Our research focuses on systematics -- the discovery and analysis of biological diversity and its history -- and in particular on the following broad topical areas:

  • Diversification and character transformation in angiosperms
  • Species-level character patterns and species discovery
  • Patterns of association between plant species and other taxa (e.g., fungi) or areas
  • Theory and methods in systematics.

        We have worked in a number of plant families, but the core groups that we focus on are Orchidaceae and Ericaceae. We use phylogenetic analysis to answer questions that involve the history of angiosperm groups, build classifications, and describe diversity. Below you can see specifics on some of the systems and projects that we have been working on.


    Phylogenetics and evolution at the base of Ericaceae: Monotropoids and Pyroloids

    Higher-level relationships and character evolution in epidendroid orchids

    Phylogeny, diversification and biogeography in Asarum, the Wild Gingers

    Evolution of the plastid genome in leafless plants

    Species circumscription, fungal associations and plastid genome evolution in Corallorhiza, the Coralroot orchids

    Theoretical and methodological issues in systematics