2015 Mentors and Projects
Plant Systematics, Conservation Biology, and Ethnobotany

Dr. Christy Edwards

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Dr. Christy Edwards

Plant Conservation Geneticist

Research Interests

•   Plant Conservation Genetics
•   Restoration Genetics
•   Quantitative Genetics •   Species-level molecular systematics
•   Plant genetic response to environmental stress/variation

Web Page: MBG

Delphinium exaltatum (Ranunculaceae), tall larkspur, is an uncommon species that has a disjunct distribution in the Missouri Ozarks and in the Appalachian region. Given this unusual distribution, questions have arisen about whether gene flow is occurring between these two disjunct groups of populations, indicating that they form a single species, or whether the Ozark and Appalachian populations have been reproductively isolated for a sufficiently long period of time that they may each be deserving of taxonomic status. To address this question, the goal of the REU project will be to genotype individuals in five populations each of D. exaltatum from the Ozarks and Appalachians using previously developed microsatellite loci. These data will be used to assess patterns of genetic structure and gene flow, which will be used to determine taxonomic boundaries within the species complex.

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