Our research in the area of Ecology and Evolution aims to address several important questions and uses a host of approaches and techniques to achieve this. Most labs use multidisciplinary approaches spanning several areas such as molecular techniques, quantitative methods, GIS, laboratory experimentation on organism development and physiology, population dynamics, genetic analyses as well as satellite imagery.
Relevant Graduate Courses
- BIOL 6DD3 / Molecular Evolution
- BIOL 708 / Quantitative Methods in Ecology and Evolution
- BIOL 709 / Ecological Statistics
- BIOL 715 / Topics in Evolutionary Genetics
- BIOL 720 / Bioinformatics
- BIOL 721 / Topics in Molecular Evolution
- BIOL 724 / Molecular Ecology
Explore the Graduate Courses page for more information
Plant interactions with other plants My current research focuses on plant communication and behaviour, including plant kin recognition. Plants live in highly social environments, and they do behave, though very slowly. Plants sense the presence of other plants, and then respond, usually by producing a more competitive phenotype. Responses to cues of neighbours are thus important in competition. My lab has worked on plant responses to aboveground cues, the presence/absence of belowground neighbours, and the relatedness of belowground neighbours. We collaborate with Dr. Harsh Bais, University of Delaware, on research into the underlying mechanisms for responses to relatives. Adaptation to abiotic stresses My research program on the evolution of plant carbon acquisition traits has included studies that integrate the physiological ecology of drought stress with the natural selection on drought stress traits, and genetic differentiation between populations from environments differing in water availability. A former student, Laura Beaton developed a research program on adaptation of plants to roadside stresses, including salinity and manganese. I collaborate with Dr. Lisa Donovan, University of Georgia, in understanding how plant physiological traits evolve under stress.
Ecology & Evolution