2012 Mentors and Projects
Plant Systematics, Conservation Biology, and Ethnobotany

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Dr. Richard Keating

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Dr. Richard Keating

Research Associate, MBG

Research Interests

• Comparative Anatomy
• Adaptations of flowering plant leaves growing in stressed habitats
• Microtechniques, Microscopy, Photography
• Field guide to the 8000 acre Pere Marquette State Park, Illinois

Web Page: MBG

Plant Anatomy Slide Collections for the Web. Current research is mostly on morphoclines, how plant tissues and structures change along environmental gradients. Over a period many years Dr. Keating has accumulated a collection of approximately 16,000 microscope slides illustrating anatomical structures in Araceae, Onagraceae, Gesneriaceae, Cochlospermaceae, Flacourtiaceae, Lauraceae, Salicaceae, Solanaceae, and other families. In an effort to make images from slide collections accessible to the scientific community, images from this collection will be placed online in a searchable database linked to the Tropicos database of plant information. Slides will be imaged using a Nikon Coolscope II all-digital microscope. There is an opening for at least one student to work on the organization, imaging, and cataloging of this fine collection. Students will also work on plant structure, anatomy techniques, microscopy, data handling, and posting the images on Tropicos. Publications can be prepared using some of this material, for example a comparison of cell layer thickness in leaves of Gesneriaceae epiphytes and vines. Additional anatomy projects are available in correlating Salix leaf anatomy with environmental gradients. Students will prepare fresh slide material and use Image-J to calculate cell area.

Selected Publications 

  • Cusimano, N., Bogner, J., Mayo, S. J, Boyce, P. C.,Wong, S. Y., Hesse, M., Hetterscheid, W. L. A., Keating, R. C., and French, J. C. 2011. Relationships within Araceae: comparison of morphological patterns with molecular phylogenies. Amer. J. Botany 98: 654-668.
  • Keating, R. C. 2011. Colorado’s Spanish Peaks Region. An Exploration Guide to History, Natural History, Trails and Drives. Missouri Botanical Garden Press. St. Louis. 350 pp.
  • Keating, R. C. 2004. Systematic occurrence of raphide crystals in Araceae, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 91: 495-504.
  • Keating, R. C. 2004. Vegetative anatomical data and its relation to a revised classification of the genera of Araceae. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 91: 485-494.
  • Gordon, A., and Keating R. C. 2001. Light microscopy and determination of Eryngium yuccifolium Michaux leaf material in twined slippers from Salts Cave, KY. J. Archeol. Sci. 28: 55-60.
  • Keating, R. C. 2000. Anatomy of the young vegetative shoot of Takhtajania perrieri (Winteraceae). Ann. Missouri Bot Gard. 87: 335-346.
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