My primary research interests are focused on examining the dynamics of evolution. I study speciation mechanisms, hybridization, conservation genetics, phylogenetics, and molecular evolution. In other words, I’m a systematist who studies the pattern and process of evolution from a phylogenetic perspective.
I’ve worked on the systematics of Penstemon (aka as the beard tongues) since I was an undergraduate student at the University of Oklahoma. My Ph.D. dissertation was an evaluation of a classic hypothesis about hybrid speciation in Penstemon. My postdoctoral research focused on molecular evolution of photosynthesis genes in parasitic plants of Orobanchaceae. My time at Ohio State University has been divided between these two interests.
We have ongoing systematics research projects in Penstemon and Orobanchaceae (primarily taxa from southern Africa). We’re also working on the bioinformatics of Penstemon genomics.
Courses I teach:
EEOB 3310 – Evolution
EEOB 4240 – Plants and People
EEOB 5320 – Evolution and Society
EEOB 8896 – Various seminar courses
Sampler of photos from previous field seasons for Penstemon (North America) and Hyobanche (Southern Africa)