Research Interests

Using a variety of molecular markers in several plant species, my laboratory group and I study fundamental evolutionary process such as gene migration, molecular evolution, and natural selection. Examples include an analysis of selection at the molecular level on plant disease resistance genes both in wild relatives of the tomato and in the model plant, Arabidopsis. Recently our work has also focused on some applied issues. We have identified the wild progenitor of the tropical crop, cassava, and identified the probable geographical location of domestication in the Amazon region of Brazil, and we have examined the evolutionary origins of invasive plants that encroach on wetlands of the western United States. We are also interested in theoretical issues bearing on conservation of rare plants, such as work on population genetic effects of habitat destruction and fragmentation that seeks to provide guidance for conservation and restoration efforts.

Membership Type


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Primary Section

Section 27: Evolutionary Biology

Secondary Section

Section 25: Plant Biology