Dept. of Ecology and Evolution
My research involves the study of flowering plant reproductive evolution. In flowering plants mate recognition is a developmental process that involves physical interactions among up to six distinct organisms (male and female gametophytes and sporophytes, zygotes and endosperms). The outcome of these often cryptic interactions determines the mating system, and hence, the degree of inbreeding or outbreeding present in natural populations. In order to understand how such post-pollination mate discrimination might have originated in flowering plants, I have been studying the pollination to fertilization life histories of taxa within many early-diverging lineages of angiosperms. From these studies I am reconstructing historical patterns of evolutionary developmental change in pollen-pistil interactions. My current focus is on the evolution of pollen life histories.