Area(s) of Expertise
Our research spans a wide range of topics in plant systematics and evolution, involving undergraduate and graduate students as well as international collaborations. Our general research goal is to test systematic and evolutionary hypotheses in a phylogenetic context. We use DNA sequences to reconstruct the phylogeny of plants and use the phylogeny as a framework to understand pattern and rate of diversification, biogeographic history, and evolution of morphology, genes, and genomes. We integrate phylogeny, development, and gene expression and functional analyses to understand the developmental genetics of inflorescence evolution in the dogwood family. We built a dogwood genetic transformation system for characterizing functions of genes regulating flowering and inflorescence development. Furthermore, we integrate populations genetics, phylogeography, and landscape ecology to understand how genetic variation responds to changes in landscape and environment in the state flower Cornus florida. Our focal plants for research have been the dogwoods and their close relatives (Cornales) as well as plants displaying a discontinuous distribution in eastern Asia and eastern North America.
The main course I teach is Plant Systematics (PB 403/503, 4 credits, lab and lectures), which was offered every fall before 2015 and now every spring from 2016 onward, for undergraduate and graduate level students. I also teach a study abroad course in the summer Study Abroad Program: Plant Resources, Ecology and Culture in China (PB 495/595 – 501, 3 credits, S/U or graded; three weeks).
Other Teaching Efforts:
- PB 493 (undergraduate research) Contact Dr. Chad Jordan for details.
- Advising graduate students’ thesis research.
- Discovering variation of secondary metabolite diversity and its relationship with disease resistance in Cornus florida L. (2018)
- Resolving relationships and phylogeographic history of the Nyssa sylvatica complex using data from RAD-seq and species distribution modeling (2018)
- Alterations of CorTFL1 and CorAP1 expression correlate with major evolutionary shifts of inflorescence architecture in Cornus (Cornaceae) – a proposed model for variation of closed inflorescence forms (2017)
- Ecological genomics of local adaptation in cornus florida l. By genotyping by sequencing (2017)
- Evolution and developmental genetics of floral display-A review of progress (2017)
- Evolution, development, and genetics of floral display-form, size, and arrangement (2017)
- Whole-genome duplication and molecular evolution in Cornus L. (Cornaceae) – Insights from transcriptome sequences (2017)
- Analysis of two TFL1 homologs of dogwood species (Cornus L.) indicates functional conservation in control of transition to flowering (2016)
- Enhancing heat tolerance of the little dogwood Cornus canadensis L. f. with introduction of a superoxide reductase gene from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus (vol 7, 26, 2016) (2016)
- Enhancing heat tolerance of the little dogwood Cornus canadensis L.f. with introduction of a superoxide reductase gene from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus (2016)
Ph.D., Botany-Plant Molecular Systematics, Washington State University (1995)
B.S., Plant Genetics, Zhongshan (Sun Yat-sen) University (1982)