January 2, 2021 at 11:45 am

Plant Biology Colloquium | Lessons from Charismatic Megaflora in Plant Evolution and Hybridization, Feb. 19

Nora Mitchell. portrait

Dr. Nora Mitchell

The Environmental & Plant Biology Colloquium Series presents Dr. Nora Mitchell discussing “Lessons from charismatic megaflora in plant evolution and hybridization” on Friday, Feb. 19, at 11:50 a.m.

Mitchell is Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

The host is the Plant Biology graduate students, and the contact is Hoang Luu.

Abstract: Charismatic megafauna may dominate public perception of conservation, but charismatic megaflora are excellent and attention-grabbing taxa for researching the ecology and evolution of plants. Understanding the evolution and function of diversity in a group as large and varied as flowering plants requires evidence at multiple taxonomic, geographic, and temporal scales. I combine approaches from the microevolutionary to macroevolutionary scales to understand the history of two iconic plant groups. I use phylogenomics to disentangle relationships between species and patterns of trait-environment evolution in the Protea of South Africa and long-term field experiments to assess the role of hybridization in adaptive evolution in Helianthus (sunflowers) in the United States. Finally, I employ the comparative method to understand hybridization across plants more broadly. This combination of systems and approaches allows for investigation into the patterns and potential mechanisms generating the astonishing diversity of plants.

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