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Botany Seminar at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Jeffrey Rose, PhD
University of Colorado – Boulder
Using Collections Based Research to Understand the Evolution of Form and Geographic Range in Polemoniaceae

While the growing field of phylogenomics continues to elucidate evolutionary relationships among organisms, the growing availability of digitized collections, coupled with advances in the field of phylogenetic comparative methods has set the stage for a new era of “phylophenomic” research, allowing researchers to reanalyze a plethora of previously published morphological, ecological, and geographic data and reassess hypotheses in an explicitly phylogenetic context.

Polemoniaceae is a small, charismatic, largely North American family with its highest species diversity in southern California. An extensive literature exists on the taxonomy, morphology, ecology, and distribution of the family. I will discuss advances in our understanding of phylogenetic relationships in Polemoniaceae and how we can use this new paradigm in conjunction with data from herbarium specimens to elucidate the evolution of floral form and understand its historical biogeography, including what processes may have driven the high amount of sympatric species within California.