Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
BIOL 111 General BiologyBIOL 212 Principles of Biology IIBIOL 548 Taxonomy of Vascular PlantsBIOL 602 Medical BotanyBIOL 602 Invasive Species ManagementBIOL 730 Evolution
I am a plant systematist with broad interests in plant biodiversity. Our global 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 professional interests have focused primarily in four areas. Many opportunities exist for highly motivated and self-driven students in these areas. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150513102804.htm)
The first includes a taxonomic focus on the Myrtle family (Myrtaceae). This relatively large family remains somewhat unstudied compared to comparably-sized families, and several dozen new species are discovered annually across many parts of the world. Current collaborative efforts include studies of plants in New Caledonia and Madagascar. (See http://phys.org/news/2015-05-bucketful-eugenia-species-madagascar.html)
The second is the Grass Family (Poaceae). Current work with Drs. Paul Peterson (Curator of Grasses at the Smithsonian Institution) and Konstantin Romaschenko (Kholodny Institute of Botany, National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine) includes taxonomic revisions of genera formerly included in Leptochloa (Example: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3391715/).
The third emphasis has been floristic (=plant) inventories. Recent work includes surveying in Cherokee and Crawford counties by graduate student Sam Young. River bottomlands near Miami, OK, currently are being surveyed for the Grand River Dam Authority.
The fourth dimension includes duties as Director of the Theodore M. Sperry Herbarium, an important regional collection of vascular plants and bryophytes. During the past three years we have upgraded and updated the collections taxonomically; are making the collections more accessible and more useful to a wider variety of users regionally, nationally and internationally; are uploading data-based and digitally imaged specimens to the Northern Great Plains Herbarium Consortium data portal (http://ngpherbaria.org/portal/index.php).
I also serve as faculty advisor to the recently formed Natural History Collections Curation Club (“NHC3”) at Pittsburg State University.