My work is broadly conceptually driven, focused on the elucidation of evolutionary process, using plants as model organisms. Because of the broad perspective of my research, I use a combination of approaches incorporating statistical, ecological, quantitative genetic and molecular marker-based techniques to address the questions of my research program. While some of my work reflects greenhouse or laboratory-based studies, for the most part my studies are conducted in the wild, where the connection between genotype and fitness, as mediated by natural selection can be quantified. Although much of my research focus is quantifying the input of genetic variation into the evolutionary process, albeit studied in the context of natural selection, there are many interesting details of natural selection that are relatively unknown, that if understood would provide much greater insight into the underpinnings of the evolutionary process. To examine the details of natural selection, I use flowers as models of adaptation. While the intellectual focus of the lab is on understanding fundamental issues of evolutionary biology, our work also provides insight for important concerns in conservation genetics and invasive species biology. I begin by summarizing ongoing projects and finish with a description of past projects, and questions that remain from those completed projects.
Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1988. Plant evolution biology; mating systems; epistasis.