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Christine, Edwards, Ph.D.Christine Edwards, Ph.D.
Stephen and Camilla Brauer Associate Scientist, Conservation Genetics
Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development

Adjunct professor at Washington University
and the University of Missouri St. Louis
Principal Investigator of the Conservation Genetics Lab
Organizer of the Garden's "Next Generation Sequencing Journal Club"

office phone: + 1 (314) 577-9457
fax: + 1 (314) 577-9596

Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110

Ph.D., Botany, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2007
B.A., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Spanish (double majors), University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, 1999
Conservation Genetics Quantitative Genetics Species-level molecular systematics Plant genetic response to environmental stress/variation
Available upon request
Research Emphases My research primarily focuses on using genetic approaches to understand the evolutionary and ecological causes and consequences of rarity in endangered plant species. My research combines the fields of plant systematics, phylogeography, population genetics, ecological/quantitative genetics and genomics to understand evolutionary and ecological dynamics of rare plant species
My main research interests specifically focus on the four following areas:
Quantifying and understanding the relationship between geographic range size and levels of genetic diversity in lineages with rare and widespread plant species Understanding the potential for adaptive evolution, the genetic architecture of phenotypic traits, and how these are affected by environmental stress/variation in plant populations Using genetic data to help understand the ecology and reproductive biology of endangered plants to aid in applied conservation and restoration efforts Elucidating patterns of evolutionary history, phylogeography, and species boundaries in closely related species complexes containing endangered plant species
Selected Publications C. E. Edwards, M. A. Albrecht, B. Bassüner, and G. A. Yatskievych. 2019. Population genetic analysis reveals a selfing mating system and strong genetic structuring in a naturally fragmented, threatened plant. Conservation Genetics: in press. Linan, A. G., G. E. Schatz, P. P. Lowry II, A. Miller, and C. E. Edwards. 2019. Ebony and the Mascarenes: the evolutionary relationships and biogeography of Diospyros L. (Ebenaceae) in the western Indian Ocean. The Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 190: 359-373. Edwards, C. E.* and P. Wyse Jackson.* 2019. The development of plant conservation in botanic gardens and the current and future role of conservation genetics for enhancing those conservation efforts. Molecular Frontiers 3: 44-65. Edwards, C. E., J. S. Swift, R. F. Lance, T. A. Minckley and Denise L. Lindsay. 2019. Evaluating the efficacy of sample collection approaches and DNA metabarcoding for identifying the diversity of plants utilized by nectivorous bats. Genome 62: 19-29. Maschinski, J., Havens, K., Fant, J., Kramer, A. Vitt, P., Ramp Neale, J., Guerrant, E.O., Edwards, C. E. and Steele, S. 2019. Genetic Guidelines for Acquiring, Maintaining, and Using a Conservation Collection. In CPC Best Plant Conservation Practices to Support Species Survival in the Wild. Center for Plant Conservation: San Diego, CA. Swift, J. F, X. Guan, E. Britzke D. L. Lindsay, R. F. Lance, and C. E. Edwards. 2018. Multifaceted DNA metabarcoding: Validation of a noninvasive, next-generation approach to studying bat populations. Evolutionary Applications 11: 1120-1138. Lui, S-H, C. E. Edwards, P. C. Hoch, P. H. Raven, and J. C. Barber. 2018. Genome skimming reveals relationships in Ludwigia section Macrocarpon (Onagraceae), a polyploid complex. American Journal of Botany 105: 875-887. Edwards, C. E., B. Bassüner, C. Birkinshaw, C. Camara, A. Lehavana, P. P. Lowry II, J. S. Miller, A. Wyatt, and P. Wyse Jackson. 2018. A botanical mystery solved by phylogenetic analysis of botanical garden collections: rediscovery of the presumed-extinct Dracaena umbraculifera (Asparagaceae). Oryx 52 (3), 427-436 Gaggiotti, O., A. Chao, P. Peres-Neto, C.-H. Chiu, C. Edwards, M.-J. Fortin, L. Jost, C. Richards, and K. Selkoe. 2018. Diversity from genes to ecosystems: A unifying framework to study variation across biological metrics and scales. Evolutionary Applications 11: 1176-1193. Lindsay, D. L., J. S. Swift, R. F. Lance, and C. E. Edwards. 2018. A comparison of patterns of genetic structure in two co-occurring Agave species (Asparagaceae) that differ in the patchiness of their geographic distributions and cultivation histories. The Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society: 186: 361-373. Farrington, H. L.*, C. E. Edwards*, M. Bartron, and R.F. Lance. 2017. Phylogeography and population genetics of introduced silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead carp (H. nobilis) in North America. Biological Invasions: in press. doi:10.1007/s10530-017-1484-3.
* Equal contributions
Brock, M. T., Winklemann, R.L., M. J. Rubin, C. E. Edwards, B. E. Ewers, and C. Weinig. 2017. Allocation to male vs. female floral function varies by currency and responds differentially to density and moisture stress. Heredity: in press. doi:10.1038/hdy.2017.41 Edwards, C. E. 2017. Strengthening the link between international conservation policy and plant conservation genetics to achieve more effective plant conservation. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 102: 397-407. Lui, S-H, C. E. Edwards, P. C. Hoch, P. H. Raven , and J. C. Barber. 2016. The complete plastome sequence of Ludwigia octovalvis (Onagraceae), a globally distributed wetland plant. Genome Announcements 4: e01274-16 Swift, J.S., S. A. Smith, E. S. Menges, B. Bassüner, and C. E. Edwards. 2016. Analysis of mating system and genetic structure in the endangered, amphicarpic plant, Lewton’s polygala (Polygala lewtonii). Conservation Genetics 17: 1269-1284. Yarkhunova, Y., C. E. Edwards, B.E. Ewers, R. L. Baker, C. R. McClung, P. Lou, and C. Weinig. 2016. Selection during crop diversification involves correlated evolution of the circadian clock and ecophysiological traits in Brassica rapa. New Phytologist 210: 133–144. Edwards, C. E., B. E. Ewers, and C Weinig. 2016. Genotypic variation in biomass allocation in response to field drought has a greater affect on yield than gas-exchange or phenology. BMC Plant Biology 16:185. Farrington, H., C. E. Edwards, X. Guan, M. Carr, and R.L. Lance. 2015. Development and Testing of New Genetic Markers for the Detection of Invasive Bighead and Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and H. molitrix) DNA in environmental water samples from North America. PLOS one, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117803 Edwards, C. E. 2015. Looking to the future of conservation genetics: the case for using quantitative-genetic experiments to estimate the ability of rare plants to withstand climate change. American Journal of Botany: 102: 1011-1013. Baker, R. L., W.F., Leong, M.T. Brock, R. J. C. Markelz, M.F. Covington, U. K. Devisetty, C. E. Edwards, J. Maloof, S. Welch, and C. Weinig. 2015. Modeling development and quantitative trait mapping reveal independent genetic modules for leaf size and shape. New Phytologist 208: 257-268. Edwards, C. E., T. L. Parchman, and C. Weekley. 2012. Assembly, gene annotation and marker development using 454 floral transcriptome sequences in Ziziphus celata (Rhamnaceae), a highly endangered, Florida endemic plant. DNA research 19: 1-9. Edwards, C. E., B. E. Ewers, C. R. McClung, P. Lou and C. Weinig. 2012. Quantitative variation in water-use efficiency across water regimes in Brassica rapa and its relationship with circadian, ecophysiological, vegetative, and reproductive traits. Molecular Plant 5: 653-668. Lindsay, D. L., C. E. Edwards, M. G. Jung, P. Bailey, and R. F. Lance. 2012. Novel microsatellite loci for Agave parryi and cross-amplification in Agave palmeri. American Journal of Botany 99: e295-e297. Lindsay, D. L., P. Bailey, J.L. Anderson, M. G. Jung, C. E. Edwards, and R. F. Lance. 2012. Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci for a hyper-rare cliff endemic, Erigeron lemmonii, and a more widespread congener, Erigeron arisolius (Asteraceae). Conservation Genetics Resources 4: 859-862. Edwards, C. E., B. E. Ewers, D. G. Williams, Q. Xie, P. Lou, X. Xu, C. R. McClung, and C. Weinig. 2011. The genetic architecture of ecophysiological and circadian traits in Brassica rapa. Genetics 189: 375-390. Haselhorst, M. S. H, C. E. Edwards, M. J. Rubin, and C. Weinig. 2011. Genetic architecture of life-history traits and environmental-specific tradeoffs. Molecular Ecology 20: 4042-4058. Lou, P., Q. Xie, X. Xu, C. E. Edwards, M. T. Brock, C. Weinig, and C. R. McClung. 2011. Genetic architecture of the Brassica rapa circadian clock and flowering time. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 123: 397-409. Edwards, C. E., and C. Weinig. 2011. The quantitative-genetic and QTL architecture of trait integration and modularity in Brassica rapa across simulated seasonal settings. Heredity, 106:661-677. Edwards, C. E., M. S. H. Haselhorst, A. M. Mcknite, B. E. Ewers, D. G. Williams, and C. Weinig. 2009. Genotypes of Brassica rapa respond differently to plant-induced variation in air CO2 concentrations in growth chambers with standard and enhanced venting. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 119:991-1004. Romero, C., B. M. Bolker, and C. E. Edwards. 2009. Stem responses to damage: the evolutionary ecology of Quercus species in contrasting fire regimes. New Phytologist 182: 261-271. Edwards, C. E., W. S. Judd, G. M. Ionta, and B. Herring. 2009. Using population genetic data as a tool to identify new species: Conradina cygniflora (Lamiaceae), a new endangered species from Florida. Systematic Botany 34: 747-759. Edwards, C. E., D. E. Soltis, and P. S. Soltis. 2008. Using patterns of genetic structure based on microsatellite data to distinguish between recent hybridization, ancient hybridization, and incomplete lineage sorting in Conradina. Molecular Ecology 17: 5157-5174. Edwards, C. E., D. Lefkowitz, D. E. Soltis, and P. S. Soltis. 2008. Phylogeny of Conradina and related southeastern scrub mints (Lamiaceae) based on GapC gene sequences. International Journal of Plant Sciences 169: 579-594. Edwards, C. E., D. E. Soltis, and P. S. Soltis. 2008. Isolation, characterization, and cross-species amplifications of microsatellite loci in Conradina. Molecular Ecology Resources 8: 363-366. Edwards, C. E., M. Arakaki, P. Quintana-Ascencio, D. E. Soltis, and P. S. Soltis. 2007. Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci from the endangered highlands scrub hypericum (Hypericum cumulicola). Molecular Ecology Notes 7: 1135-1137. Edwards, C. E., D. E. Soltis, and P. S. Soltis. 2006. Molecular phylogeny of Conradina and other scrub mints (Lamiaceae) from the southeastern USA: evidence for hybridization in Pleistocene refugia? Systematic Botany 31: 193-207. Soltis, P. S., D. E. Soltis, and C. E. Edwards. 2005. Angiosperms. Flowering Plants. Version 03 June 2005 in The Tree of Life Web Project . Soltis, P. S., D. E. Soltis, and C. E. Edwards. 2005. Magnoliids. Version 23 June 2005 in The Tree of Life Web Project . Soltis, P. S., D. E. Soltis, and C. E. Edwards. 2005. Core Eudicots. Core Tricolpates. Version 01 January 2005  in The Tree of Life Web Project . Mavrodiev, E. V, C. E. Edwards, D. C. Albach, M. A. Gitzendanner, P. S. Soltis, and D. E. Soltis. 2004. Phylogenetic relationships in subtribe Scorzonerinae (Asteraceae: Cichorioideae: Lactuceae) based on ITS sequence data. Taxon 53: 691-698.