Research

I am interested in the development and application of statistical models and software to understand the evolution of polyploids. My main focus is on understanding the evolutionary history of Penstemon attenuatus, a hexaploid plant species with four varieties distributed in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. A few of my projects include:

  • Developing models for population genetic inferences in polyploids (both auto- and allopolyploids).

  • Testing hypotheses of allopolyploid formation in the Penstemon attenuatus species complex.

  • Demographic and species tree inference with polyploids using the coalescent model.


I am also a Research Associate on an NSF funded project looking at adaptive radiation theory in Penstemon. The project includes the development of methods for inferring large phylogenies from high throughput sequencing data, the use and development of comparative methods to discover key innovations that are correlated with increased speciation rates, as well as a large effort to characterize and catalog the diversity of Penstemon as a whole. More information can be found here.