For the first time since Charles Darwin opened up the evolutionary paradigm of descent with modification through natural selection, we have the opportunity to understand the morphological and molecular developmental underpinnings of evolutionary change within populations and species at the level of the genome. This National Science Foundation sponsored Research Coordination Network will provide a unique opportunity for students, postdoctorals and faculty to combine historically diverse fields and in turn develop research programs at the interface of microevolutionary and developmental plant biology. The overarching goal of the microMORPH RCN is to study speciation and the diversification of plants by linking genes through development to morphology, and ultimately to adaptation and fitness, within the dynamic context of natural populations and closely related species.
Major supported activities include:
- Organizing intergenerational and interdisciplinary workshops involving graduate students and faculty.
- Organizing educational courses that focus on providing researchers with a firm and in-depth understanding of fundamental concepts of organismic plant biology.
- Offering cross-disciplinary training opportunities for students (undergraduate summer internships and graduate rotations away from the home institution) and postdoctorals.
- Providing outreach activities to underrepresented groups in the sciences (through mini-symposia to be held at institutions with substantial minority student populations)