We use genomic and bioinformatic techniques to document the origins of plant diversity from evolutionary and ecological perspectives. We use a variety of plant groups and habitats, but our favorites are rock-dwelling saxifrages. All the work we do takes place in a museum context and uses and generates specimens that document plant diversity in space and time. We are based in the Department of Biological Sciences, Mississippi State University, and the University's herbarium MISSA.
8/16/21—Sushil Dahal has joined the lab as a PhD student! He will be picking up some of the work he started as an REU student for his dissertation work.
7/31/21—The MISSA herbarium database is fully recovered! We have moved and updated our complete legacy database and built new protocols for further uploads and maintenance. As well as mobilizing 1,700 new specimens from our last two years!
7/19/21—Come see two talks and two posters from the lab at the 2021 Botany conference! https://2021.botanyconference.org/
2/27/21—The workflow paper for the NitFix project is out! Read on to find out how to manage a megaproject based in collections and go from sampling to analysis and collaboration with maximal efficiency. We are implementing successors to this strategy here at State! https://doi.org/10.1002/aps3.11410
2/26/21—We published a new generic revision of Saxifragaceae! In this paper, we set up a taxonomic framework for this important family of temperate and alpine environments, tying up loose ends from the literature. We hope it will solve many phylogenetic problems long noted and not dealt with due to the previous lack of a global view. https://doi.org/10.1002/tax.12450
7/9/20—A new lab paper is out in Nature Communications! This is part of longer-term collaborative research showing that, while most plant diversity is in the tropics, this diversity is ancient and much of the recent action in plant diversification is actually outside tropical zones and of very recent date. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-17116-5
2/25/20—The MISSA herbarium has entered the 21st century! We are officially APGIV compliant and follow the APG phylogenetic sequence!
12/10/19—Carol is slated to arrive in January as the new lab postdoc! We are excited to have her. Meanwhile Nick has become quite the plant DNA expert, and our libraries are a success so far!
8/22/19—We are excited to begin opening shop at Mississippi State! The herbarium MISSA now has a new expanded home (not without some dust yet to clear), and Nick Engle-Wrye is starting a masters project. We are excited to start generating some big data!!