Krukoff Assistant Scientist
Africa and Madagascar Department
• Systematics of African Euphorbiaceae, Phyllanthaceae, and Putranjivaceae (taxonomy, phylogeny, biogeography, morphology)
• Flora of Africa and Madagascar
• Application of taxonomic information to conservation planning and management
Joan Garcia-Porta, Ph.D.
Science & Conservation Division
• Evolution of insular systems
• Adaptation to climate and climate change
• Evolutionary consequences of innovations
Climatic diversification of the African genus Thecacoris. Barberá is an Assistant Scientist in the Africa and Madagascar Department working on the systematics and evolution of the African flora. Garcia-Porta is a Research Associate interested in the understanding the evolution of island lineages using multidisciplinary techniques. The genus Thecacoris A. Juss. is a morphologically diverse group distributed in Africa and Madagascar with around 28 species. The species limits (i.e. the characters that differentiate the species) within this African group are not well defined and this group requires an extensive study to improve its classification. In this project, we will use morphologic and climatic data to clarify the taxonomy of this group of plants. We will also use these data to explore multiple macroecological questions such as the relationship between leaf morphology and climate. The REU student working in this project will learn how to georeference African herbarium localities and use them for GIS analyses. She/he will also obtain shape data from leaves using geometric morphometric and will learn the most advanced statistic tools to test taxonomical and macroecological hypotheses.