range expansion and population substructure into our investigations of the factors involved in diversification.
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.