Welcome to the Systematics Lab and Herbarium of The Morton Arboretum. We are a group with diverse interests in plant biodiversity science, united by an interest in the diversification and evolution of plant lineages, investigated using the tools of molecular phylogenetics, population genetics, cytogenetics, and herbarium study. We welcome visiting researchers at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate level to collaborate in ongoing projects or develop new projects. Please email Andrew (the Lab PI) to discuss opportunities, or reach out to any of us if you have questions.
The Plant Systematics Lab asks three fundamental questions: When and how did plant species and lineages arise? What genetic and physical traits delimit plant species and lineages? How do species’ attributes shape our world?
Rooted in systematics and specimen-based natural history, we work at the interface of species, clades, communities, and genomes. We integrate our research with mentorship across all levels of experience, with the goal of cultivating scientific identity and the habits of close observation.
We envision our research group as a hub connecting diverse disciplines through systematics, and connecting and enabling the work of diverse researchers.
We envision our research as a foundation for biodiversity stewardship and appreciation of the natural world.
We aim to create an environment of informal knowledge-sharing among students, postdocs, and staff to promote best research practices and inspire excellent work across backgrounds and professional levels.
- Publication: Phylogenetically and functionally diverse species mixes beget diverse experimental prairies, whether from seeds or plugsA new paper from our Ware Field experimental prairie demonstrates that both seed and plug plantings maintain phylogenetic and functional diversity over time. As seeding is generally more cost-effective for prairie restoration, we recommend focusing on seeding, except where managers require immediate plant cover, or for species difficult to establish from seed. Barak, R.S., Karimi, … Continue reading
- Final collections of bur oak and relatives leaf tissue — NSF Dimensions of BiodiversityMira Garner and Leah Samuels (Herbarium and Plant Systematics Lab) collected leaf tissue from their 55th and final site this past week for the NSF-funded Dimensions of Biodiversity oak syngameon study that the Arboretum is leading. They collected 530 specimens this summer representing ten species, covering essentially the entire range of bur oak (the red … Continue reading
- Visiting researcher: Sofia Zorrilla-Azcué, UNAM – MoreliaGraduate student Sofía Zorrilla-Azcué (UNAM, Morelia) is at the Arboretum for a four-month stay in the Herbarium and Systematics Laboratory. She will be analyzing data from a reduced-representation genomic study (using RAD-seq) into the effects of environment on allele frequency in Quercus insignis, in collaboration with Andrew Hipp and her advisor and Systematics Lab collaborator … Continue reading