The main focus of my research is the genus Iris. My training is in molecular systematics and developmental morphology and these two areas of inquiry are central to my research. I utilize molecular sequence data obtained from Sanger and next generation sequencing; comparative and developmental morphology; and comparisons among environmental, distributional, and phylogenetic information to investigate plant evolution.
I currently have three projects underway:
- Phylogeny, morphology, and biogeography of subgenus Iris, a clade of bearded species from Eurasia.
- Phylogeny and bulb development in subgenera Hermodactyloides and Xiphium, a clade of bulbous species from the Mediterranean and Central Asia.
- Phylogeny and biogeography of series Californicae in subgenus Limniris, a clade of species from the western USA.
My overall goals are to develop a phylogenetic hypothesis for the genus and use this hypothesis to investigate interesting questions. Especially of interest to me is evolution of the morphological characters that distinguish Iris from other groups and also the diversity present in the genus. Another interest is the ecological and geographical parameters that have contributed to the development of species within the genus.