Dr. Douglas E. Soltis is a Distinguished Professor in the Florida Museum and the Department of Biology, University of Florida. Prior to moving to Florida in 2000, he was Professor of Botany at Washington State University. Research interests include building the tree of all life, flowering plant evolution, and genome doubling (polyploidy). He was born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in Biology in 1975. He received his Ph.D. in 1980 from Indiana University. He was named a Distinguished Professor at the University of Florida in 2008. He was president of the Botanical Society of America (1999-2000). He has received the Centennial Award and the Distinguished Fellow Award from the Botanical Society of America. With Pam Soltis he received the Dahlgren International Prize in Botany (2002) and the Asa Gray Award in Plant Systematics (2006) and Darwin-Wallace Medal (2016). With coauthors P. Soltis, P. Endress, M. Chase he received the Stebbins Medal in 2006 (for Phylogeny and Evolution of Angiosperms). He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and to the National Academy of Sciences in 2017.

Research Interests

Douglas Soltis' laboratory has diverse research interests in plant biology and evolution. He studies plant evolution using DNA approaches; interests include building the tree of life for all organisms, flowering plant evolution, genome doubling (polyploidy), and conservation genetics. Soltis has reconstructed relationships among all major lineages of flowering plants. With other researchers he has proposed a new classification for angiosperms. He is working with colleagues to build the tree of life of China. At a larger scale, Soltis is part of a group that built the first-draft tree of life for all of the 2.3 million named species on Earth. He and others revealed that Amborella is sister to all other living angiosperms (the duck-billed platypus of flowering plants) and helped lead the effort to provide the complete genome sequence of Amborella as a reference genome for flowering plants. Soltis and collaborators also revealed that numerous ancient polyploidy events have occurred throughout angiosperm history. He has also developed the sunflowering genus Tragopogon as a model for the study of recent and recurrent genome doubling, revealing the rapid and dynamic nature of polyploid evolution.

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Primary Section

Section 25: Plant Biology

Secondary Section

Section 27: Evolutionary Biology