I am a plant systematist with broad interests in plant biodiversity.
Our collective knowledge of plant biodiversity remains woefully incomplete. This reality is exemplified by the discovery by botanists each year of about 2000 new species worldwide. My research interests have focused primarily in four areas. Many opportunities exist for highly motivated and self-driven students in these areas.
The first focal area is the systematics of the Myrtle Family (Myrtaceae), which includes Eucalyptus, Guava and many other fascinating plants. Working frequently with colleagues and students the past two decades, I have described 4 new genera and about 75 new species from Australia, New Caledonia, New Guinea, and Madagascar. (Example: http://www.mapress.com/phytotaxa/content/2012/f/pt00048p060.pdf)
The second is the Grass Family (Poaceae). Current work is focusing on taxonomic treatments of genera formerly included in Leptochloa in collaboration with Drs. Paul Peterson (Curator of Grasses at the Smithsonian Institution) and Konstantin Romaschenko (Kholodny Institute of Botany, National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine). (Example: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3391715/)
The third emphasis has been floristic inventories in the Rocky Mountain region (CO, NM, WY, MT), where many areas remain inadequately surveyed, and where new species and State records still frequently are found. Opportunities for floristic and vegetation inventories in southeast Kansas and neighboring regions also are plentiful. (Example: Schiebout et al. 2008, see c.v.)
Fourth, I was recently appointed Director of the Sperry Herbarium, an important regional and historical collection of vascular plants and bryophytes. We will be working to: 1) upgrade and update the collections taxonomically; 2) make the collections more accessible (and thus more useful) to a wider variety of users regionally, nationally and internationally; and 3) convert much of herbarium's data to readily accessible formats on-line.
- BIOL 111 General Biology
- BIOL 382 Plant Diversity
- BIOL 538 Aquatic Plants
- BIOL 548 Taxonomy of Vascular Plants
- BIOL 641 Identification of Woody Plants