Funded by the National Science Foundation
& The National Geographic Society
My research relates to the biology,
taxonomy and evolution of aquatic flowering plants. I have
published on topics ranging from aquatic plant reproductive
systems, to the spread of invasive aquatic plants, aquatic plant
structure, and the taxonomy of water starworts (Callitrichaceae)
and riverweeds (Podostemaceae).
Over the last several years my research
interests have focused on a family of aquatic plants called
riverweeds. Riverweeds are flowering plants that occur only
attached to rocks in river-rapids and waterfalls. One species
occurs in eastern North America, whereas about 170 species occur
in Mexico, Central America, and South America. The geographic
scope of my research at the current time includes southern
Mexico through Central America, Venezuela and parts of Brazil.
My research focuses on the biodiversity of
riverweeds. Specifically I am interested in gaining answers to
the following questions.
1. How many species of riverweed are
there and where do they occur?
2. How are species related
3. Is the high incidence of endemism
(i.e., species occurring in small geographic regions) real or an
artifact of poor taxonomic understanding?
4. What elements of natural history
(e.g., pollination biology, seed dispersal) influence species
Research Opportunities for undergraduates
Funding from the National Science
Foundation allows me to integrate undergraduate students into my
laboratory and field research. Several students are presently
involved in my research on Podostemaceae. I encourage students
to come to talk with me about their possible involvement in my
Brazil: July-August 2005
Brazil: July-August 2006
Summary by Genus for the above trips