Plant Evolution

My lab studies plant diversity and evolution, with a particular emphasis on the evolution of reproductive strategies and speciation. Our overarching goal is to understand how ecological, genetic and evolutionary processes interact to generate the amazing diversity seen among the more than 369,000 species of flowering plants. To tackle this main goal, we use a combination of field and glasshouse experiments, genetic and genomic analyses, phylogenetics, and theoretical models. Current projects include:

  • Buzz-pollination
  • Evolution of floral form and function in the genus Solanum (Solanaceae)
  • Evolution of floral strategies for dealing with pollen-feeding insects: Buzz-pollination and the division of labour within flowers
  • Hybridisation, genome duplication, and speciation in introduced monkey flowers (Mimulus spp., Phrymaceae)
  • Relative importance of sexual and clonal reproduction during biological invasion